2/22/11

For our brothers and sisters in New Zealand

Image: AP
Wellington, New Zealand
The mayor of New Zealand's second-largest city, Christchurch, has declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that rocked the "garden city" shortly before 1 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

Prime Minister John Key said that at least 65 people are known to have died in what "may well be New Zealand's darkest day."

The New Zealand earthquake is already the deadliest to strike the country in the past 80 years and the death toll is expected to rise. It's the second major earthquake to hit Christchurch in five months, the first causing an estimated $3 billion in damages from multiple aftershock, but no deaths.
(Read the article from the Christian Science Monitor here.)

My blog enjoys the faithful readership of a number of New Zealanders.  I'm confident that I can assure them of my prayerful support and that of my readers around the world.

Here are two prayers by Alden Solovy over at To Bend Light: Prayers from a Jewish Heart, written after the earthquake in Haiti and now adapted for the people of New Zealand.

Let us pray...

In Devastation 
(Prayer for the People of New Zealand)
G-d beyond my understanding,
The earth has turned violent,
Sweeping our brothers and sisters off their feet,
Crushing homes and lives,
Upending dreams,
Toppling the foundations of hope and sustenance.
A shallow breath beneath the rubble
And wailing in the streets.
The injured, the dead, the starving.
The new widow,
The new orphan,
The newly bereft turn to You
Divine Source of abundance and grace.
G-d of justice and mercy,
We pray for the people of New Zealand,
And the victims of any disaster,
Any violence, suffering or despair.
Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and renewal.
May a world of justice, righteousness and mercy
Come swiftly to their aid.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
Courage to heal,
And devotion to each other.
Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Grant the people of New Zealand Your protection,
Your radiance,
And Your peace.

Prayer For First Responders 
(to the New Zealand Earthquake)
Crisis and chaos,
Confusion and loss,
A scene of sweeping destruction,
The first responders arrive
Among the breathless and dazed,
The frenzied, driven wild with fear and grief,
The incapacitated, the dead,
The weary, the lost, the injured,
And survivors forcing themselves
Beyond their limits
To fight devastation.
G-d whose ways are secret,
Bless these first responders with endurance
To be of maximum service in this moment of immeasurable need.
Bless their limbs with strength,
Their eyes with courage,
Their hands with gentleness,
So that they become a source of hope and love.
Give them the tools they need in the days and hours ahead.
Protect them from physical harm,
Shield them from emotional pain,
And guard them from taking this trauma into themselves.
G-d of justice and mercy,
We pray for the people of New Zealand.
Let the world rally on their behalf.
May the deeds of the first responders
Find favor in Heaven
And bring healing on earth.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.


 
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3 comments:

Philomena Ewing said...

Thanks for these prayers. I never know how to put into words what I need to say at times like this.
Blessings

tobendlight.com said...

Pastor
I am deeply touched to see my prayers posted to your site. I'm at a loss to explain it. I sense that it stems from seeing in print the simple, powerful instruction that you put before my words: "Let us pray."
And we shall.
In friendship,
Alden

Austin Fleming said...

Alden,
You're prayers are here because I was deeply touched by them. A Google search led me to your page and I'm grateful to have discovered it. Friendship in prayer is a mighty bond and I'm grateful that such a connection has been made here.
CP