Prayer for disaster relief
God of hope and mercy, we lift up to you all victims of natural disasters and those responding with assistance and aid. Protect all who are in any form of danger; provide practical help to those in need; strengthen the weary, console the grieving, heal the suffering; and bless those engaged in disaster relief efforts with safety and courage. Help all people of good will respond with compassion and generous hearts. Amen.
Psalm 107: 23-26, 28-31
R. God of wonders, hear the cries of those in distress.
Some went off to sea in ships, plied their trade on the deep waters. They saw the works of the LORD, the wonders of God in the deep. R.
He commanded and roused a storm wind; it tossed the waves on high. They rose up to the heavens, sank to the depths; their hearts trembled at the danger. R.
In their distress they cried to the LORD, who brought them out of their peril; He hushed the storm to silence, the waves of the sea were stilled. R.
They rejoiced that the sea grew calm, that God brought them to the harbor they longed for. Let them thank the LORD for his mercy, such wondrous deeds for the children of Adam. R.
Reading from Scripture
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”
An individual or group reflection on the scripture readings or on the theme of disaster relief may take place here.
Confident in God’s loving care, let us now lift up together the following needs, saying: “Let us cry for help.”
For the consolation of all who have lost loved ones, livelihoods, homes, or property, we pray:
For the blessing of hope upon those devastated by shock, overwhelmed with grief, or paralyzed with fear, we pray:
For the relief of the poor, elderly, sick, and vulnerable, who typically suffer most in disasters, we pray:
For the encouragement, protection, and perseverance of all aid workers, we pray:
For an increase of generosity and solidarity with victims by all people of goodwill, we pray:
Other prayers may be offered here.
God of compassion, you are our refuge and our strength, our sure rock in the midst of any storm, the light which pierces every darkness, and an anchor of hope for those who contend with despair. Reach out your hand to all those who fear that they are sinking beneath the waves, or feel as if they’re too weary to carry on through the heat of the day. May they receive that courage, resilience, and healing grace that can only come from you. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.
Sign of Peace
All present may share an appropriate sign of peace.