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Prayers for those affected by the Asian tsunamis

Lord God, the planet convulses and the affects are awesome and aweful. A few metres of rising in the seabed and the results are catastrophic as the sea surges over thousands of miles, sweeping ocean and islands alike. You who are the creator of all things good, and our creator, we do not claim to understand.

People working, people playing, people sleeping, people praying. One moment a paradisal beach, the next a junk strewn coastline. One moment a bustling town, the next a flattened, messy graveyard. You who are the lover of humankind, and care for all, we do not claim to understand.

An ordinary world, of dullness, routine, even a little happiness, has suddenly become extraordinary, torn from routine, tossed out of happiness. You who are Emmanuel, God-with-us, we do not know how you suffer with those who have suffered and those who suffer now.

A world of order has become a world of disorder, sweeping rich and poor away alike, submerging young and old, just and unjust. In the agony of the world, O Lord, we turn to you, who are intimate with agony. Your cross-stretched limbs were firmly pinned to earth as you were made to sink beneath the suffering world. Tear-stained and blood-soaked God, we look to you for help.

Help us to come to you where you are, in the cries of the hurting, the eyes of the despairing, the sorrow of the grieving. Touch with life and care the ruined lives, the shattered souls, and through the hands of friends and strangers rebuild the damaged, broken people who inhabit now unrecognisable shores.

Thousands of souls have perished in an instant, and thousands since, cut off from help and sense. Give them the rest they had no time to reach in sweeping waters. Bring to troubled hearts your peace, and surely salve the wounds, and calm the fears, and lead the survivors to the safety of a firmer, duller day.

Colin Lunt January 2005