By President Leanne Van Dyk.
Everlasting God, in this time of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, we offer our prayers for all of the people of Houston and those in the pathway of the storm.
We are mindful of the growing loss of life in the overwhelming rise of water and force of the wind. We pray that the families and loved ones of the deceased may know the love and support of those around them and your own mercy and peace.
We are awestruck at what has been torn asunder. We pray that your grace and strength will sustain individuals and communities who struggle for survival now and will sustain them when they turn to the task of rebuilding their lives in the future.
We pray for those who are the first responders—the police, firefighters, National Guard, emergency workers, health care and medical personnel. We give thanks for the remarkable expressions of care and bravery from volunteers who stepped in to help those in need move to safer ground.
We pray for those who have created shelters where food, medical care, rest and counseling are provided. We offer our thanks for all groups, like the PC(USA) Disaster Relief staff and so many others, who will continue to respond to needs and provide essential supplies long after the storm is gone.
Everlasting God, we trust in you, even in this time of heartbreak and loss. Pour out your spirit of comfort and courage to millions of frightened and grieving people. Give us the capacity, we pray, to join hearts and hands and resources to those who have been in the path of destruction. We ask that you will use us as instruments of your peace and comfort as we commit to our brothers and sisters in need.