Loving God, today, ten years’ on, we remember the horrors of Black Saturday, 2009.
We know that just as your share our joys, so you also grieve with us in times of sorrow.
We ask you to especially bless those affected by the fires.
We remember those who lost loved ones, all those grieving for 173 irreplaceable lives.
We pray for those who lost their homes; towns that lost their community buildings; children who lost their schools.
We hold in our hearts before you the people of Kinglake, Strathewen, St Andrews, Steels Creek, Hazeldene, Humevale, Kinglake West, Flowerdale, Whittlesea, Marysville, Redesdale, Bendigo, and all the other places that suffered and were affected.
We pray for all those whose memories of past fires were stirred and reawakened by Black Saturday, and those whose memories of Black Saturday will be stirred and reawakened by this anniversary.
Loving God, we thank you for all those who fought the fires, and those who helped with the recovery and rebuilding.
We ask for your blessing on all our emergency services personnel, who so generously devote themselves to helping others. Keep them safe in times of danger; grant them courage when they are afraid; give them wisdom when they must make quick decisions; lend them your strength when they are weary; and let them know your love all their work.
When the need arises and they are called to aid both friend and stranger, let them faithfully serve you in their neighbour.
Encircle us all with your care, loving God.