Monday, August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

On Saturday afternoon Bishop Charles Jenkins of Louisiana got an email to some of his friends asking for our prayers and saying, "Living below sea level, we are particularly vulnerable." I have also had in prayer at this time my good friend, Chris Colby, Rector of Trinity Church, Pass Christian, Mississippi, whose church bukldings literally sit on the edge of the beach right in the eye of Katrina's storm. Trinity lost its building with Camille in 1969, and certainly they seem to be facing major damage today.

As I was getting out my online daily devotions yesterday evening to my congregation and other friends who receive them, I went looking for a prayer to be used in natural disasters to replace what I had put in there already. I found none -- even though I have about 15-20 books of prayers and collects. However, this morning after another prolonged search I did find one that is appropriate to pray now there is nothing else that we can do except prepare for the aftermath of this horrendous hurricane.

Lord of compassion and power,
be with those who have survived this disaster:
minister to their needs of mind and spirit,
body and circumstance;
heal those who are hurt;
give peace to the dying;
comfort and support the bereaved;
and to all who are working to bring relief and restore order
give strength and resilience to do their work well;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

This prayer was composed by Dick Williams from Britain.

Meanwhile, today is going to be spent preparing for Katrina's arrival here. We are being told to expect high winds, heavy rain and storms, power outages, and the possibility of tornadoes -- and we are 450 miles from where the storm came ashore. Between there and here, of course, there are folks who are facing a great deal more than we can expect.

For weeks now I have been praying for rain. It looks today as if the Lord will answer that prayer -- but why is it that he always has to overdo things?!

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