Almighty God, as the flood waters recede and the extend of the devastation is revealed we cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the suffering of our neighbors, our neighbors in Texas, Louisiana, India, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and around the globe. The images we see are both harrowing and heartening: those grieving the loss of life, first responders and ordinary people alike endangering themselves to rescue others, entire towns under water, entire nations mobilizing to bring relief. Help us to pay attention to both the pain and the hope so that we, too, will be moved to action.
Trusting that you have the power and the ability to bring light into the deepest darkness, we look without flinching at the inequities made glaringly obvious when disaster hits. While the rain falls indiscriminately on all, the ability to recover from the damages it has wrought is anything but fair. Those already living on the edge have been washed over it, and now is the time for your people to intervene for justice long denied.
We pray, Lord God, that our exploitation of creation can no longer be tolerated, that those living on the margins or in the shadows are our brothers and sisters and your beloved children, that your law is fulfilled in love, and that you stand with the vulnerable – in all of this, compel us to passionately do your will and be about your work.
The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. The fruits of the Spirit are inexhaustible, but too often left unshared. The power when two are three are gathered in your name is greater than any obstacle or evil, and yet we fail to recognize and claim it. The promise of mustard seed sized faith to move mountains is given, but we refuse to sow that small seed. Patient God, inspire us to step up and step out in your name, knowing that you will take whatever we offer, bless, multiply and use it to feed the multitudes scattered on the hillsides far from home.
Gracious and loving God, knowing that the world you created and called good is hurting, we unashamedly ask for you to intervene. Comfort, grant peace, give strength, sustain, bless and encourage those who this very day are about to give out and give up.
God of the burning bush and empty tomb, speak to us your commissioning word, show us your resurrection glory, so that each of us, all of us, will be compelled to take up our cross and risk our lives in your service in order that we might find them in you, in each other and in the reconciliation you sent your Son to bring. May our love make undeniably evident that we are followers of Jesus Christ, the One in whose name we pray. Amen.
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