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Bishop Hayes urges prayer for storm-tossed

Bishop Robert Hayes Jr., second from left, joins in a prayer at the tornado-damaged home of United Methodist Trent Steward in Moore, Okla. UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

Bishop Robert Hayes Jr., second from left, joins in a prayer at the tornado-damaged home of United Methodist Trent Steward in Moore, Okla. UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.

Bishop Robert Hayes Jr., second from left, joins in a prayer at the tornado-damaged home of United Methodist Trent Steward in Moore, Okla.

June 2, 2013

Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. has called on United Methodists to pray today, June 2, for those ravaged by the recent tornadoes and flooding in Oklahoma and other parts of the United States.

“As people of faith we know there is no storm or wind or water that can destroy the foundation of our faith and hope, which is in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,” he writes.

His episcopal area encompasses the Oklahoma Annual (regional) Conference andOklahoma Indiana Missionary Conference.

Read Hayes’ full call to prayer is below:

A Message and Prayer of Hope from Bishop Hayes

To

All United Methodist Congregations in Oklahoma

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Oklahoma Area:

“We are pushed hard from all sides, but we are not beaten down; we are bewildered, but that doesn’t make us lose hope; we all suffer, but God does not desert us; we are knocked down, but we are not knocked out.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

The prophetic words of the Apostle Paul come to mind as we live in the aftermath of the tornadoes and flooding that have occurred in Oklahoma these two weeks. The loss of life and devastation of property are constant reminders of how fragile we are and how quickly our world can be turned upside-down.

As people of faith we know there is no storm or wind or water that can destroy the foundation of our faith and hope, which is in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! Therefore, I urge each and every congregation throughout the Oklahoma Area to set aside a time of prayer in worship this Sunday for the victims of these calamities, and I also ask that we use those moments of conversation with God to renew our hope and resolve to be the people of faith who will restore and make whole those communities that have been affected.

The people called United Methodists already are providing invaluable assistance in the places that have suffered loss, and we will be there as long as necessary.

Pray with me:

“O Thou, in whose presence our souls take delight, on whom in affliction we call.

Our comfort by day and our song in the night, our hope, our salvation, our all!”

Gracious and loving God, we turn to you in these days of trial and loss to remind us that you are still God and we are still your children. We pray for those families that have experienced death and loss; we pray for those who have been displaced and are in need of basic human necessities. Use us, we pray, to mend the broken places and restore the shattered faith of those who suffer. Give us the resolve to finish the task of rebuilding so all communities can be made whole again!

In the name of our Lord and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray.

Amen.