Friday, March 18, 2011

A Prayer for the People of Japan

Dear Lord,

I’ve been heartbroken by the events in Japan this past week. The most powerful earthquake that country has ever experienced. A devastating tsunami that has wiped away whole communities. The death toll is hard to comprehend.

And now the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been teetering on the verge of catastrophe. People have been evacuated from the region. Others have been told to stay indoors. Foreign governments are evacuating their people out of fears there will be a nuclear meltdown and a massive release of radiation. It is hard to take in the scale and the repercussions of this perfect storm of tragedies.

I’m so overwhelmed with what has happened and what is continuing to happen that I am not sure what to do or what to ask. I am not a rich person. Giving money seems a pointless gesture in the face of the immense need. All I know to do it to lift the people in Japan up in prayer. But, my God, you know better than I what the people in and near Japan need. Nonetheless, I lift them up to you as best I know how.

I ask you to receive into your Kingdom those souls who perished in the earthquake and tsunami. I cannot imagine the terror of their last moments on this planet, but I trust that the glory of your eternal Kingdom makes up for those brief moments of anguish.

Lord, I ask your blessing on the survivors.

I ask you to mend the broken hearts of the many who have lost their loved ones. Especially I ask you to care for the orphaned and the parents who lost their children. The rupture of a parent-child relationship is particularly hard to bear and only you can mend such wounds.

I ask you to bring calm and recovery to the chaos of resource shortages and a disrupted economy. I ask you to guide people back to the business of living and to living productive lives. I thank you for the news stories I have read about the relative calm of the survivors and their attempts already to get to a new normal.

I ask you to bring a safe resolution to the difficulties at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. I thank you for the brave people who have sacrificed much to stay and to work to avert catastrophe. I thank you for their courage and their intellect to work with a dangerous and complex power infrastructure to keep millions of people safe. Please bless their work and make it fruitful.

Lord, I thank you that my relatives stationed in Okinawa were not impacted by the earthquake or the tsunami. I ask your continued protection of them so that they are not harmed by the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. I ask you to give them peace of mind. I know how stressful it is for them to be living so close to where so many are suffering.

Lord, I thank you for the blessings my family, friends and community enjoy in this country. I know you do not provide those blessings so we can just enjoy a comfortable life but you bless us to be a blessing. I know you want us to use our God-given resources to help your hurting people. Please guide me and everyone in my community to know what we should do to help the people of Japan. Please help us discern your will for our lives. Please help us be obedient to that will, and to be instruments of your hope and love.

Thank you for your faithfulness and your love for all your people.


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