Bushfire Prayers and Liturgies


Prayer for those involved in the bushfires

God of life and death,
our prayers today are where our hearts and minds
have been during these last days
and where they have been drawn so early in this season;
with those communities and individuals
whose lives have been damaged
in differing ways by the bushfires.

We pray for all those who have been affected;
for the families and friends of those who have been killed.
We pray for those who are missing,
for their safety, for the fears of those who love them;
bring each one safely home, we pray.

We pray for those who have been injured and survived:
for physical and emotional trauma;
for the fear and helplessness experienced;
for the anger and frustration at the injustice
of unavoidable disaster.

We pray for those who have lost their home and property
or are facing such loss:
for those who have been forced to leave
their memories and belongings;
for the fear & disorientation of all involved;
Heal them from their nightmare memories.

We are aware of those who have lost stock,
or are watching their stock suffer
sometimes with inevitable consequences;
we are conscious of those
who are struggling to find feed and water
for the stock under their care.

We pray for all involved in fighting the fire:
for our Rural Fire Service and their leadership
and all those we know and those we do not know;
we pray for courage in a place of fear;
for new strength in the face of exhaustion;
for people who have travelled distances
in order to resource those who experience fatigue.

We pray for all who offer support and care at this time:
for the various agencies, churches and community groups;
for disaster response chaplains;
for government services as they are activated;
for friends and neighbours, known and unknown;
for providing a shoulder upon which to lean, or weep;
we give thanks, too,
for the generosity of many, in small and large ways,
towards those who are struggling.

We are mindful of the days, weeks and months ahead,
for many dangerous days yet to come,
for seasons of recovery and rebuilding,
of homes, farms, lives and communities;
we pray for strength, courage, patience and hope
as grieving continues,
as frustrations rise
and inevitable changes occur.

We pray, too, knowing that we are entering a harsher climate,
less predictable and more volatile;
as we care for each other, help us to care for your creation,
to be worthy stewards and advocates
of all which you have made.

Keep us faithful and alert
in our praying and our action;
in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


The Moderator, Rev. Simon Hansford

Source: https://www.insights.uca.org.au/prayer-for-those-involved-in-bushfires/


Prayer for the people, animals, and land of Australia

We pray for gentle rains,
and no wind;
we pray for cooling skies,
and water in abundance;
we pray for the burning land,
we pray for the four legged,
and the winged,
for the koala and the kangaroo,
and all of their neighbours;
we pray for the people who are trapped,
for the people who have lost their homes,
for the firefighters and the first responders,
for the exhausted and the tapped out,
we pray for Australia,
from east, to south, to west, to north,
and all the places in between.

In this world of changed and changing climate, God,
we ask that you would help us
to help those who are in immediate danger;
may we use what we have to help and to heal –
then call us to repent of all the ways
we continue to make this world
a place of death, rather than life.

Help us, O God… because we
don’t seem to be able
to do it on our own.

In Christ’s name,
on the wings of the Holy Spirit,
we pray.



—A prayer in response to the Australia wildfires by the Right Rev. Richard Bott. January 3, 2020

Source: https://www.united-church.ca/prayers/prayer-people-animals-and-land-australia?fbclid=IwAR2yAOLaI64hr30KSUk-S4WOFVjyLAGuL4WjL51wTHhATqgkfPTKkpM3yFg


Climate Bushfire Prayer

Let’s pray for help in the face of the fires burning all through our country, particularly in the light of evidence that changes in the climate that intensify bushfire conditions – drought, wind intensity, higher temperatures – are caused by human activity.


Help us not to be overwhelmed by despair when we open our eyes to what we have done to your world, and to our neighbours.

Teach us to pray with true repentance, not the hypocrisy that relies on you for rescue while continuing with selfish and greedy hearts.

Have mercy on those who now pay the price for our sin – those affected by the fires –

the people whose homes are gone, who will live with the trauma, whose loved ones have died.

The people who fight these fires, been tired and scared and overwhelmed, and their families who carry the burden of anxiety.

The animals and birds, insects and reptiles that are now gone, and those that remain to survive when their habitat is gone.

