Archbishop Glenn Davies has appealed for Christians to be in fervent prayer as New South Wales enters a State of Emergency because of bushfires raging around the state.
As the state of emergency was declared, at least 17 people had died in Australia and more than 1,400 homes have been destroyed in bushfires since October. Three bushfire fighters have lost their lives in New South Wales.
Archbishop Davies wrote to churches noting that many, especially in the Wollongong Region have been arranging special prayer meetings as well as practical offers of support to those affected.
“Our January Sunday services will give us all an opportunity for bringing our prayers to God for his mercy to flow, and indeed for rain to fall.” Dr Davies said.
The Archbishop issued a special prayer, which asks for protection for the firefighters.
“Our hearts cry out to you for those who have lost loved ones, and those who have lost properties in the wake of these ravaging fires. Father we pray, in your mercy, restrain the forces of nature from creating catastrophic damage; in your mercy protect human life.” the prayer reads. “Guard those volunteers, rural fire service personnel and emergency services who selflessly step into the breach to fight these fires. Guide police and authorities who help evacuate and shelter those who are displaced. Bring comfort and healing to all who suffer loss.”
St Andrew’s Cathedral will be holding a prayer service on Sunday 19 January, as well as offering special prayers each Sunday.
Dr Davies also commended the work of the Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid, which continues its drought and bushfire appeal which has raised more than 300 thousand dollars and the work of Anglicare’s Disaster Recovery Response, where teams of trained Anglicare volunteers give practical aid such as helping prepare meals, providing clothing, bedding and towels for showers and helping with displaced pets.
The full prayer reads: