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Earthquake prayers

Prayers, lighting a virtual candle, etc. can always be found at the virtual chapel on this site.

Prayers written for the Haiti earthquake

(author unknown) can be adapted

Lord, at times such as this,
When we realize that the ground beneath our feet
is not as solid as we had imagined,
We plead for your mercy.

As the things we have built crumble about us,
We know too well how small we truly are
On this ever-changing, ever-moving,
Fragile planet we call home.
Yet you have promised never to forget us.

Do not forget us now.

Comfort us, Lord, in this disaster.
Be our rock when the earth refuses to stand still,
And shelter us under your wings when homes no longer

Pierce, too, hearts with compassion,
Who watch from alongside,
Move us to act swiftly this day,
To give generously every day,
To work for justice always,
And to pray unceasingly for those without hope.

And once the shaking has ceased,
The images of destruction have stopped filling the news,
And out thoughts return to life’s daily rumblings,
Let us not forget that we are all your children
and they, our brothers and sisters.
We are all the work of your hands.

For though the mountains leave their place
And the hills be tossed to the ground,
Your love shall never leave us,
and the promise of peace will never be shaken.

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth,
Blessed be the name of the Lord,
Now and forever. Amen

Adapted from a New Zealand Prayer Book:

God of consolation
grant to those who suffer and sorrow at this time of devastation in Christchurch,
the spirit of faith and courage,
that they may have the strength to meet the days to come
with steadfastness and patience;
not sorrowing without hope
but clinging to your goodness and love,
through Jesus Christ who is the resurrection and the life,

Christian Aid in the UK published the following prayer

(it is for Japan – and we continue to hold NZ in our prayers)

O God, our refuge and strength,
our help in times of trouble.
Have mercy on the lands where the earth has given way.
Have mercy on the lands where the weather has destroyed livelihoods.

Prosper those who rebuild houses,
and strengthen those who rebuild hope
so that entire communities
may face the future without fear.


Other prayers

(source unknown)

Hold tight this world in your care, O God: quell its shaking, calm its seas, end its wars; strengthen the faithful, soothe the fearful, comfort the mourning, give rest to the dead: for you are gracious, O lover of all that you have made, and nothing is beyond your power to save. Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen.

In darkness and light,
in trouble and in joy,
help us, heavenly Father,
to trust your love,
to serve your purpose,
and to praise your name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your loves sake. Amen.

O God who brought us to birth and in whose arms we die,
in our grief and shock,
contain and comfort us,
embrace us with your love,
give us hope in confusion
and grace to look to the future.

This prayer is said at noon all around the world, by people of all faiths and none:

Lead us from death to life,
from falsehood to truth;
lead us from despair to hope,
from fear to trust;
lead us from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill our heart,
our world, our universe.

There are a lot of Worship & Prayer Resources following a natural disaster off this site at textweek

I have little taste for theodicy debates currently (preferring the rolling up of sleeves, the being there for others, and silence…) but I was taken by my friend Kelvin Wright’s “Acts of God“.

In the comments, as well as any usual comments, you are welcome and encouraged to add any resources, prayers, ideas…

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12 thoughts on “Earthquake prayers”

  1. “For though the mountains leave their place
    And the hills be tossed to the ground,
    Your love shall never leave us,
    and the promise of peace will never be shaken.”

    So beautiful. Thank you!

  2. There was a prayer I heard at the Christchurch Memorial Service yesterday that started “The ground beneath our feet is fragile” (I think). Does anyone know the rest of that prayer?

  3. I do feel deeply about these issues and as a Catholic I like praying for people in danger, that the Lord may shield us all from toil and suffering, and that He may console those who suffered earthquakes and lost their near and dear. I pray especially for us people from the South of Italy and for people who work in order to protect us from our sleepy friend, Vesuvius, and from earthquakes in our endangered area.

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