The United Church of Canada has encouraged prayers for the people of Fort McMurray, Alberta and area affected by wildfires which have forced the total evacuation of the community. As Ruth and I talked about this catastrophe we checked the population of Fort Mac and realized that this would be akin to asking the residents of Belleville and Trenton to flee their homes. The difference is that Fort McMurray is relatively isolated, with Edmonton more than 400 kilometres away. Where do people go and to what will they return?
Prayer:Oh God of healing and mercy, our hearts are filled with grief as we see the devastation. From a distance, we cannot fully conceive of the suffering and consternation of the residents of Fort McMurray. Our hearts go out to these tens of thousands of our brothers and sisters who have been forced to flee for their lives in the largest fire evacuation in Alberta’s history.
Yet, we pray that Your Comforting Presence can be felt by those who are grieving, those who are injured, those who have lost their homes and their livelihoods.
We pray for safety for those who are responding to the dangers posed by the wild fires. Give them strength and keep them from harm as they protect this suffering community.
We pray for the entire communities of this region, that their path to recovery and reconstruction may be blessed by the generosity and accompaniment of our entire nation. May they, and we, be witnesses to Your compassion and care for all who suffer.
God, You are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. For this we give you thanks and ask that you hear our prayers for the people and the struggling creation of Fort McMurray.