Prayers for Communities in Drought

A Prayer for Farmers and Rural Communities

Written by Meredith Knight on the UCA Murray-Darling Basin Tour and prayed in Coonabarabran. 

Gracious God,

We pray for the regions of our continent that are in the grip of an horrendous drought.

Heavy on our hearts is the plight of desperate farmers struggling to feed starving livestock and others who witness continual failure of their crops.

We pray for farmers crushed by debts that are spiralling out of control as they battle this drought and pray that they will not be exploited by unscrupulous suppliers of livestock feed.

We bring before you those individuals and families for whom the stresses and pressure of this grave situation has resulted in relationship breakdown, domestic violence, mental illness and suicide. We pray for those who grieve the loss of relationships, health and loved ones.

Those of us from the city can barely imagine the desperation, hopelessness and fear of living on the land in times of drought. We give thanks for the resilience of farmers and communities although know that many are close to breaking point. Loving God we pray that you will keep them strong, safe and hopeful.

We pray for the welfare of suffering animals both farm animals and wildlife as we know that all creatures are precious in your sight.

We are reminded of Pope Francis words, “Pray for the hungry and then feed them. This is how prayer works” and so it is with this situation. May we be an answer to prayer for our struggling farmers as we, along with people across Australia, open our hearts and wallets to give generously to the drought appeals. We pray that this money will find its way to all places where it is needed and pray that farmers will not be too proud nor too ashamed to accept help. We give thanks for the power of love that brings people together in the face of such tragedies in the assurance that you never leave us to endure such trials alone.

We pray for life-giving, soaking rain to bring relief to parched land and depleted rivers and, until that day arrives, that you will protect and sustain farmers and rural communities during this difficult and challenging time.

We pray for our Uniting Church as it responds to this crisis especially for those rural congregations that are at the coal face of need. Continue to bless these communities of faithful disciples including this congregation of Coonabarabran.

We thank you for this tour as it nears its completion; for the people we have met and the experiences we have shared. We thank you for the opportunities to learn, to listen and to respond. Bless each of us as we return to our homes and communities. May we continue to pray, to share with our churches and others about these vital issues and to respond with compassion and generosity to those in need of our support. May we care for the earth and be more mindful and responsible in our use of water, with our new understanding of just how precious it is.

We ask these things, along with the other prayers of our hearts, knowing that our prayers are heard and that you work all things together for good for the whole of creation. For this we are grateful.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our friend and our saviour. Amen.

Prayers for the Drought

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

Prolonged drought is severely affecting rural NSW and Queensland. Farmers and graziers are hardest hit. Drought quenching rain is needed.

As Christians we pray for rain and for those whose livelihoods are impacted by this. May our combined prayers acknowledge our dependence on our Creator God and seek guidance to better manage our country’s water resources.

Rev. Simon Hansford, Moderator of the Uniting Church NSW/ACT Synod has prepared the following prayer. We are encouraged to use this in church services and personal reflections.

We pray for the land
we hear the promise you have spoken in Isaiah
of the refreshment of the creation;
of water in the desert,
of renewal for the land,
of hope, of life.

We name our simple need – rain for our thirsty land.
Our tanks and dams are nearly empty,
like our hopes for this season.

Please, loving God, bring us rain
to renew the ground, to replenish our dams,
to bring some chance of feed,
to bring the possibility of some reward
to those who have toiled so hard.
We turn to you in faith and hope.

We pray for our community
We pray for all those whose lives
are under the shadow of drought.
We think first of those who work with the land,
for farmers and their families,
for those who rely upon the land for their life and relationships.

We pray for contractors, merchants and truck drivers,
for rural counsellors and support workers,
for all our rural community.

May the refreshment of your Spirit,
present in miraculous and truly human ways,
be with all of us as we move forward into the days ahead.

We pray, too, for justice;
for fair prices for our stock and our wool and our crops.
We pray for governments, banks and corporations –
to be driven by the wisdom
of community, justice and compassion
not simply the folly of the dollar and the bottom line.

We pray for each other,
keep us aware of the needs of those around us:
for those who are struggling,
who are grieving,
who are ill, who are dying.

Restore those who are far from you
with the knowledge that they are loved and valued.

Give them not just a sense of renewal,
but a sense of hope and purpose for lives
that are finding the journey hard.

Let us see the miracle of healing
in relationships,
in lives,
in communities,
where there is illness
and hope is far away.

Keep us always conscious of the task we have
in ministry and mission in your world.

We offer all these prayers in the name of Jesus.