Father in Heaven,
This morning I am reminded what a tragic place this world is. I am shocked by the destruction, injury, and death brought by the massive earthquake and tsumanis in Japan. What a comfort to know that I can call out to you in times like this. You are the God who can subvert tragedy with unexpected hope. Even in times like this you can prove yourself merciful, gracious, abounding in love for all your creation.
You love the people of Japan. They are created in your image and every blessing they possess as a nation is given by your hand. God, send rescue for those who are missing and healing for the injured. Give wisdom to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, the Parliament, to regional officials, and to relief agencies in Japan and worldwide to provide relief, order, and the hope of rebuilding to many who have lost much. Ease the suffering of people who have lost property and loved ones.
You are the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our affliction and I pray for that deeper lasting comfort that those who have suffered loss will need long after their lives return to normalcy. Speak into the hearts of the afflicted in Japan by showing them how Christ was afflicted for them so they may have peace with you. Take away the crushing weight of their affliction and the sting of death itself by showing them that there is hope in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Give them a taste of the weight of glory in heaven that can be theirs through the ultimate rescue and relief that is found in the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Many do not believe this good news that you have spoken in ages past through the prophets. They hear it as the oppressive, narrow, and hypocritical message of Western nations. Help the afflicted to hear from you. Help them to hear from the only one who is able to speak the hope of unconditional love and the conquest of death when the world itself seems to be falling apart and drowning in the sea. Many will not believe this message of hope, even through this tragedy. You care for them still and provide rain, sun, beauty, and community so they may find some measure of comfort in this life. Oh that they would know your deeper mercies; how you desire to wipe every tear from their eyes and take them into the new heavens and new earth where death, mourning, crying, and pain will be distant indiscernible memories.
Pour out your mercies to all the people of Japan, Father. In Jesus’ name, Amen.