Pray. Disaster. The two words go together. Pending hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes or floods bring overwhelming anxiety and fear and leave us with hurt and loss. In times of disaster, natural or otherwise, maybe you struggle with why’s or how to help. Some arrive in the center of the storm, ready to pluck victims from death’s reach. Others use hands, feet, boats, cars, or planes for rescue. So many send food, water, clothing—anything and everything that is needed in the aftermath of a disaster. But any of us—all of us—can give something. And we can all pray. Whether you are a victim or concerned Christian, you can bring your concerns before a loving God.
If you’re at a loss for words while staring at so much destruction from a hurricane, flooding, earthquake or other natural disaster, here is a prayer you can voice to God.
There is nothing natural about a disaster, because You supernaturally control the world and everything in it. You made the world; You created us. With one breath, you can destroy or give life. But You are also a God of grace, mercy, and love. In times like this, Lord, we admit our helplessness. We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on You. Help us to provide solutions, not blame. Lord, we desperately need You.
During actual storms, when the floods try to overtake us or when we’re holding on to escape the rising waters, Lord hear our cry. When the winds howl around us and threaten to shred our hopes and steal our lifelong dreams, God help us! Send Your heavenly angels to protect us and our loved ones, and provide lifelines from earth angels to keep us safe. Speak peace to the wind and the waves, and still our own souls so we can hear Your sweet whispers of love. When the hot fires of death encircle us or those we love, shower us with Your life-giving water and extinguish the hungry flames with Your words or Your touch.
Bless those who lay down their lives for others, for there is no greater love than this. Mend broken lives from heart-rending catastrophes, and pour mercy and grace into hurting hearts. Make Your presence known in amazing and surprising ways as You often do when Your people cry out for intervention. Multiply both the efforts of responders and helpers and the material resources needed for life-giving sustenance—just as You did in Bible times when You fed the multitudes with five loaves and two fish. Thank You for those who mirror Your character in their selfless efforts to help.
Turn the hands of storms destined for destruction. Wrap Your people in a blanket of protection and love who remain in the path, and give safe passage to those who are fleeing the disaster before it hits. As Jehovah-Jireh, You are the only One who can provide what we need. When insurance won’t cover, and human resources for survival or rebuilding look dim, Lord open the hearts of the Body of Christ. Replace selfishness with sacrifice. Cross barriers of all kinds so all may have a chance to know You. In Your Word You have promised that You provide for us so that we can all give something to others who need encouragement, hope, or practical help. Show us how to use our God-given gifts to bless others in desperate need.
Breathe life into hopeless situations, and give courage to those on the brink of giving up. To those already grieving from loss, provide comfort as only You can. Protect victims from those who would take advantage of their situation. Turn away evil, and cancel the plans of the enemy who wants to cause havoc and destroy faith.
Lord, when we don’t understand, help us to cling to You anyway. Teach us what You want us to know in these kind of situations. Enlarge our love and trust in You, and show us any lessons we can learn that will help us now and in the future. Give us wisdom to discern truth and reject lies. When answers seem slow or we feel like You don’t hear, remind us of Your track record of faithfulness, Lord. Strengthen our faith, and forgive us for doubting or turning from You in the past in any way. Help us to trust You to bring good out of disaster. Keep drawing people together, helping them to look upward and forward. Turn regrets into gratitude, and cause us to see Your purposes in all things.
Lord, as we sort through the wreckage of disaster, present or future, may our confession always be:
Though the hurricanes blow and the angry storms surge; though the fires ravage and the floods rise; though our homes collapse and loved ones are gone; though the crops are destroyed and food is scarce; though the power fails, and the drought remains; though our resources are depleted, and all hope seems gone—Yet still, we will trust in You, Lord. For You are Our Life; You are our Rock; You are our Refuge; You are Our Hope. Without You we are nothing, and without You we have nothing. You are still the God of miracles, and You still love the world. So, once again, we turn our eyes to You and pray, and wait, and trust. Thank You for the promises in Your Word. Thank You that You never fail us and that You never leave us—alone.
In Jesus’s precious name,
* This blog post was first published on Crosswalk on September 8, 2017, titled A Prayer in Times of Natural Disaster.
We Can Pray for Each Other in Times of Disaster
With hurricane season upon us again and the threat of more natural disasters, we all need each other more than ever We also need to pray for one another. God’s tender mercies and help are available. Whether you are a victim, a responder, or concerned Christian, please know the above prayer is what I will pray for you. If you have or will help in any way, thank you!
We Can Find Hope in the Lord
May God grant strength, courage, and hope always, but especially in these times of unprecedented natural disaster. You are loved, and you are treasured by our Heavenly Father. You are never forgotten, and you can do all things through Christ who will strengthen you.
Together, we can find hope in the Lord.
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield (Psalm 33:20, NIV).
You’ll find other prayers on my blogs like this one, A Prayer for Protection.
What About You?
How has God strengthened you in times of disaster? What natural disasters has God brought you through?
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