Prayers during Disasters
Whether a storm, fire or flood, we pray for those facing disasters. This page includes prayers for those in the midst of disaster, for others facing disaster, for first responders and prayers during a pandemic.
Prayers while in the midst of disaster
– Edward Hays
Be merciful, O God, be merciful,
for in you our souls take refuge;
in the shadow of your wings we will take refuge,
until the destroying storms pass by
– Adapted from Psalm 57
Compassionate God… Draw near to us in this time of sorrow and anguish, comfort those who mourn, strengthen those who are weary, encourage those in despair, and lead us all to fullness of life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen
– Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (Church Publishing: New York), page 733
O God, our times are in your hand. In the midst of uncertainty lead us by your never-failing grace as we seek to be agents of healing and hope. Walk with us through difficult times; watch over us in danger; and give to us a spirit of love and compassion for those who suffer and mourn. And finally remind us that you have promised never to leave us so that even in the valley of the shadow of death your love may be felt, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
– The Rev. Lyndon Harris, from the Episcopal Diocese of New York disaster preparedness plan
Holy One, you are our comfort and strength
in times of sudden disaster, crisis, or chaos.
Surround us now with your grace and peace
through storm or earthquake, fire or flood.
By your Spirit, lift up those who have fallen,
sustain those who work to rescue or rebuild,
and fill us with the hope of your new creation;
through you, our rock and redeemer
– Jesuit Prayer
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be moved,
and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea;
Though its waters rage and foam,
and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
– Psalm 46: 1-4
Prayers for others facing disasters
– Adapted Jesuit Prayer
God, you are in the midst of those who suffer
May all affected by natural disasters feel your healing presence.
God, you are in the hands of those who reach out
Help responders in their courageous work.
God, you are in the hearts of those compassionate ones
Whose prayers cry out for their families
Whose prayers cry out for their neighbors
Whose prayers cry out even for strangers
Bless and comfort those who mourn.
God, you are in the still small voice,
The gentle whisper that follows
May our ears always hear
May our hearts always cry out for one another
May our hands always reach out to one another
And may we always walk like you walk
In solidarity with those who suffer
And so reflect your presence and comfort.
– Prayer adapted from Catholic Relief Services
O merciful Father, who hast taught us in thy holy Word that thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men: Look with pity upon the sorrows of thy servant for whom our prayers are offered. Remember him, O Lord, in mercy, nourish his soul with patience, comfort him with a sense of thy goodness, lift up thy countenance upon him, and give him peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Book of Common Prayer, Seasons of the Year
O God, our refuge and strength,
our help in times of trouble.
Have mercy on the lands
damaged by fires.
Have mercy on the lands
where the weather has destroyed livelihoods.
Protect those who evacuate houses,
and strengthen those who rebuild hope
so that entire communities
may face the future without fear.
– Adapted from Psalm 46
Be our light in the darkness, O Lord,
And in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this time;
May we be reminded that when we pray for “us” it means *everyone,* not just our loved ones
And may our collective actions reflect this prayer
For the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ,
– Jason Evans
Missioner for Missional Communities for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas
God, our strong deliverer, as we go through the trials of life, strengthen those who are weary, encourage those in despair, and help us to feel your presence in all times and in all things. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who suffered as we do. Amen.
– Adapted from Grace Cathedral’s Prayers for Difficult Times
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
– Book of Common Prayer, Various Occasions
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.
– Book of Common Prayer, Evening Prayer II
Prayers for first responders
– Cameron Wiggins Bellm
Blessed are you, Lord, God of mercy, who through your Son gave us a marvelous example of charity and the great commandment of love for one another. Send down your blessings on these your servants, who so generously devote themselves to helping others. Grant them courage when they are afraid, wisdom when they must make quick decisions, strength when they are weary, and compassion in all their work. When the alarm sounds and they are called to aid both friend and stranger, let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Adapted from the Book of Blessings, #587, by Diana Macalintal
Prayer during a pandemic
– Cameron Wiggins Bellm