The very bush and scorched land itself.

Lord, your grief is beyond ours, your power to restore and redeem is limitless – have mercy on us all, and teach us how to meet the need that grows every hour, in every way that we can, and where the need is beyond us, stretch out your loving hand.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Penny Barletta


A Firefighter’s prayer

When I am called to duty God
Wherever flames may rage
give me the strength to save some life
whatever be its age

Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late
Or save an older person from
The horror of the fate

Enable me to be silent and
Hear the weakest shout
And quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out

I want to fill my calling and
to give the best in me
To guard my every neighbour
and protect their property

And if according to your will
I have to lose my life
Please bless with your protecting hand
My children and my wife.


For those who mourn

Almighty God,

Father of all mercies and giver of all comfort, deal graciously with those who mourn, that casting every care on you, they may know the consolation of your love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Source: Book of Common Prayer


Advent bushfire prayer: We wait and hope and grieve

A Prayer for the Fourth Sunday in Advent

as we sit and watch the flames and smoke

Hear our prayers, O God,

in this moment of waiting, anticipating,

waiting, and hoping,

as we prepare for the end of Advent

and the coming Christmas season.

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 prepare for the end of Advent

and the coming Christmas season.

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 prepare for the end of Advent

and the coming Christmas season.

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,



and hoping.

Hear our prayers, O God.



Rev Dr. John Squires

Source: https://johntsquires.com/2019/12/22/we-wait-and-hope-and-grieve-anticipating/?fbclid=IwAR3kIx_QMLo2MVqAv4peh9nUk0v1R61NQLPFtEjZN21w7jxpSVALQNkHuuc



How long, O Lord?

How long, O Lord?

Every day, I see images and hear stories of the devastating bushfires in Australia. Raging fires, blackened forests, burned-out homes, ash-filled skies, scarred animals, traumatized children and communities.

I am filled with sorrow, my soul is heavy with grief.
How long will the fires last, O Lord?
How long will the destruction and death continue?
Where are you, God?

I am sad, O God.

I grieve for the loss of human life, of homes, animals, plants and trees, and the scarring of the earth. I am saddened for the original custodians of the land, the First Peoples of Australia, and the poor and marginalized disproportionately affected by the fires. As Jesus wept for Jerusalem and the coming destruction of the temple, I weep for Australia and the destruction of this sacred land.

Turn my sadness into compassion.

I am fearful, O God.

I am afraid because these fires are out of my control. I feel helpless and small. When will this torment end? How many lives will be affected by the fires? There is no end in sight. Will relief ever come?

Turn my fear into hope.

I am angry, O God.

I look for someone to blame. Whose fault is this? Scientists have warned for decades of the dangers of climate change, yet our leaders sit idly by, making promises with little to show in action. I am even angry with you, God. Can’t you stop the fires by some miracle? Are you even listening? I know that pointing fingers will not help, but I am upset.

Turn my anger into resolve.

I am ashamed, O God.

Am I partly to blame for these fires? I hold tightly to my comforts and conveniences which contribute to higher carbon levels in the atmosphere. I am ashamed because I do not know how to help.

Turn my shame into healing.

I am grateful, O God.

I am thankful for the firefighters who work tirelessly to protect your people and all creation; for the volunteers and those who donate money, supplies and their own homes to assist those in need; for the “good news stories” which spark hope. I am grateful for the rain when it comes.

Turn my gratitude into action.

How long, O Lord, how long?

I cry to you in my helplessness as I witness the tragedy unfolding in the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit.

Come, Holy Spirit, Enkindle in us the fire of your love fill the hearts of your people and renew the face of the earth.

Instead of bushfires, come with the fire of your love, Holy Spirit.

Fill us with compassion and mercy to stand with our sisters and brothers affected by the fires. Give us strength to join in their suffering and bear witness to their pain.

Instead of the driving winds that add fuel to the fires, come as a gentle breath.

Bring fresh air to drive away the toxic fumes and ashen skies. Breathe new life into us, inspire us with love to care for one another and the earth.

Come, Holy Spirit, as a refreshing rain.

