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Prayer After the Earthquake for the People of Nepal and India

Prayer After the Earthquake for the People of Nepal and India

More than 4,000 people are feared dead in an 7.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday morning. Here are two prayers for the people of Nepal, adapted from prayers I wrote for the people of Haiti after a January 2010 earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010: one for the people and one for first responders. They have been revised and used after several major earthquakes.

If you're interested in helping with disaster relief efforts in Nepal and India, see where the Reform Jewish Movement recommends donating.

In Devastation (Prayer for the People of Nepal)

God beyond my understanding,
The earth has turned violent,
Sweeping our brothers and sisters off their feet,
Crushing homes and lives,
Upending dreams,
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.

God of justice and mercy,
We pray for the people of Nepal,
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.

Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Grant the people of Nepal Your protection,
Your radiance,
And Your peace.


Prayer For First Responders to the Earthquake in Nepal

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.

God 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.

God of justice and mercy,
We pray for the people of Nepal.
Let the world rally on their behalf.
May the deeds of the first responders
Find favor in Heaven
And bring healing on earth.


Postscript: I have used elements of these in prayers after earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, where the circumstances required a slightly different approach.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Alden Solovy is a liturgist, poet, and teacher. His teaching spans from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem to Limmud UK and synagogues throughout the U.S. Before making aliyah to Israel in 2012, Alden was a member of Beth Emet-The Free Synagogue, Evanston, IL, and a regular participant in worship at B'nai Jeshoshua Beth Elohim, Deerfield, IL. He’s the author of Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. His writing also appears in several CCAR Press books, including the newly published anthology of his work, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

Alden Solovy
Source:

Published: 4/28/2015

Categories: Practice, Prayers & Blessings
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