Dear Hyde Park Family,

We all remember what we were feeling a year ago. As Hurricane Irma barreled toward us, we felt the wearying combination of dread, fatigue and agonizing waiting. Those who evacuated wondered what kind of home they would return to. Those who remained steeled themselves to brave the storm. We worried about loved ones, friends, neighbors and ourselves, in a sweeping narrative that joined us all in common anxiety.

It is that vivid remembrance that prompts us to earnest prayer for the people living along the eastern coast as Hurricane Florence approaches. We also pray for those in the path of Tropical Storm Isaac, and the many still recovering from the storms of the last few years.

May our prayer prompt us to generosity, as we anticipate a call to response by our denomination’s United Methodist Committee on Relief. We will keep you apprised of those efforts as they develop.

In the meantime, let us hold all those affected in our prayers:

A PRAYER FOR THOSE FACING THE STORMS

Gracious God,

In the face of nature’s fury, we feel feeble and small. We acknowledge our fear and powerlessness when confronted by forces that feel far beyond our control. We tremble at the prospects of catastrophe, of loss of life and possession, and we remember all we felt in the face of hurricanes in our past.

But you are the voice within the whirlwind, the Spirit who hovers over the face of the deep, and the Savior who walks upon the waves and torrent. Your prophet Isaiah reminds us that when we pass through the waters, you will be with us; when we pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over us.

So, we pray for the people along the Atlantic coast. Strengthen them to be best prepared for these coming hours. Grant them wisdom to know whether to evacuate or remain. Gird them with peace for the harrowing process of waiting for the storm’s arrival, and endurance to recover and rebuild in its wake. Most of all, we pray for a sense of your steady presence among them, and a spirit of solidarity so that no one faces these days alone.

Then, as the winds subside and the waters recede, call all of us to be the hands and feet of Christ, in ready response to the hurting and heartbroken. Transform our fears into fire, our concern into compassion, and our prayers into generous response.

In the name of Jesus Christ, the Stiller of the Storms,

Amen.

Grace and peace,

Magrey

The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist

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