Please be in prayer for Australia through these wildfires. Here is a note from Senior Minister Bruce Clarke of St. Matthews Manly.
"Thank for you setting people to pray for our country and the devastating bushfires and drought that we are currently in the middle of. Currently, there are 197 bushfires burning in different parts of the country. Some are out of control destroying houses and taking lives; many others are just burning up huge tracts of bushlands with 100,000’s of animals being killed. Here are some current figures about the impact of the fires.
• Lives Lost – 21 dead and 6 people currently missing.
• Houses burnt down – over 2,500 to date.
• At least 1,482 homes, 100 facilities and 2,339 outbuildings such as sheds have been confirmed destroyed across NSW since July.
• Close to 20,000 buildings have been saved.
• Animals killed – Ecologists estimate that 480,000,000 animals have been killed.
• Officials fear that 30% of the koala colony in New South Wales has been destroyed.
• The area of land burnt – at least 16 million acres.
• The states of NSW and Victoria are currently in a State of Emergency.
• The Army and Army Reserve have been mobilized to assist the Rural Fire Fighting Service.
• In parts of the coast of Victoria, the Australian Navy was called in to rescue via evacuation 1,000’s of people from beaches where they had been forced to flee to from their homes because of the fires.
• Fires have been burning since the month of October, and there appears no end to the fires, currently, with weather forecasts predicting more extended periods of hot and windy weather that fuels the fires.
The scary reality is that this is just the beginning of our summer with at least eight more weeks of summer to go. Here is the prayer that our churches are praying in the diocese at this very difficult time. These fires are unprecedented and are causing an ecological disaster for the country.
A prayer for Australia in drought and fire:
Our heavenly Father, creator of all things and especially the creator of this land and its original peoples, we call out to you in these desperate times as fires have swept across several parts of our country.
Our hearts cry out to you for those who have lost loved ones, and those who have lost properties in the wake of these ravaging fires.
Father we pray, in your mercy, restrain the forces of nature from creating catastrophic damage; in your mercy protect human life.
Guard those volunteers, rural fire service personnel and emergency services who selflessly step into the breach to fight these fires. Guide police and authorities who help evacuate and shelter those who are displaced. Bring comfort and healing to all who suffer loss.
Remembering your promises of old that seedtime and harvest will never cease; we pray that you would open the heavens to send refreshing rain upon our parched land.
In your mercy, we pray for drenching rain.
We pray that despite the forecasts, in your miraculous power, you would bring forth rain to quench these fires and to bring life back into the earth so that crops may grow and farmers may bring forth the harvest of the land again.
We bring these requests before your throne, in the name of your Son, who died and rose again for our deliverance,