Penny Barletta writes, Last night I was preparing to lead prayer in church this morning. I was looking online for something that would address the current bushfire situation. The best I could find caused me to say out loud ‘I can’t pray this!’. So I wrote something. A couple of people asked me for a copy after the service, so I thought you might find it a useful resource too – humbly offered in service of our common purpose of bringing climate crisis into Christianity, and vice versa!
“Let’s pray for help in the face of the fires burning all through our country, particularly in the light of evidence that changes in the climate that intensify bushfire conditions – drought, wind intensity, higher temperatures – are caused by human activity.
Help us not to be overwhelmed by despair when we open our eyes to what we have done to your world, and to our neighbours.
Teach us to pray with true repentence, not the hypocrisy that relies on you for rescue while continuing with selfish and greedy hearts.
Have mercy on those who now pay the price for our sin – those affected by the fires –
the people whose homes are gone, who will live with the trauma, whose loved ones have died.
The people who fight these fires, been tired and scared and overwhelmed, and their families who carry the burden of anxiety.
The animals and birds, insects and reptiles that are now gone, and those that remain to survive when their habitat is gone.
The very bush and scorched land itself.
Lord, your grief is beyond ours, your power to restore and redeem is limitless – have mercy on us all, and teach us how to meet the need that grows every hour, in every way that we can, and where the need is beyond us, stretch out your loving hand.
In Jesus’ name, Amen”