Having experienced a tornado while living in Nashville and knowing something of the shock waves of grief, loss, uncertainty, and hard work resulting from such devastation, I offer the following prayer. I know that individuals and congregations in that great city will pull together and courageously reach out to one another with compassion and helpfulness.
O God, our help and hope in every time of distress, we bring before you our concern and grief over the devastating losses experienced by the people of Nashville from the powerful tornado. We know not even how to pray, for our groans are deeper than words can express.
Assure us that you know our thoughts, that you accept our inaudible petitions, our prayers of anguish and lament, and bewilderment in the face of incomprehensible tragedy. Remind us and the suffering people of Nashville that you do not desert us; but in times of desperate need, you are ever present to comfort and restore.
Console those who mourn, give shelter to those who are displaced, reunite those separated from loved ones, and give hope to those who seem to have lost hope. With your healing power, touch those who are injured, and grant confidence to those now uncertain about the future. To all rescue workers and recovery volunteers, give wisdom, endurance, patience, and perseverance.
We pray for pastors and congregations who embody your presence in ministries of compassion and mercy among the displaced people left homeless and defenseless by the ravaging winds. May they know the peace that passes understanding and be strengthened by supportive embraces and expressions of love from colleagues and friends.
O Crucified and Risen Lord, remind us that love triumphs through suffering and no turbulent wind can destroy the bond of love. Because of your decisive victory over the powers of sin and death, life will prevail over death, hope over despair, love and justice will win over indifference and exploitation.
For you, O God, are “our help in ages past and our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal home.”
We pray through Jesus the Christ, who’s present and coming reign of compassion, justice, generosity, and joy, we celebrate and anticipate with hope. Amen