Thanksgiving prayer from Tonga

Call to worship:
Come ring out our joy to the Lord; hail the God who saves us. Let us come before him giving thanks, with songs let us hail the Lord.


Come in let us bow and bend low; let us kneel before the God who made us for he is our God and we the people who belongs to his pasture, the flock that is led by his hand. (Ps 94)


Song: A Tongan Hymn called “Eiki ko e ‘ofa ‘a ‘Au : sung by NZ Youth Choir…. The meaning of the hymn: it brings joy and peace to the soul, and is a reminder that God’s grace is far bigger than anything. His love is greater than the deep Ocean and whatever our sins are, and what bad things we have done are covered by the Lord’s blood on the cross. Jesus is our hope and anchor, who will look after us in the middle of storms. He is the one who can keep us unwavering and unbending despite the tide of life, and we feel and know His love is everlasting.

Thanksgiving prayer. Tonga

On Saturday 15 January 2022, a powerful volcanic eruption off the coast of Tonga triggered tsunami waves across the Pacific.

The loudest eruption since KraKatoa (Indonisia) in 1883. According to NASA researcher, the eruption generated and explosion as powerful as approximately 4-18 megatons of TNT, which is up to 1000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped in Hiroshima.  

The eruption, which was clearly visible from space, sent tsunami waves rippling across the Pacific Ocean reaching as high as 49miles (65 km) south of the volcano, saw waves of 4 feet (1.2m) while countries as far as Japan and the USA reported waves between 1+4 feet.  One of the reporters (Tongan) said that there was an overwhelming sense of relief in Tonga with people thankful that the death toll is low (3) following the volcanic eruption and tsunami.   He also described the whole event as apocalyptic.

 Now, the country is slowly returning to a state of normality with business re-opening and land-line communication re-established on the main land Tongatapu. 

Reflection:

 “The Lord is my Shepherd”….The eternal truth of the Lord’s Shepherding is when God is our Shepherd we feel content because he knows all our needs and truly care for us as a good shepherd cares for his sheep. 

When you know your Shepherd, you fear no evil, you will not fear death because he is not only with you but he is in you, to comfort and give you peace. 

Our faith gives us confidence that the goodness and mercy of God would follow us, all the days of our lives.

Let us pray for peace in the world and especially the war in Ukraine.  Pray for the people of Tonga that their faith be strengthen and continue to follow the Lord is their Good Shepherd.

During our Lent journey, the Lord invites us once again to restore our relationships with him, ourselves and our neighbour. Let the Spirit of Christ enflame us with the fire of his love as we journey through cross and tomb to Easter joy.

Eleni Tapueluelu, lsa.

New Zealand

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