Another fire rages in Colorado Springs—my beautiful city. It started around 1 p.m. in a wooded residential area on the northeast part of town, and by evening, was burning homes to the ground. As of this morning it blazes across at least 8,000 acres, is uncontained, and has claimed at least 100 homes. Thousands of people are displaced. We fight back tears as we ask each other about our friends—did they make it? Did their homes make it so far? But there aren’t many answers yet.
Colorado Springs had just started to recover from its devastating Waldo Canyon fire that took two lives and nearly 350 homes last year at this time. It’s painful to face a tragedy like this again.
Last year, I asked readers to pray the Jesus Prayer for our city: “Lord, Have Mercy.” I humbly ask you to pray that for us again. And I also offer the Scripture-based prayers that I wrote a few years back when I worked at NavPress. These prayers have helped thousands of people pray in all kinds of large-scale tragedies: tornados, shootings, earthquakes, and hurricanes. I hope they will help you to pray for Colorado Springs. We need your prayers.
- Dear Lord, if these hurting people have not called on You before, may they begin calling on your name right now; may they find You to be their refuge and strength, an ever-present help in their time of trouble (Gen. 4:26; Ps. 46:1).
- Lord of heaven and earth, encourage these friends to seek You, reach out to You, and find You because You are not far from them. Give them hope that You are with them so that the waters they are passing through will not sweep them away, and the fire they are walking through will not burn them (Acts 17:27; Is. 43:2).
- Living Word, make Your Word come alive to those who suffer. When their souls are weary with sorrow, strengthen them according to Your Word. Give them longing for Your precepts, and preserve their lives by them. Comfort them with Your promises. Use this affliction to bring them near to Your ways. Sustain them according to Your promise, and do not let their hopes be dashed. Give them a love for Your law, Lord, so they will have great peace and nothing will cause them to stumble (Ps. 119: 28,40,50,67,116,165).
- God of peace and unity, bind affected families together in love. When one member is weak, fill the others with strength and compassion so that the one who falls will have someone to pick him up. Help them not to lose patience with each other, attack each other, or in any other way be separated by these tragic circumstances; instead, knit them together in love and strength (Eccl. 4:9-12; Mt. 19:6).
- Loving Father, draw the children involved in this tragedy to Yourself. Let them come to You without hindrance. Strip away any foothold in their lives that Satan may try to gain through this tragedy. Rather, use it to refine their faith in You (Mt. 19:13-14; Lk. 17:1-2; Eph. 1:27; 1 Pet. 1:6-7).
- Stir Your body to action, Lord Jesus. Surround these hurting people with those who will minister to them. Send believers who will offer food, visits, and other ministry in Your Name. Prompt Your people to reach out and offer the comfort they themselves have received from You. Give them opportunities to share the reason for the hope they have (Mt. 25:37-40; 2 Cor. 1:3-4; 1 Pet. 3:15).
- Eternal Father, prompt these friends to view their circumstances from the perspective of eternity. Help them to consider the fleetingness of life, the vain bustling around, and the storing up of wealth. Cause them to ponder the eternity You have set in their hearts. Give them a heart of wisdom as they realize that all our days are numbered (Ps. 39:4-6; Eccl. 3:11; Ps. 90: 10-12).
- Sovereign Lord, help these dear ones to be like Job, to see You as good and find reasons to praise You even though You have taken away. Grant them faith to accept trouble from You as well as good things, and give them confidence that even though You slay them, they can still hope in You (Job 1:21, 2:10, 13:15).
- Great Redeemer, protect these friends from feeling persecuted. Bless them with confidence that You intend good for them. Please redeem every loss and every painful memory, and use them for the saving of many lives. Help them to know that You understand how they feel because You also suffered (Gen. 50:20; Heb. 4:15-16).
- Author of life, on behalf of these friends I come before You to resist every attempt of the evil one to steal and kill and destroy through this tragedy. You are the resurrection and the life; bring the blessings of life and fullness into these friends’ lives (Jn. 10:10, 11:25).
- Merciful Savior, help these friends to see Your grace clearly and seek it to guard themselves against any root of bitterness (Heb. 12:15).
- God of all hope, help these friends to not lose sight of the plans You have for them—to prosper them and not to harm them, to give them a hope and a future. Help them, Holy Spirit, to hope in You and not in circumstances, so their strength will be renewed. Fill them with joy and peace as they trust in You so that they may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Jer. 29:11; Is. 40:31; Ro. 15:13).