COLUMN: A prayer in a time of fire
WITH all the bush fires currently burning and the ongoing impact of drought on the local farming communities I know a lot of people are feeling helpless, in that they don't know how to help.
Some people will have networks that are already starting to explore rebuilding, or helping those who have lost homes, business, farms, and in a few sad cases loved ones.
Of course I commend that work to you, and I am sure that there will be coordinated aid programs seeking funding moving forward, and almost everyone can afford to give at least a little.
Can I also commend to you a prayer that was recently shared on social media attributed to Penny Barletta of Common Grace, the language of which I find helpful.
Help us not to be overwhelmed by despair when we open our eyes to what we have done to your world, and to our neighbours.
Teach us to pray for true repentance, not the hypocrisy that relies on you for rescue while continuing with selfish and greedy hearts.
Have mercy on those who now pay the price for our sin - those affected by the fires.
The people whose homes are gone, who will live with trauma, whose loved ones have died.
The people who fight these fires, many of them tired and scared and overwhelmed, and their families who carry the burden of anxiety.
The animals and birds, insects and reptiles that are now gone, and those that remain to survive when their habitat is gone.
The very bush and scorched land itself.
Lord, your grief is beyond ours, your power to restore and redeem is limitless - have mercy on us all, and teach us how to meet the need that grows every hour, in every way that we can, and where the need is beyond us, stretch out your loving hand.
In Jesus name, Amen.