'Prayer for bushfires' by Dr Byron Smith (Anglican)

On the Common Grace website, this prayer is built around the prayer, Lord have mercy (Kyrie Eleison)


'A call to prayer for those affected by fires' by Rev. Simon Hansford, Moderator of the Uniting Church Synod NSW/ACT, Archbishop Glenn Davies of the Anglican Church of Sydney and Hillsong's Bobbie Houston who offered these prayers, published in Eternity magazine:



'A prayer during the Australian bushfires' by Peter Bierer

This heartfelt lament written by an American Catholic living in Adelaide during Australia's catastrophic bushfires appeared in America, the Jesuit Review the USA


‘The Disaster Recovery Chaplain’s Prayer', by Rev Stephen Robinson, National Disaster Recovery Officer of the Uniting Church in Australia


Gracious God,

You brought light out of darkness.
You formed the beauty of creation from the waters of chaos.
You raised us from the very dust of the earth and brought life from death.
We thank you for your grace, your faithfulness, and your strength to restore.
Unite your people to bless all who suffer in darkness, chaos, grief and loss.
Grant us your guidance and strength, to serve faithfully as people of hope.
For your sake, and that of all you love, we pray,


Hymn to the tune of Amazing Grace

The Adelaide Lutheran theologian, Dr Norman Habel, wrote a hymn reflecting on just the question of "Where is God?", in the context of bushfires that occurred on Black Saturday in 2009. It begins like this:

Amazing flames that scorch the sky, like hurricanes of fire,

Alive with eucalyptus oil are roaring higher and higher.

These swirling balls of oil ablaze that leap o’er trees at will,

Descend on fields and flock and homes, explode and burn and kill.

And then, he asks the question:

Where’s God in all this swirling ash? Where’s God in all this pain?

Awaiting somewhere in the sky to one day send some rain?

The answer comes in striking imagery, in confronting declaration:

The face of God is burnt and black; the hands of God are red!

The God we know in Jesus Christ is bleeding with the dead.

The answer which Norman Habel offers is this: God is here. God is right in the middle of all this mess. God is not remote. God is not the one pulling the strings, away up in heaven, ready to send rain when enough prayers have been sent up to him.

No: God is here, in our midst, incarnate, one with us, suffering alongside us. God is crying as the house burns, weeping as the birds and animals flee, sobbing as the stock die, grieving as the firefighters are overwhelmed and their truck is overturned. God is here, with us. Jesus Christ is bleeding with the dead, grieving with us, mourning with creation.

The last verse of the hymn, then, is this:

Christ, show us now your hands and feet, the burns across your side,

and how you suffer with the Earth, by fires crucified!


'Prayer in a time of Waiting' by Rev. Dr John Squires, Presbytery Minister - Well-being, Canberra Region Presbytery, Uniting Church in  Australia

Hear our prayers, O God,

in this moment of waiting, anticipating, waiting, and hoping, as we see events unfolding in our land, anxiety rising, fears growing, hurts accumulating.

We have seen the photos, Lord.

We have watched from afar, horrified, terrified.

We have heard the accounts,

listened to the tales of loss and destruction, and learnt the names of those who have died.


We have felt the heat, searing heat, scorching heat;

we have watched the smoke, insidious, permeating everything, snaking its way into our region;

and we have become weary.


We have inhaled the smoke, coughed and wheezed,

closed the windows and the doors, waited for the change in wind direction.

Now it is inside ... inside our homes, inside our lives, inside our beings.


And still the photos, the images, come;

the searing flames, the plumes of smoke, the walls of fire, the crowning fires; the valiant citizens, hoses in hand, the sobbing homeless, utterly devastated; we have watched them, from afar, thankfully, from afar.


And we wait, and ponder, and hope, and grieve,

in this moment of waiting, anticipating, waiting, and hoping, as we see events unfolding in our land.


For those with the skills and knowledge, the energy and the capacity, to stand and fight the fires, we are grateful, immensely grateful.

Strengthen them, O God,

strengthen them through the food willingly provided, the leave willingly offered, through the places of rest and recovery and the comfort of the chaplains on hand.


For those who have lost property and homes, whose neighbours and animals have been evacuated, whose memories and possessions are gone, we are sorrowing.

Comfort them, O God,

comfort them through the presence of listening ears as well as through the offers of tangible support.


For those who are mourning the deaths of fathers, husbands, sons, friends,

we stand silent, in solidarity, in grief; comfort them, we know not how, comfort them through the skill of counsellors and chaplains, comfort them through the support of friends and family.

For them, we grieve,

just as we grieve for the creatures of the bush lands where fires have spread, wreaking havoc, causing chaos, destroying everything in their midst.

And the native animals die in the inferno and the ashes spread over the sand of beaches and the dams are emptied, the dust bowls grow larger, the birds have no trees as their habitat is destroyed, and we watch as the climate changes, the damage grows, the omens line up, the signs become clearer.


And we wait, and ponder, and hope, and grieve,

in this moment of waiting, anticipating, waiting, and hoping, as we see events unfolding in our land.


We wonder about what will come next,

we worry about how close it will come to us, we worry about what future we are leaving for others.


Give us a firm resolve, O God, a resolve to live our lives in ways

that respect and value all of your creation.


Give to our leaders, O God, a clear understanding of the critical moment of choice that is here:

a crisis point in our life as community, a crisis where leadership is needed; clear-headed, engaged and informed,

committed to charting a course that will turn us away from having heads in the sand,

a course that will enable us to reduce our carbon outputs, foster renewable sources of energy,

and live as a country that reduces our impact year by year.


These are our prayers, O God,

in this moment of waiting, anticipating, waiting, and hoping.

Hear our prayers, O God.