As we enter 2020, the world seems a frightening place. We’ve always had big disasters in the past, but they seem more frequent and larger in scale recently. At times like this, when the world is on fire, prayer feels like all you can do (maybe all you need to do). So please, join me in this moment as we kick off another year and let us petition our Creator with all that’s going on.
Our Father God,
First, we praise You for another year of life, for sustaining us and for Your patience with us and Your love for us.
Lord, bushfires are ravaging Australia, precious lives have been lost, as well as millions of hectares of bush, countless animals and thousands of homes—and they are predicting the fires could burn for weeks or months ahead.
Send rain, Lord. Please, we pray for rain and favourable weather conditions for our firefighters and farmers. We need rain to ease the drought and put out the fires.
"The earth cries out, creation groans, our skies turn red, ash weeps down."
Please protect our firefighters and other emergency service workers and volunteers as they risk their lives and sacrifice their comfort to protect us. Bless their families as they are away from home for long stretches. Give them strength and endurance.
Jesus, You said blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Please bring comfort to those who lost loved ones in these tragedies, help them to feel Your presence close by and bring Your people to support and love them, to mourn with them. Be with those who have lost homes and businesses and are rebuilding. Help them to find support. Be with the anxious and those who are fearful for the future.
Thank You for those who have sent support, donated and prayed for us. Help us also to be kind and generous this year, to our neighbours, those in our communities, our fellow men and women, on normal days and in the face of disasters. Not just a passive kindness but an intentional going out of our ways and our comfort zones to serve those who need anything.
Help us to look after the planet You created for us, the creatures that inhabit it—many have been burnt by fires or had their homes destroyed as well—that we can steward our earthly home until You restore and remake it. The earth cries out, creation groans, our skies turn red, ash weeps down. Come quickly Lord Jesus.
In the South Pacific, so many precious children in Samoa have been lost to measles. We pray for their families and communities who have been left with such a gap in their lives.
There are acts of war and rumours of war, governments are posturing and nationalism is rising, but we pray that You make us a people of peace, that You help us to love others, including those from other nations, as You love us.
Thank You for the hope that we have in the midst of hopelessness, the peace that passes understanding and the ultimate knowledge that You, Jesus, have already overcome death and the grave.
Give us humble hearts. Fill us with Your Spirit so we may be salt and light in the world. Thank You for the victories, the new life and the blessings that we will experience and the successes we will achieve this year. Help us through the grief and the challenges and the trials, with health, loss and occupation. Through the hard and the beautiful times may we remain following You.
Help us to share You with others who don’t know You. Be close to our friends and family members who we are praying for and show us the opportunities You’ve opened to show them Your love.
May we look more like Jesus at the end of this year than we did at the start of it.
In Jesus’ powerful and holy name,