Lord, the scenes are horrific: swaths of communities obliterated, smoldering ashes, flames still threatening in the background. Entire neighborhoods devastated, people missing, others confirmed dead. Stories are emerging of narrow escapes, families already on the edge unable to fathom how to rebuild their lives, first responders discovering the remains of those who didn’t make it out. What is your word to us in the midst of such destruction? What can you offer those hurting, afraid and in mourning?
Comfort, O comfort your people, Lord God.
Bring a shoot from the stump, a sign of life from the dust, a glimpse of hope even in the valley of dry bones and ash.
Send your Holy Spirit with the breath of life, flames of Pentecostal power, winds that blow healing, a pillar of fire that leads us out of the wilderness and into places of promise, rest and provision.
God of power and might, strengthen those who are working on the frontlines, putting their lives in danger. Give courage to those in positions of leadership, that they might uphold those entrusted to their care even as they face an uncertain future. Show us, your servants, how to bear your light, your life, your compassion, your grace to those who sit in deep darkness and despair.
Remind us once again that you are a God who calls forth resurrection from those places where we believed death to have the final word. Help us hear and heed the words of our Risen Christ, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
May we go where we are sent, speak the word we have been given and bring the peace that passes understanding with us. Amen.
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