Church leaders call for prayer in the wake of the May 20 tornado in Moore-Oklahoma City

May 21, 2013

Louisville

Neal Presa, Moderator of the 220th General Assembly (2012), Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, and Linda Valentine, Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, today issued a call to prayer for all those affected by the Oklahoma tornado, and share the following prayer and hymn written by Laurie Kraus, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) coordinator:

A Prayer in the wake of the May 20 tornado in Moore-Oklahoma City

O God of love, whose Spirit in creation moved over the face of chaos, bringing life: hear our prayers, as we bear witness this day to the awful power of wind, whose might raged over your people in Moore, Oklahoma, changing lives and landscapes in an instant .  Even now, as first responders still labor to seek those who are lost and succor those who are bereaved and bereft, even as stories of terror and hurt are still unfolding,

WE TOUCH YOUR HAND OF MERCY

In teachers who sheltered with their bodies the children entrusted to their care, as you, O God, like a mother hen spread her wings over her people Israel:

WE SEE YOUR FACE, AND FEEL YOUR TENDER EMBRACE.

In neighbors who rallied to one another’s need, in houses of worship which opened their doors to give shelter, in volunteers who set their personal needs aside to assist those in grave danger and those awaiting a hand of compassion

WE FEEL THE HEART OF YOUR COMPASSION.

In the courageous resolve of first responders, who listen for cries in the dark, dig through the rubble, tenderly bind up wounds and comfort the bereaved,

WE EXPERIENCE THE STEADFASTNESS OF YOUR LOVE.

We are grateful for the signs of your presence in responders, neighbors, strangers and families of faith, who come together as one common body to save, support, and salve the wounds of those who suffer.

FOR ALL THESE VISIBLE SIGNS OF YOUR INVISIBLE GRACE, WE BLESS YOUR NAME

Our Rock and Redeemer, who from the bonds of death rose to resurrection life for the sake of Love, be a strong presence among those who, having survived this chaos, now face grief, uncertainty and weary days:

BE IN US AND THROUGH OUR PRAYERS AND ACTIONS A SOURCE OF HOLY COMFORT AND A CHANNEL OF HEALING GRACE.

MAY THE PEACE OF GOD MOVE THROUGH US, THE REST OF GOD ABIDE WITH THOSE WHO HAVE ENDURED TERRORS AND SORROW, AND, IN THE SEASON OF REBUILDING, MAY THE LIFE OF GOD BRING OUT OF FORMLESS CHAOS, A NEW CREATION. AMEN.

---the Rev. Dr. Laurie A. Kraus, Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Through Cloud and Out of Chaos:  A Hymn for a Hard Season

Text by the Rev. Dr. Laurie A. Kraus,  Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
To be sung to the tune  Es Ist Ein’ Ros’ 7.6.7.6.7.6  (Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming)

O, God of Hosts, restore us.
Turn toward us in your grace.
Stir up your might and save us,
Teach us to seek your face.

Your people cry in pain.
Bereft, adrift, and longing:
God, make us whole again.

Come, God of present danger,
Return, and guide us home.
Speak to us, Friend and Stranger:               
We trust in you alone.                                             

We watch and work and pray,
The Spirit’s Life revealing
To wait the Coming Day.

Through cloud and out of chaos
Your people speak Your Name
In darkness, God will stay us,

In Christ, the winds are tamed

Toward hope our hearts are drawn
Your healing Life abounding,

Your Love, our steadfast song.

***

Visit the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) website for updates on PDA’s ongoing response.

  1. Received this via e mail: O God, hear our prayers: for teachers who became tornado shelters as they covered their children with their bodies; of parents whose hearts shattered at the sight of the bearer of bad news; for children whose last image was that of a beloved playmate, before they saw your weeping face; for rescuers,responders, searchers whose grief must be left at home until their work is done; for families whose earthly goods consist of a picture in a broken frame, a half-torn letter, a broken kitchen chair; for all whose beloved community has now become that shadowed valley of loss; for all your people, O God, hear our prayers. (c) 2013 Thom M. Shuman Thom Thom M. Shuman Interim Pastor Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati, OH Associate Member, Iona Community

    by Bert Eyster

    May 26, 2013

  2. Our congregation and pastor, Rev. José L. Torres-Milán, as part of the family of faith we join in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ. May the following scripture be a vivid one for all... Numbers 6:24-26 "24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."

    by Third Presbyterian Church in Aguadilla Puerto Rico

    May 24, 2013

  3. I am praying for all the people in Moore and I am grateful that my friend Kathy Berry and her family in OKC are ok. God Bless us all.

    by Ann Montena

    May 23, 2013

  4. Trinity Church, Fairfield Ohio, sends prayer for peace to all disaster victims.

    by REV. SUSAN DUKER

    May 23, 2013

  5. Thanks be to God, who is with us in our times of trial as well as our times of joy!

    by Muriel Layton

    May 21, 2013

  6. Thank you for these prayers and hymn to steady our hearts in the midst of not knowing what to say or do.

    by Anne

    May 21, 2013

  7. Thank you. Praying for all those affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma.

    by Melissa

    May 21, 2013

  8. Thank you so much for the beautiful prayer and I hope I hear the song sung in our church!

    by Paige

    May 21, 2013

  9. I recited these prayers, with tears falling from my eyes, and thank God again, that my OK family are safe and asked God to give peace, energy and love to the survivors. Thank you for posting this.

    by Bea

    May 21, 2013

  10. Thank you for this resource.

    by Leslie Belden

    May 21, 2013

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