Open the heavens, quench the flames, heal the parched land and nourish our souls, renew the face of the earth.

Come, Holy Spirit, with the peace of a dove.

Calm our anxieties and fear. Lead us from the temptation to blame one another and become divided. May we be bearers of peace.

Come as a balm, Holy Spirit.

Anoint and soothe the wounds of the victims, seen and unseen. May we be balm to one another.

Be our Advocate, Holy Spirit.

Listen to our inward groaning and give us words to speak in places of power. Speak through us that we may be prophets of love amid the kingdoms of selfishness and greed; that we may speak hope in times of despair.

Veni, Creator Spiritus!

Heal the land. Heal our hearts. Make us new again.

To you, O God, I entrust my sorrow, my fears, my anguish, as well as the people, the flora and fauna, the land of Australia.

Help me to find consolation and be grateful for the many gifts and joys present in the midst of this tragedy.

Reveal to me the path of life.

Fill me with love, guide me in hope, and lead me to act with mercy and compassion.


By Peter Bierer

Source: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/01/07/prayer-during-australian-bushfires




Beauty, Generosity, Justice

Creator of life, this beautiful land cries out.

For the disfigured splendour of charred forests, blackened soil, ashen skies, we grieve.

For the hundreds of millions of creatures that perished in smoke and flame, for the millions more who emerge after the inferno to starvation or predation, for the twisted, frayed and torn strands of ecosystems that may never recover, we mourn.

For smoke-filled lungs, dread-filled hours, anxiety-filled evacuations,

for ruined livelihoods, incinerated sacred sites, smouldering homes,

for bereaved families, inflicted trauma, gutted dreams, we weep.

Lord have mercy.

Lord have mercy.


Jesus our brother, all generosity echoes your own.

For the dangerous labour of firefighters, for the kindness of strangers, for neighbourly bonds reforged in calamity, we offer thanks.

For sandwiches made, shelter provided, funds donated, we are grateful.

For accurate reporting, insightful forecasts, skilful logistics, we acknowledge our debt.

Christ have mercy.

Christ have mercy.

Spirit of truth, your justice flows like water onto parched soil.

For too long, our notions of prosperity have been dominated by theft, destruction and fire: stolen land, poisoned rivers, dirty fuels. May we rediscover true wealth in mutual trust and care, in treasured stories and places, in clean water and air.

May justice fall like rain, pouring like grace on the tongues of the poor, settling like ash in the mouths of those who profit from lies.

Let ancient wisdom be respected, careful science heeded, the worship of money rejected.

May we truthfully embrace our full history, honestly acknowledge our present crises, humbly nurture a shared future.

Lord have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

Written by Dr Byron Smith

Source: https://www.commongrace.org.au/prayer_for_bushfires



Lament is a coracle to hold our pain as we navigate the waters of grief and rage.
Do not be afraid to lead your people into lament these next few weeks.
Do not be afraid to sit in the valley of the shadow.
We can only act for justice once we have wept for the loss of life: human, animal, wild gum.
As folk who hold sacred space…our country needs not only our solidarity and our action but also our holding of the wailing and the weeping and wonder at the losses.

The prayers of us all… go with Gods speed…
to the places of darkest sky and thickest smoke
and to all the volunteers and to those who love them.
We send forth our love as power to our firefighters and our chaplains and our Emergency Workers and wildlife rescuers.
To the mothers and the fathers and old folk standing at the doors of their homes as the sky roars up before them.
We send forth our love as power to our armed forces and to our children, who huddle behind the embrace of their shielding parent..
We send forth our love as power…
And may God hold our burning land, in the hollow of Her hand, helping us all to be renewed in the Spirit…

By Rev Alex Sangster


On beaches

People sit quietly in clutters of possessions,
Anxiously waiting for weather reports and messages…
Have mercy, O breath of God.
We ask for good news.

Children stray too far from the water’s edge
and are herded back to the safety of the sea…
Have mercy, Holy One who commands the waters.
We ask for secure children.

