This day as we celebrate the southern churches, and look ahead to our mission work on the Gulf Coast, we have many prayers on our hearts. Hear now, O God, these, our petitions: we pray for those who lost their homes during Hurricane Katrina, that we may be of help and that we may show the love of God by doing the work we can. We pray for safe travel and good sleep for the missioners, for community building and no injuries. We pray for those who lost their jobs, and those who continue to be without work. We pray for misplaced families and disjointed communities. We pray for children who missed schooling. We pray for those still living in FEMA trailers, that they would not lose hope, that they would have patience in the crowded spaces, and there would soon be an end to the cramped living. We pray for the mental health providers that they would have a compassionate and understanding ear. We pray for those who lost loved ones, that they would be comforted in their grief and washed in peace. We pray for the lawmakers, for the city planners, for the governors, the city council members, and the mayors—may they be wise, just, and discerning in their decision making. We pray for those without insurance, that help would be provided by government and church agencies, that they would not be forgotten or abandoned. We pray for the earth, for the lands and the oceans, the rivers and the hills that were polluted by gasoline, oil, Freon, bleach, and so many other chemicals—we pray for its decontamination and its restoration that the gulf coast would return to being one of the most serene and beautiful refuges for birds and animals alike. We pray for the churches that provide relief that they would not be worn thin, that resources would continue to come in despite the years gone by. We pray for the working of God’s hand through donors, volunteer workers, residents, contractors, and big business that these cities and communities would be rebuilt and that it would be a reflection of the glory of God. We pray all these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.