A Prayer for the Cities Under Water | Sojourners

A Prayer for the Cities Under Water

People are rescued from flood waters from Hurricane Harvey on an air boat in Dickinson, Texas August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Jesus, when you walked on the water,
you beckoned Peter to come out of the boat, unafraid.

In the middle of a storm,
you settled peace over the waters
and they were calm,
and you called out to your people
to be still and trust.

Today, we’re watching troubled waters.
We’re watching buildings hide under waves and currents,
People on rooftops waiting for a sign
that they are seen and heard.

Oh Jesus, what can we say in a time like this?
What words can we pray when waves literally take our breath away,
When the world looks bleak and gray
And our brothers and sisters have nothing
But the clothes on their backs?

These are the moments in history
When skin and race
And religion don’t matter anymore.

These are the moments in history
That call out our humanity
More than anything.
And we cannot ignore that call.

We long for governments and agencies to step in,
We long for people to use hands and feet to serve,
But whether they come through or not,
We are still scared people in the middle of a storm,
Often paralyzed by that fear.

So Jesus, call out to us.

Call out to Hurricane Harvey,
to the wind and the waves—
Call for them to be still.

And through our prayers,
Through what we speak and what
We don’t even know to utter,
Meet us here and meet them there
And give them those same words,
“Peace be with you. Do not be afraid.”

In our mourning,
We try our best to hold them
In spaces we do not understand,
To let ourselves weep for
Those who belong to us,
To our humanity.

Like Peter, may our faith be gathered up
So that even in the storm
We are bold enough to jump
Out of our boats
Or out of our houses
Or out of our comfort zones
To reach you.

Oh Jesus,
We pray for the floods and those flooded.
We pray for tired hearts and tired bodies.
We pray for animals and the earth,
All affected by what happens
In a world that is trying to find its
Way back to shalom.

So we beg—
Lead us back.
Calm the storms
That rage outside
And inside us,
We pray.


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