God of all creation, we give you thanks for the healing, hopeful gifts of this table. You give to us in abundance and your gifts grant us a security we so often take for granted. Yet today we are reminded about what we so readily forget – that for many, the simple structure of life – its weather, its water, its safety, it resources – is precarious. We pray today for all those who scramble and strain daily, in their environments, just to assemble life’s necessities for themselves and their families. We pray for the shooting victims in Texas and for their worried or grieving families.
Today we pray with special awareness that as the hurricane passes, there may be many who are left to face upheaval and devastation. For those who will face damaged property, ravaged hopes, tarnished dreams, we pray for restoration.
And if we, ourselves, must face losses, ever-vigilant God, teach us that your sacred presence, here today, is always among us, even when we least suspect it and our destiny seems least clear. Strengthen our trust in you and our devotion to you. If we still find ourselves storm-tossed and afraid, let us envision you with us, remaining calmly beside us through the turmoil. And let us recall the words of Christ: “Peace! Be still! Why are you afraid?” Let these words echo in our hearts and minds, let them sound above the roar of the storm, and let them nudge us to reach out for support from others, and from you.
Then, with our strength renewed, may we reach out to others who are yet caught in the storm. We pray for the grace to share your love and concern, letting it pass from neighbor to neighbor to neighbor, encouraging stability and healing to begin. Then, when windswept trees finally bud and re-green, may we acknowledge that our hopes, too, sprout and bloom anew when we trust that the future holds new promise in the security you grant us.
We pray all these things today in the name of the One who calms the storms with a word. We pray in the memory of the One who calls to us saying, “Be not afraid.” We pray in wonderment of the One whom even the wind and the sea humbly obey. We pray in gratitude to the One who tells us we shall never walk alone. We pray as disciples who echo the prayer of our Christ, as we sing his words of prayer together… the Lord’s Prayer… Amen.