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Pray a Litany in a Season of Wildfires

When natural disasters threaten homes and lives, here are words to calm fears and guide thoughts.

Firefighter in California
Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
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My son and his family were recently in the path of the wildfires that have been spreading throughout the West. They evacuated their home, and it was heartbreaking to hear them relate how they told their two children to pack a few of their most meaningful possessions in case the fires destroyed the house. Though it was saved, and they were able to return after a week away, the fear and concern of those days will probably stay with us all for a while. 

In such times as these, when wildfires and other natural disasters threaten homes and lives, it can be difficult to know what or how to pray. So, a litany such as the following can be helpful in calming our fears and guiding our thoughts.

Feel free to use it as is or adapt it for your situation. Pray it once or often, alone or with others:

Abba, Father, for those affected by the wildfires throughout the Western United States, we pray;
have mercy on them and keep them safe from harm.

For those in the affected areas, their loved ones, neighbors, friends, pets and livestock, we pray;
grant that they may escape the flames, smoke and devastation.

For homes, businesses and places of worship, we pray;
save them from destruction.

For those whose health is threatened by the smoke and ash, we pray;
ease their suffering and protect them from permanent damage.

For firefighters and first responders, we pray;
meet their needs, shield them from harm, lift their weariness and send them relief.

For wildlife and old growth in the path of the flames, we pray;
grant the means of escape and prevent irreversible harm.

For those who have already lost homes and jobs and treasured possessions, we pray;
comfort and sustain them and restore all they’ve lost.

For the displaced and the discouraged, we pray;
lift their spirits and restore hope to them.

For all who are stressed, anxious and fearfully following the news, we pray;
pour out a healing and calming balm.

God, grant that the flames and smoke may be turned back and away, and dangers and damages miraculously limited by Your strong hand.

And, Lord, when these fiery trials have ceased,
renew lives, families, communities and environments in ways only You could have foreseen and engineered.

In You, O Lord, we place our trust.

For You, O Lord, we wait in hope.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

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