Oh God, we are shocked by the fires that swept through areas of our state, indeed our nation.

As we sit in the comfort of our lounge, watching a flickering TV screen, we experience a roller coaster of emotion.

We feel gratitude for the roof over our heads. We feel horror at the way people have died. We ache for those who have lost everything. Words can’t express the sorrow we feel for those who have lost dear friends and family. Because in our anguish, we need to feel something bigger than ourselves, we come before you on our knees.

For those who have lost people they love, we ask for comfort and a time to grieve.

For those who have lost their homes, we ask for material benefits.

For those who are even now fighting for their lives, we ask your blessing.

For those facing a long and difficult recovery, we ask courage.

For those who have only been affected from afar, we pray generosity.

For those frightened by own narrow escapes, we ask peace.

For those who may have unwittingly contributed to the damage, we ask mercy.

For those who have knowingly caused harm, we ask justice.

Lord, we cry out over the still warm earth, and ask you to hear us.