God of our life, whose presence sustains us in every circumstance,
in the unfolding aftermath of storm and distress, we welcome the restoring power of your love and compassion. We open our hearts in sorrow, gratitude, and hope: that those who have been spared nature’s fury as well as those whose lives are changed forever by ravages of wind and water may find solace, sustenance, and strength in days of recovery and reflection that come.
We are thankful for the generous grace of days of preparation that helped many to be prepared; for the wise counsel of experts and the generous collaboration of so many communities, that in the face of the storm kept many out of harm’s way, and lessened the effects of wind and water on others.
At the same time, we open ourselves to the stories of those for whom Hurricane Matthew was not a near miss: communities deeply affected, whose livelihood, homes and stability have been destroyed. We pray in grief, remembering the lives that have been lost in the Caribbean, and for communities damaged, especially those already rendered fragile by the earthquake in 2010 and Superstorm Sandy. We lift our voices in sorrow and compassion for families who have lost loved ones, homes, or livelihood. We ask for sustaining courage for those who are suffering; wisdom and diligence among agencies and individuals assessing damage and directing relief efforts; and for generosity to flow as powerfully as rivers and streams, as we, your people, respond to the deep human needs beginning to emerge in the wake of the storm.
In these days of relief, assessment and response, open our eyes, our hearts, and our hands to the needs of your children and the movements of your Spirit, who flows in us like the river whose streams makes glad the city of God, and the hearts of all who dwell in it, and in You.