Here is a resource that comes at the request of my farmers and congregants. Several of the "old timers" have mentioned this week that the last time they saw heat and drought like this was 1932 and the beginning of the dust bowl up here.
We have had a break in the heat for today, but the rain that comes is short-lived and sporadic in the areas it hits. We seem to fall into all the dry holes.
Litany (From Isaiah 41) P We come to you today Oh God with our prayers not only for ourselves but for those all over the country who are being affected by extreme weather and drought. You are the creator of all that is, you sustain us and all living things, and we ask for your aid and comfort. C Be merciful and hear us. P When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, C Be merciful and hear us. P The Lord says: “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” C Be merciful and hear us. P I the Lord will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. C You have said to us, “Do not fear, I will help you.” P I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; C You have said to us, “Do not fear, I will help you.” P I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. C You have said to us, “Do not fear, I will help you.” P I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive; C You have said to us, “Do not fear, I will help you.” P I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, C You have said to us, “Do not fear, I will help you.” P so that all may see and know, all may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. C You have said to us, “Do not fear, I will help you.
P Let us pray, C Gracious and Loving God, At the beginning of the creation, you sent your Holy Spirit out over the waters of chaos and brought forth light and life. As wild fires burn, rivers and lakes dry up, and crops wither in the fields, we ask for your help. Bless this dry and weary land and our spirits, send rain where it is needed, bless the land and crops for a bountiful harvest, and replenish the waters above and below the ground. Be with all those who work and tend to the land, strengthen our faith and renew our hope with the gift of your Holy Spirit, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Service notes: This was written at the request of farmers in my congregations who are concerned about the drought, not only as it is affecting us but for all those being hit with drought and fires. This may be used either at the beginning of the service or with the prayers towards the end. It would be good to have water visibly in the midst of the people either at the font or in a large bowl. Stand at the water for the litany and the prayers. Glass pebbles (of the kind sold as florist materials for use in vases) may be in and around the water. Invite people to come as they leave and take a pebble with them as a “pocket drop” to remind them to continue in prayer throughout the week. Try to arrange it so that they can reach into the water to reach their pebble.