Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Prayer for the People of Haiti

Loving God of creation,
at this time of devastation
we hold before you the people of Haiti.

When the damage is unimaginable,
and the suffering seems overwhelming,
remind us that every person affected
is loved, honoured and precious in your sight.

We remember all those who have been hurt;
all who have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones.

Work through us to bring healing
to broken and distorted lives,
peace to those who have been thrown into despair,
light to those in darkness,
and hope to those who fear.

We ask this in the name of Jesus
in whom all life and grace is found. Amen.

Source: Christian Aid.

Thanks to "More than a Via Media" for bringing this prayer to my attention.


Anonymous said...

Lord have mercy, amen

Jennifer said...

Dear Lord,

Fair enough, you are the almighty one, and if you wish to smite Haiti or wherever, then who am I to argue with that decision? Your universe, your rules, I'm cool with that. But now that you've done the whole death and destruction bit, I humbly ask that you do something nice for the survivors, give them clean water and medical supplies and food, and maybe rebuild their houses, though I realise you don't usually undertake construction work (notwithstanding the Heavens and the Earth, which admittedly are pretty neat, but that was quite a long time ago so I'm guessing you're no longer active in that trade). Anyway, if you don't want to do any of that, that's fine too, because you're God and I'm not, but it's just a suggestion. I think it would be a nice gesture, you know? Of course you know, you're omniscient.


Bryan Owen said...

Jennifer, I, too, have shared the kinds of feelings about God that your prayer expresses - disappointment, doubt, anger, etc. Those feelings, if expressed honestly (and not merely cynically), are faithful ways of struggling with the mystery of evil.

Having said that, and acknowledging that I still experience those feelings from time to time, I do not worship the kind of God your prayer presupposes.

In his book Classic Christianity, Thomas Oden writes: "Nowhere is God’s almighty power manifested more clearly than in showing mercy to sinners." And no image better captures that manifestation of God's almighty power than Jesus nailed to a cross.

That's not the superman God I sometimes wish existed. But it is the faithful, compassionate, and merciful God who, in the death and resurrection of Jesus, has confronted and ultimately defeated the powers of sin, evil, and death. And it is on the basis of believing in that God that we Christians can address tragedies like the one in Haiti without falling into despair.