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Pastoral Prayer for the Gulf Region

Spirit of Life, hold us in our pain and comfort us in our grief.
Our grief feels boundless; our rage eats at us.
We feel pain for all the wild creatures of the Gulf and the wetlands.
We sympathize with our brothers and sisters most directly affected by this disaster,
realizing that many of them were already members of marginalized communities.
We feel victimized yet again by force outside our control.
And what tears at our hearts is the nagging sense of complicity,
of the cars we drive, the electricity we use, the many products of our lives
made with petrochemical hydrocarbons, or delivered to us long distances.

Grant us release from our sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
Direct our energies to the things we can do to be of use in this crisis.
Turn us so that we express our emotions appropriately,
and not hold them inside of ourselves.
Help us to see actions that will make a difference.
Comfort us in our grief; remind us of the many times in history
the people of the Gulf region have surmounted challenges
and overcome adversity and come together to rebuild our lives.

Spirit of Life, be with us as we try to sort through our mixed and muddled emotions.
Give us strength to bear what must be borne.
Remind us of the power of community, the power of love, the power of compassion.
Draw us closer to each other and to the communities that need our support and care.
So might this be! Amen—Ashé—Shalom—Salaam—Namasté—Blessed Be!