I don’t have anything terribly original to post today, but our broken world seems content to supply something in my place.
We must pray for the victims of Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut.
Does it seem obvious and re-“duh”-ndant to pray for this again? Perhaps.
But maybe that’s what it takes to keep us on our knees, to spare us our laziness – let’s just call it what it is – the hope that maybe just one visit to the prayer closet will do. I have that suggestion constantly whispering within my flesh, and I grieve at it and pray that God silences it.
Scripture commands that we “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17), where the Greek for “without ceasing” really means “constantly recurring”. Folks in the Old Testament modeled repeated prayers, like Moses’ 40 days of intercession or Elijah’s seven pray-and-looks. And if nothing else, God simply deserves our time in communion with him. Drive-by prayers will not do here.
We can’t know what God’s up to, and we must accept that sometimes the answer is no. But I still wonder whether we are falling short of the results we could be seeing in this world – “leaving points on the field”, as it were – by not praying as we should.
Even now, according to NWS forecast discussions (I highly recommend these narratives for their educational value, by the way), Florence has weakened a bit and the eye is breaking up. It reminds me of Katrina, which weakened significantly just before it hit New Orleans. Or Lane, which, although destructive, turned aside from Hawaii last month and spared the islands far worse.
Could it be that prayer had something to do with that? There is still going to be suffering. But I’ll take every MPH of reduced wind speed we can get.
Fellow blogger Megan Reedy is teaching in the Phillippines, which are currently the target of a 180 MPH(!) typhoon, Mangkhut. This is stronger than most Atlantic hurricanes and hitting a country with far fewer resources and infrastructure to protect its citizens. Please pray for that country and, if you don’t mind, specifically for the safety of Megan and her students.
If our prayers don’t inconvenience us today, we’re probably not doing it right.
God is Lord over Florence and Mangkhut. Let us pray as if we believe it.