(Compiled following Sept. 11, 2001, and adapted for use at any time of natural disaster.)
O God, Our Words Cannot Express
(Tune: ST. ANNE CM "O God, Our Help in Ages Past")
O God, our words cannot express
The pain we feel this day.
Enraged, uncertain, we confess
Our need to bow and pray.
We grieve for all who lost their lives...
And for each injured one.
We pray for children, husbands, wives
Whose grief has just begun.
O Lord, we're called to offer prayer
For all our leaders, too.
May they, amid such great despair,
Be wise in all they do.
We trust your mercy and your grace;
In you we will not fear!
May peace and justice now embrace!
Be with your people here!
Tune: Attr. William Croft, 1708. Tune is in public domain. Text: Copyright © 2001 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved. 305 South Broadway, Pitman, NJ 08071; Phone: (856)-589-8444; Email: Bruce.Gillette@ecunet.org. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the co-pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Pitman, NJ, and author of Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today's Worship (Geneva Press, 2000).
Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge
God of the mountains and the seas, the awesome power of nature can be both a wonder as well as a source of tragedy. We cry out to you in this time of great need for all those who are affected.
Almighty and everlasting God, comfort of the sad and strength to those who suffer: Let the prayers of your children who are in any trouble rise to you. We lift up those who have lost loved ones, grant your peace; for those who seek shelter and food, grant your comfort; for those facing illness, grant your healing; for those whose lives have been shattered, grant your strength.
God of wisdom and strength, guide the hands of those who provide emergency relief. We entrust to you those who care for the bereaved, those with the gift of healing, those who carry the burdens of moving debris, and those who distribute much needed supplies. Hopeless as it may seem at times, their work is very important. Give them the endurance that is needed to continue in their good works.
- God of all consolation, in the midst of things we do not understand, tragedy too great to comprehend, and grieving too heavy to bear, grant your peace. This is a time when we welcome your Word of hope born into our world. May that hope burn in our hearts.
— From Evangelical Lutheran Church of America