our lives push us forward each day, distracting and distressing us. We move through the motions and meet the demands laid out before us. We have many priorities and not enough time. We make decision after decision that pulls our attention away from you. Yet, you are here. We declare this; we believe this. You are here, among us, within us, around us. You are the One who is Word Made Flesh, God with Us, True Light from True Light, the One who will not let us go, no matter how far we might flee from your presence. We cannot ascend to heights, dive to depths, lie down or rise up without your wings enfolding us.
And so, as we come to our prayers, we prepare once more to turn our thoughts, our attention, our lives back to the Creation which you so lovingly shaped and in which you so graciously dwell. We turn our attention back to you, to see this world with your eyes, to love with your heart, to work with your hands for the presence of your Kin-dom on earth.
We pray for the people and all creatures in earthquake-striken Indonesia, as aftershocks grip the region. We also remember the sites of past natural disasters, like Puerto Rico and Pakistan. Wherever nature unleashes deadly force, we pray that relief might come swiftly, aid might be distributed fairly, and all who all those struggling with loss and might find that they are surrounded by love and provision.
We pray for the families of the children who have been killed in a brutal school bus attack in Yemen. We also remember the nearly 10,000 who have died in the civil war thus far.
We pray for the people and creatures caught in the whirlpool of violence along the Gaza-Israel border, as new rockets have been fired in the past week. We pray for the families of those who have had someone killed in recent months, including the 1 Israeli soldier and the more than 150 Palestinians. Wherever there is violence, break into the chaos, O Lord. Shatter the grip of hate, unlock the cords of fear, blind us with your light and give us the chance to see each other again with your vision of mercy and peace.
We pray for those struggling with a heat wave across Europe and drought across Australia. May communities look out for each other and may we more fully and wholly steward your Creation. Wherever climate change is being felt more radically, show us how to care for each other and for your creatures. Open our eyes to the resources you have given us. Embolden, empower, and enable our political leaders, our business leaders, and our selves to care more fully for your Creation.
We pray for those who wait and watch and weep this night, this day, and in the hours in-between. We remember those who struggle silently with illness, whether it is mental or physical or emotional. We pray for those who seek your face to shine upon them. In all these things, we rejoice that you draw near us. No matter where we are, no matter what we do, we are your children. May we hold this truth close to our heart, close to our day.
In your most steadfast, gracious, and holy name, AMEN.