Sounds of storm are interrupted by piercing sirens,
yet no one turns their head.
Have mercy, Sacred Guide, on the drivers.
As exhaustion takes its toll,
we ask for their refreshment and recovery.

The sky turns from gold to red to black.
It glows of death and destruction.
Have mercy, God of Wind and Calm.
In anger and delight, in sorrow and pain,
we ask your comfort and presence.

(C) A A Koh-Butler, 2020



The house is gone –
the threshold over which
we welcomed and set forth…
has disappeared into memory.

The safety of our bedroom,
where we cosy-ed up together…
is remembered in the comfort touch.
Our resting place must be each other’s hearts.

The gifts given and received,
signs of stories shared from across generations and divides,
are crisped beyond recognition.

The things we saved for
or planned for
or created
are gone.

We are homeless.

yet – we pray the courage to rebuild a home…
perhaps in that place, perhaps not…
in some ways, it matter not.
Our home must be carried in our souls now.
Home is no longer fixed and secure.

We have become nomads,
but finding a core, built of survival.
We enter a new era – a time to make home
in spirit and in truth.
It is not courage that drives us forth.
It is hope for renewal,
hope that follows the shoots of green, only seen
springing forth
from destruction and desolation.

At any other time, new shoots would
camouflage themselves beyond our reckoning.
Not now.
Now we are exposed.
Now we are seen in all our vulnerability.

We pray for courage
to face each next step.
We pray for comfort
in the face of loss and shock.
We pray for shelter
from the memories
and the fear of an uncertain future.
We pray for provision
in abundance.
We give thanks for those who care.
We give thanks for those who defend.
We give thanks for life.



(C) A A Koh-Butler, 2020



Droplets of rain would be heaven sent
If only they would come
We have become so accustomed to the haze of thick smoke
It becomes difficult to recognise cloud when it is there.
Are these droplets of rain
or cold ash falling?
For sure, the water seems to collect ash as it falls,
pulling downward the evidence of attack.
After what was known as ‘ember attack’ it is strange,
to call the ash and rain an attack,
but that is how I perceive it.
The droplets attack our senses,
they seek to goad the patient survivor
into some form of hysterical celebration.

We pray to the One who sits behind the many names of God:
O Bringer of Destruction, bring forth life!
Send your gentle rains from Heaven upon those of us beneath.
Grant us a soaking, cleansing shower.
Allow us to wash in your tears.
For our tears already flow at the corruption of the world.
Let yours heal ours.
You are our only hope,
and we long to receive your mercy.



(C) A A Koh-Butler, 2020

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Pray for Australia

Dear Father in Heaven
We bring our request before you for you are God who hears our prayers and supplication; accept our prayer with favour and mercy. As flames burn, wreaking havoc upon Australia claiming the number of innocent lives and destroying much of your creation, bring comfort and healing to all who are suffering this loss. We pray for those who have been injured and survived; for physical and emotional trauma; for the fear and helplessness experienced, for those who have been shaken by tragedy. Surround them with a sense of your present love, and hold them in faith. We pray for courage in this place of fear; for new strength in the face of exhaustion. We pray for all involved in fighting the fire; those caring for the displaced, those bringing healing in this suffering. Bring aid to the firefighters who, by serving others, serve you. Give them courage and strength to persevere, to find the ability in the midst of this chaos to keep working for another day or hour or minute.

We bring our thoughts and prayers across all those in Australia who are facing this devastation brought by the raging fire that has been there for many days. Have compassion upon them and draw close to those harmed by these flames, hearing their cries and responding to their needs. Help us also to respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance, in aid to the best of our abilities. Lord! We pray for the rain to quench these fires and heating wave, to bring life back to this land, so that the crops may grow, life will be restored and the land may bring forth the harvest again. Lord, sustain those who work to rescue and rebuild and fill us all with the hope of your new creation in this land. God provide your wisdom to all of us including lawmakers and implementers that we all act accordingly and be a good steward to your creation and that we save our planet Earth.

We join our hearts in prayer. Lord Bless Australia and all involved.

We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen!

