Prayer for a Day of Public Calamity
by Kenneth G. Phifer
How often, O Lord,
do I read casually of disasters afar?
How often, O Lord,
do I hear indifferently of catastrophes far removed?
Then when disaster moves close to me
when catastrophe shatters the calm of my life,
I come alive to pain and loss,
I know you understand how limited I am,
by my love that fades off into indifference,
by the boundaries of my friendships and personal concerns.
I am just that way.
So come to me now as I pray for the stricken,
for those who grieve and mourn.
Perhaps I will be more sensitive in the future,
a bit gentler and kinder.
For all of us move along the razor's edge between life and death.
Give me a greater appreciation of life and love and other people.
Draw me closer to those whom I profess to love.
Give me the will to be more helpful
and more aware of others' needs.
In the face of the mystery of life and death,
give me courage to trust your sustaining daily presence.
Let me not forget that in life and death
all of us are yours.
I pray for all your children,
for men and women and children who live in pain,
physical and emotional,
for those who seek and cannot seem to find,
for those who live confidently
and yet need that something more
which comes from fellowship with you in Christ.
I pray for all well and happy people,
that in their fullness of life
they may know the abundance that comes through Christ.
We all need your Spirit, O God,
not just in times of calamity,
but also in our days of strength and well-being.
So I call upon you, O Lord, in this day of trouble.
In my calling, may I hear your voice saying,
"Lo, I am with you always." Amen.
I pray as we remember 9/11 this week, that we will continue to pray for our world, for those who continue to suffer the violence of terrorism, and for those who continue to live in fear and want. God Bless America and God Bless the World he loves.