A prayer sent from Aotearoa, for anyone suffering natural disaster

Rosalie Sugrue sends this prayer that she calls “Another Disaster Prayer” in sympathy with others suffering and most immediately in response to news photography of Oklahoma, US. She writes:
This prayer was written after a second devastating earthquake struck the city of Christchurch in New Zealand. But wherever disaster strikes terrible traumas are suffered and the same questions are asked.

Another disaster has struck _________. We can’t help but ask why.
Last time we were stunned, this time we are devastated. Why God?
Lives are lost. People and property are irreparably damaged. Why, God, why?
We feel gutted – hurt, angry, confused, and frightened – but you know this!
And you know that we humans cannot understand the mighty forces of nature,
nor can we comprehend the limits your divinity imposes. We don’t have answers.
All we know is our smallness when nature flexes. It is hard for us to cope.
We want to believe that you intervene and manipulate for good.

Times such as these call Christians to seek comfort in the words of Christ.
Jesus told a parable of ordinary sinful parents giving good gifts to their children,
never harming with serpent or scorpion, but giving fish and eggs as asked for.
The story has a promise of our Heavenly Parent giving a very good gift.
The promised gift is not safety from harm.
It is that you will be with us through the Holy Spirit.
No matter how much parents love their children they cannot always save them from harm.
This we understand. Like earthly parents you love us to the uttermost, no matter what.
We believe that where there is suffering, you suffer, and that your suffering
is the fullness of compassion, that calms fear, sustains hope and encourages renewal.

We pray for all the people of _______ – holding in our minds terrible images
of death and destruction – each picture representing thousands of distraught people.
We ask that each of your suffering children is able to feel tangible love and care.
We pray that despairing spirits be buoyed by your presence and practical aid.
Enable those burdened with responsibilities to make the best possible decisions.
May all affected know comfort and support, and receive what they need
in the rebuilding of their lives

We give thanks for the gut instinct that prompted immediate heroic endeavours,
for volunteers, for civil structures, that along with national and international resources,
have swung into action with planned commitment and selfless dedication.
All _____ feels the pain of _______’s injury and stands firm with its people.
For the caring and the practical response we are profoundly thankful.

And, lastly we pray for ourselves;
Keep us safe, keep compassion at the heart of our being,
and show us how we can help our prayers come true. Amen

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