A Prayer for Oklahoma

Yesterday hurt. After hearing about the tornadoes in Oklahoma and reading the news and seeing the photos, I felt weak and weary and very sick to my stomach. Why do bad things happen to good people, to innocent people, to children? I couldn’t think about anything else and I did what I try to go in good times and absolutely have to do in the not-so-good times, like late Monday afternoon – I pray. Here’s the prayer I wrote down as I lifted up those affected by those forty-something minutes of destruction yesterday. My words rambled on and on and most of the time, I didn’t even know what to say so I just sat there and listened and meditated and did my absolute best to surround these hundreds of thousands of people I don’t know personally with love.

Dear God,

My heart hurts so much thinking about how much pain and hurt and hard things are in our world. Newtown shootings and Hurricane Sandy and the Boston bombings and this Oklahoma tornado and my heart can’t hold it all in. I feel so sad and terrified for the children unsure where their own parents are tonight and for the partners who won’t get to tuck their sons and daughters into bed tonight. My stomach dropped and I feel sick thinking about it all, God. It’s so hard, but at the same time I’m reminded you are so good. You take ashes and turn them into beauty and you turn crying into dancing. You rebuild and restore and redeem even when it’s hard to see it all clearly as I sit here teary-eyed on my bed.

I circle your promise in Isaiah 54. ‘Oh storm-battered city, troubled and desolate! I will rebuild you on a foundation of sapphires and make the walls of your houses from precious jewels. I will make you towers of sparkling rubies and your gates and walls shining gems. Terror will not come near.’

I pray desperately for the old and weary and the hurting ones tonight – whether hurting in mind, body or spirit. I pray that they seek you God – and turn to you as their source of comfort. I pray they cast their cries and their cares on you – that they take the weight of pain and questions and hurts off and give to you. I praise you for the power of transformation, for making all things new.

Thank you that in moments like this when my stomach drops and my heart hurts that the only thing that brings me comfort is meeting with you here. I’m so thankful I can crawl into your arms for safety like a little girl. I’m thankful you take my fears and sadness – and the fears and sadness of everyone here – and circle them with peace and safety and warmth.

Terror will not come near. Amen.

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