1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.
Last evening, an interfaith community of religious leaders came together in unity of purpose for our prayers for those impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopalian, non-
denominational, Hindi and Muslim leaders gathered at the Sanctuary Church in Fort Lauderdale for a service of worship and prayer. It was a beautiful example of how God’s people can and should live together in unity. All the leaders spoke a few words and then offered prayers. Below is the prayer I offered.
God of all tender mercies, we gather tonight as one people, created in your image, sharing the corporate sense of loss and pain for those who have suffered and are suffering from this apocalyptic storm.
We weave our prayers together from each of our faith traditions knowing full well that Abba, Yahweh, Allah – One God – hear all His children’s prayers.
We cannot imagine the horror of drowning in a submerged attic, seeing our spouse or child slip below the waves at the crest of a surge, or having our homes blown down around us; our hearts cannot fathom what those rescuers and other personnel searching for the lost or dead are witnessing or feeling, and we are left speechless.
Almighty One, in a world where there is such division, we come in the unity of Spirit and purpose to help one another grieve, share the best we have, and show the world the beauty of our diversity as we are woven into a singular rope of grace and encouragement for the broken.
We lift up those who have lost their lives in the storm and commit them to your loving care and embrace.
We implore you to care for the survivors and help them grieve and process the trauma they have endured; may the world reach out in kindness, and supply the people of the island water, medicine, food, and necessities for humane living and survival.
Provide the means by which these life necessities will be transported in a timely way that will not be hindered by political bickering or power plays as our governments have done during other moments of crisis and devastation.
Specifically, we pray for the children…
…rescuers and first responders,
…boat captains, helicopter and airplane pilots delivering supplies,
…the aged and frail,
…the islands’ religious leaders and their hope, courage, and strength,
…doctors and nurses attending to the wounded and sick,
…for families awaiting word to hear if their loved ones are still alive.
Forgive our feckless attitude toward our neighbor and our environment and restore us once again to your side. God of Abraham and Joseph, hear our prayers…Amen.