In the days after an earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010, I wrote two prayers: one for the people and one for first responders. Here they are, revised after an earthquake struck Turkey today. I have either revised these prayers or used elements of them in prayers after earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, as well.
In Devastation (Prayer for the People of Turkey)
G-d beyond my understanding,
The earth has turned violent,
Sweeping our brothers and sisters off their feet,
Crushing homes and lives,
Toppling the foundations of hope and sustenance.
A shallow breath beneath the rubble
And wailing in the streets.
The injured and the dead.
The new widow,
The new orphan,
The newly bereft turn to You
Divine Source of abundance and grace.
G-d of justice and mercy,
We pray for the people of Turkey,
And the victims of any disaster,
Any violence, suffering or despair.
Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and renewal.
May a world of justice, righteousness and mercy
Come swiftly to their aid.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
Courage to heal,
And devotion to each other.
Hand of love and shelter,
Grant the people of Turkey Your protection,
And Your peace.
Prayer For First Responders (to the Earthquake in Turkey)
Crisis and chaos,
Confusion and loss,
A scene of sweeping destruction,
The first responders arrive
Among the breathless and dazed,
The frenzied, driven wild with fear and grief,
The incapacitated, the dead,
The weary, the lost, the injured,
And survivors forcing themselves
Beyond their limits
To fight devastation.
G-d whose ways are secret,
Bless these first responders with endurance
To be of maximum service in this moment of immeasurable need.
Bless their limbs with strength,
Their eyes with courage,
Their hands with gentleness,
So that they become a source of hope and love.
Give them the tools they need in the days and hours ahead.
Protect them from physical harm,
Shield them from emotional pain,
And guard them from taking this trauma into themselves.
G-d of justice and mercy,
We pray for the people of Turkey.
Let the world rally on their behalf.
May the deeds of the first responders
Find favor in Heaven
And bring healing on earth.
© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: In a sad twist, Israel has offered to send relief which Turkey has rejected.
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