Friday, February 02, 2007

A Prayer for Florida

I've adopted the following prayer from Katrina for the Florida storm:

Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.
- Be present, O God, with those who are discovering that loved ones have died, that homes and jobs are gone. Embrace them in your everlasting arms.
- Be present, O God, with those who suffer today in shelters, hot and weary from too little sleep and too much fear. Let them know they are not alone.
- Be present, O God, with those who wonder what they will find when they return to homes battered by the storm. Teach them to hope.
- Be present, O God, with those who have not been able to reach loved ones, who are frantic with worry. Offer them consolation.
- Be present, O God, with those who have hardly recovered from last year’s storms, who are unsure how much they can bear, who yearn only for quiet. Grant them peace.
- Be present, O God, with all who respond - mayors, police, firefighters, FEMA employees, Red Cross workers, pastors, church disaster response coordinators. Their work is just beginning, and may not end for many months. Strengthen them for service.
- Be present, O God, with the people of the destroyed Lady Lake Church of God, and with the people of your Christian Church in storm damaged areas, and especially with the staff and members of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida where we fear so much has been damaged. Inspire us by their determination to care for others amid their own trials.
- Be present, O God, to each of us as we pray, that distance may not deter us from generous giving and enduring companionship. Help us remember tomorrow, and next week, and next month.
- Be present, O God, with all affected by this storm, and with those still suffering from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. May Immanuel, God with us, our precious Jesus, take every hand and lead us home.

-John H. Thomas, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ, August 30, 2005; Adapted/Paraphrased Nathan S. Empsall, February 2, 2007

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