The news has always rightfully brought us devastating coverage on natural disasters all across the world but this time it is close to where we live. Most of us who aren’t in the path of the storm are wondering about what to do to help the situation. We can help host fleeing families, send relief to organizations through time and donations but more importantly with prayer! Truth is if you read the bible, these events have been predicted from before “our time” began.
Early this morning, I saw something on the internet that drew me to study Luke chapter 21 for myself. You may want to read the entire chapter and ask the Holy Spirit to grant you understanding. When I did this today, my eyes were opened to a simple remedy for these times. Something I can do from my bed or couch. Reading this chapter offered consolation in the fact that God is not surprised by these threatening times where fear, loss and anxiety grips the hearts of many.
I cannot imagine what it can feel like to be stuck on Sint Marteen/Anguilla or Barbuda now. I can’t imagine the pain of suffocating under a rubble of mud in Sierra Leone or even fleeing my home in Florida in search of safety. My heart goes out to these people but through this process, I believe God is calling us to pray. He is also giving us a specific way to pray.
Luke 21:9 NIV But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”
10 Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.
In medicine, I usually cannot diagnose a condition without seeing signs that alert me to the presence of it. Typically, prior knowledge on the disease helps me to recognize it when I see SIGNS of it. The same applies here. Jesus foretold these natural disasters as a sign of the end times.
If we continue to read further he gives us a way to address these perilous moments. One is with prayer. Of course, we should listen to the weatherman, take FEMA’s recommendations, seek safety, flee danger and not expose ourselves to harm’s way – that is all common sense. But prayer is easy to do but we don’t instinctively think of it as such.
Luke 21: 34. “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthyc]”>[c] to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Worthy here can be translated into the ability to have strength. From this verse, I deducted a simple prayer that we can use to pray for those in Hurricanes Harvey, Irma & Jose’s path and also for those who suffered the landslide in Sierra Leone and the earthquake in Mexico.
God our Father, help me remain on the watch, I pray for __________ (insert your name or name of person, town, county here), that _________ may be able to escape all that is about to happen; that ________ may be able to stand before the Son Of Man on your day.
I do believe that we should not neglect to give humanitarian help in however way possible. But, the call of Jesus during such threatening times is to PRAY. Scripture encourages us to pray without ceasing. Most times we don’t know what to pray or how to pray. Here is a simple prayer deducted from Luke 21 where Jesus warns us about the signs of the end times to include natural disasters and the resulting social distress that it brings. I hope this brings you hope today.