A Prayer During Times of Earthquake

Ruins of Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral in Port-au-Prince
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For very devout Christians who believe that God controls all events on earth, earthquakes, like all natural disasters, are believed to be the result of the disorder that man brought into the world through his disobedience to God. But like so many other tragedies, earthquakes can awaken us to our mortality and help remind us that this fallen world is not our final home.

In the end, the salvation of our souls is more important than the preservation of our bodies and possessions. In this prayer, we ask God that the physical destruction of an earthquake may be turned into the spiritual well-being of those who have survived.

A Prayer in Times of Earthquake

O God, who hast established the earth upon firm foundations, graciously receive the prayers of Thy people: and, having utterly removed the dangers of the shaken earth, turn the terrors of Thy divine wrath into the means of the salvation of mankind; that they who are of the earth, and unto earth shall return, may rejoice to find themselves citizens of heaven by means of a holy life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

An Explanation of the Prayer

According to traditional Christian faith, When God created the world, He made it perfect in every way—He placed it on "firm foundations."

The essence of the world is a paradise, an Eden. As the opening of the Old Testament Bible recounts, ​Adam and Eve, through the exercise of their free will, disobeyed God, and their actions had devastating consequences, not only for their own bodies (physical death) and their own souls (eternal damnation) but for the rest of the natural world, as well.

In conservative Christian belief, when our "firm foundations" begin to shake and crumble, it is the inevitable result of disobedience to God. Having been charged by God with caring for creation, mankind is responsible, through its actions and willfulness, for the loss of stability and order in the natural world, such as represented by disasters like earthquakes.

The problems in the world—the fall from Eden—is the result of human willfulness practiced in a manner that disobeys God. But Christians believe that God is merciful and that He can use even natural disasters as a way to remind us of our sin and mortality, and thus call us back into His service.

We are reminded through such dangers as earthquakes that our physical lives will one day end—perhaps when we least expect it. We are reminded, too, that we need to seek the salvation of our immortal souls, so that we may find a new firm foundation in the kingdom of Heaven when this life on earth ends.


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ThoughtCo. "A Prayer During Times of Earthquake." Learn Religions, Apr. 5, 2023, learnreligions.com/prayer-in-time-of-earthquake-542737. ThoughtCo. (2023, April 5). A Prayer During Times of Earthquake. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/prayer-in-time-of-earthquake-542737 ThoughtCo. "A Prayer During Times of Earthquake." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/prayer-in-time-of-earthquake-542737 (accessed June 5, 2023).