International Nepal Fellowship


Prayer For Australia

God of all creation, we weep at the destruction wrought by wildfires in Australia. The images of land, homes, people and animals decimated by flames and smoke evoke cries of “How long, O Lord?”

Bring relief to those suffering unspeakable loss. Grant respite for firefighters and first responders, helpers of all kinds and leaders making difficult decisions. Even as the land is engulfed in devastation, grant hope for new life and restoration. Grow our resolve to do all that is in our power to stop the conditions that are the catalysts of countless natural disasters.

Envelop your beloved world with a vision of your promised future, where crying and death are no more, where the river of life flows, tress shelter all nations and every creature is cared for with compassion. May your peaceful and certain future compel us to actions that give glimpses of its beauty today, especially in those places most in need of your healing. Amen.




A lament for Australia Summer 2020 

Where do we begin
with this great wall of fire
or that fire storm
or the hungry angry monster?
Where do we begin?

How do we enfold them all
into our love, the dozens
of humans dead, the hundreds
of homes razed, the thousands
of folk displaced, the millions
of acres burned, the billions
of creatures dead – how can
our embrace include them all?

What is the starting point
for our care, now, this task
now to rebuild: which lives
to prop up, which towns to
reconstruct, which roads to open,
what first? what next? what do we do ?

We need You.
We need You here with us,
and with us all. We need
courage and wisdom, love
and compassion; we need
safety, we need care, we
need healing, we need hope –
O, Holy One, we need You.
Draw us in, fill us up,
send us and go with us as we reach
out from where we are, one step, one
act, help us remember we are 
one, and to find that somehow, thus,
we have begun.

(c) Sarah Agnew


Prayer from the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference

Creator God, who has made the earth in intricate beauty and balance
We pray for the people of Australia, of all heritage and traditions, who are fighting the widespread  fires that are threatening people, property and wildlife in that beautiful land
We are mindful of those who are directly threatened as the flames run out of control
And of those who cannot breathe or move because of the smoke and fumes
And those who are worried for relatives and friends
We thank you for the tireless efforts of those who are helping and for the kindness of neighbours, chaplains and friends
Stir us, to action so that we can change the way we live in relation to the planet
Bring us to our senses and to a new reverence for all you have made
Merciful God, hear our prayers 


TEARFUND ‘Pray for the Climate’ Prayer Room Guide


Blessed are you – East Gippsland


Blessing when the world is ending




From Robin Mann -Some fresh words for Comfort Comfort in the wake of Australia’s bush-fires.

Comfort, comfort all my people
with the comfort of my word.
Speak it tender to my people:
“All your sins are taken away.”

1. Though our land is burned and blackened,
rooves & walls beyond repair
Animals are lost or homeless
comfort, comfort!
Volunteers throughout the country
serving, weary, giving all
helping strangers, friends & neighbours
comfort, comfort!
2. Though our houses have been taken
memories, treasures lost & gone
one destroyed but one is standing
comfort, comfort!
Still so much has been defended
next-door-heroes risk their lives
every deed will be remembered
comfort, comfort!

Words & Music © 2020 Robin Mann
(These words & the music free of charge
in the wake of Australia’s 2019-2020 bushfires)

Bushfire liturgies:

UCA Assembly:


Bushfire and climate liturgies (scroll down the New Optional Liturgies section): https://seasonofcreation.com/worship-resources/liturgies/?fbclid=IwAR2SFY9HSqbHDdW0hMeSdDAkqffVasL9t6mM4m3X-d6OL2FwFRlDxU4gJEg

Liturgy and prayers by Reverend Brendan Byrne:



Reflections, Statements and Messages:

Shared Pastoral Statement from UCA President and Moderators:


Pastoral Letter from the Moderator


Bushfire message from the UCA President


Churches call for climate action:


Christmas Message – President of the Uniting Church in Australia Dr Deidre Palmer:


First Nations reflection:


World Council of Churches Statement


‘Reflections of Hope and Encouragement in a Time of Disaster and Suffering’ by Jon Humphries

‘Reflecting on faith amidst the firestorms’  by John Squires

 Burning Down the House – article by Dr Mick Pope