God of our life, whose presence sustains us in every circumstance, in storm and distress, we welcome the restoring power of your love and compassion. We open our hearts in sorrow, gratitude, and hope: that those who have been spared nature’s fury as well as those whose lives are changed forever by ravages of wind and water may find solace, sustenance, and strength in the days  of recovery and rebuilding that come.

We are thankful for the generous grace of days of preparation; for the wise counsel of experts and the generous collaboration of so many communities, that in the face of the storm kept many out of harm’s way, and lessened the effects of wind and water on others.  We pray for those yet in harm’s way; who wait in neighborhoods  while the waters rise, who pray for the rains to cease.  We pray for those huddled at home or among strangers while wind ravages, for those who have fled from home and wait and wonder.  We ask for sustaining courage, for the kindness of strangers, for hope that does not disappoint.

We open ourselves to listen with compassion to the stories of those whom Hurricane Harvey has not spared: communities deeply affected, whose livelihood, homes and stability have been destroyed.  We pray in grief, honoring the lives, shattered and the livelihoods, homes and businesses for whom recovery seems an insurmountable mountain.  We lift our voices in sorrow and compassion for families who have lost loved ones, homes, or livelihood.

We ask for sustaining courage for those who are suffering; wisdom and diligence among agencies and individuals assessing damage and directing relief efforts; and for generosity to flow as powerfully as rivers and streams, as we, your people, respond to the deep human needs beginning to emerge in the wake of the storm.

In these days of relief, assessment and response, open our eyes, our hearts, and our hands to the needs of your children and the movements of your Spirit, who flows in us like the river whose streams makes glad the city of God, and the hearts of all who dwell in it, and in You.

In the name of Christ the Healer we pray,  amen.
the Rev. Dr. Laurie Ann Kraus
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Just like with Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy and Matthew, we are relying on the generosity of Presbyterians to provide financial and hands-on support to help the whole church stand with these communities and the Presbyterian families. This is a catastrophic event of wind and water, the likes of which Texas has not seen. In the Song of Solomon, Scripture says ‘Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it,’ and we will be there with them. Our love and partnership will be with the people of Texas for the long run.

 – Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus

 

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