Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Prayer for the Aftermath of the Storms

A couple of days ago, I was asked to lead the congregational prayer time during our service tomorrow morning. We attend a Presbyterian church, so this is the part of the worship service where 3-4 minutes are spent in corporate prayer for God's people and work within our local body and the body of Christ at large.

I am a thinker and a writer, but when it comes to speaking I am generally fairly extemporaneous/off the cuff. In light of the fact that the requested 3 or 4 minutes is a lot of time and in response to the flood of thoughts I have had as I have prayed about this responsibility, I jotted down some thoughts this morning.

A prayer for the people of God:

Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of this world, we come to You this morning with hearts that are heavy with the images of the storms that ravaged our region this week. We pray for our neighbors who have lost so much--possessions, security, livelihoods, loved ones...As they survey the damage, we pray that You will come along side the survivors with comfort healing and hope as they rebuild.

We are also mindful that while the images in the media are outward signs of devastation, many of us in this room, beneath our finery, have hearts that have been ravaged by other types of storms---the winds of change, the havoc of sin, the loss of loved ones, financial ruin, disease, abuse, addiction, adultery, gossip, deceit. The images of our heart may not make the evening news--but You know. You KNOW us, Lord. And You are in the business of rebuilding, restoring, reclaiming, redeeming. You make all things new. You are Almighty--but You are also love and grace and mercy that is beyond our comprehension.

Lord, remind us as we read and watch the unbelievable survival stories of this week, that we have survival stories too. Give us courage to tell our stories to those who need to hear them.

Lord, give us hearts like yours. Hearts that shun sin, but love sinners. Hearts that seek You. Hearts that don't just sit back and judge or shake our heads at the destruction of this world--but that long to be used by You to bring hope and healing to those who are hurting and in need.

Empower us to serve one another, pray for each other and come along side our fellow sojourners with peace. It's a tall order. We can't do it without You. Lord, help us to love each other well.



Mary Lou said...

Amen and Amen to each word that you wrote in your prayer. Straight from the heart of God through you.

Jane said...

First of all, I'd like to tell you how very blessed I have been by your spirual insights as they relate to daily life and the raising of your three adorable children. Secondly, I want to tell you that I was so moved by this beautiful heartfelt prayer, that I copied it by hand and slipped it into my Bible during this morning's devotionals. So at the conclusion of our adult Sunday school class when our leader asked who would like to volunteer to say the closing prayer, I found myself saying, "I will" and explaining the source of the words I was about to pray. For several seconds there was complete silence after I said Amen, and then abundant praises to God for not only giving you the most perfect prayer for today, but also for leading me to discover and share it with our class. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wife Goes On said...

What an amazing prayer. Thank you for letting God use you - in this way at your church and here on the internet. Thank you for sharing this.