Lord of all, hear the prayers of your people. When tragedy comes, dwell within us and allow our spirits to be calm. You are the only way to peace for our broken hearts. As we hear the news, pour your sweet assurance within us and remind us that you are standing beside the families, even as you welcomed home their loved ones. An earthquake yesterday and floods tomorrow, disaster doesn’t politely stop and await its turn. It comes crashing into our world, as if rushing to receive a reward.

Why, O God? Why do certain lives seem less valuable? Why do floods return year after year in the same regions? I have more questions. And then I hear the faint whisper of you calling me. I can barely hear you over the noise of my questions. It is you calling me to feel the peace that you are pouring into my mind.

I need only to trust in you. Here is where you’ve been all along. The heartache that I feel thousands of miles away from the mother who discovers her son has died is as real as if I was holding her hand. And suddenly, I understand. It is your heartache as well. You want none of this for your beloved children. You want healing and wholeness and joy and peace. Be in their hearts, O Precious Savior. Guard their spirits so they can withstand the pain. Allow their minds to drift off to sleep and be freed, even if only for a brief time, from the sadness that pervades every fiber of their being. May the prayers we raise blow a gentle breeze across their cheeks so they might feel the tenderness of your love.

-Pastor Maria