Worship Resources in Times of Natural Disasters

Many of these resources, initially created for an immediate response to specific events, may be adapted or may help provide ideas for similar resources for other natural disasters or for services remembering these events.

When natural disasters strike, we want to bring our lament and prayers into our communal worship. These resources may be adapted or may help provide ideas for similar resources for services remembering these events.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)

Gracious Lord, we pray for those who are suffering from the effects (name of natural disaster). Grant them your comfort, strength and healing as they continue to rebuild their lives, homes, and communities.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

Resources

Songs of Comfort and Trust in Times of Natural DisastersAs congregations respond to times of natural disaster, we often turn to songs of comfort and trust, reflecting on some of the ideas found in Psalms 34, 42, 46, 62, and 90. Through song, we can lament with those who have lost everything, we can express our confidence in the God who holds everything in the palm of his hand, and we can ask God "why". 

Worship Responses to the TsunamiNone of us can fully grasp the enormity of what happens in natural disasters: in tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, or whatever other circumstances people are suffering under. This resource offers thoughts and suggestions which will help to guide congregations in the various responses to suffering that present themselves in times of crisis. 

Prayer for the Victims of the TsunamiWritten originally in response to the Japanese tsunami tragedy in 2004, this prayer can be adapted to fit any time of natural disaster that calls on God's people to lament the death and destruction caused by these disasters.

A prayer for Japan: This prayer, originally written in response to the Japanese tsunami in 2004, can be easily adapted and used in response to a variety of natural disasters.

Song Written in Response to a Hurricane: Written originally in response to Hurricane Katrina, this hymn speaks to the devastation that is left in the wake of a hurricane, and asks for grace as we grapple with a response. "God of nature, at whose voice the waves and winds must now obey, give your people words of comfort, acts of grace to share today. Yours the pow’r of devastation, yours to gather, help and heal; we know not your ways of wisdom; let your light our paths reveal."

Poem Written in Response to a Hurricane: This poem was written in response to Hurricane Katrina's destruction of New Orleans, however, it applies to any natural disaster, asking for God's mercy as we weep for a city or area, destroyed as creation groans. "Creation groans as chaos waters uncreate. . . The earth convulses, the waters roar and foam in this broken act of earthen terrorism. . ."

Worship and Prayer Resources Following a Hurricane:
This extensive list of resources from www.TextWeek.com provides a variety of responses to hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Natural Disasters: This article examines what a natural disaster is and how we can respond. 

Preaching after Natural Disaster: Written in response to the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, this resource helps pastors and worship leaders discern how to talk about natural disasters in worship. 

Other resources on natural disaster: View these other resources from a variety of sources on www.PreachingandWorship.org

Worship Services

These worship services are based on scripture than can help us respond to natural disasters, lament with those in the path of suffering, and search for ways to respond with love.

God Is With Us: a service based on Zephaniah 3:17

From Fear to Faith (Weekday Worship)

Service of Prayer Following a Natural Disaster: This prayer service from the United Church of Canada provides a Call to Worship, Song ideas, and scripture ideas for responding to a natural disaster and looking to God with hope. 

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