Have you ever lost all of your earthly possessions? I have not. But as I type this, many are experiencing more loss than they may have ever known.
Hurricane Harvey is a devastating storm that has engulfed most of Houston and its surrounding cities. Some are saying the damage and overall loss of property may be more than Hurricane Katrina due to the sheer population of Houston, which is more than 2 million.
In desperate times like these, when worldly treasures and comforts fail us, one of the most important things we can do is pray.
“Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:1-3).
Prayer is powerful and necessary to a daily relationship with the Lord, in good times and in bad. Just like any other relationship, ours are cultivated by communication. Thankfully, we have a direct line to the Creator who has ceased storms and calmed the raging seas. We should all be on our knees for our brothers and sisters in Texas.
First, we should pray that the people of Texas can find relief from these devastating storms. In some places, rain continues to fall as floodwaters rise. Pray that the skies will clear and the recovery process of a huge part of our country may begin.
Secondly, pray that those who have been displaced from homes and former lives that they knew and held dear can find refuge. Psalm 9:9 says, “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Pray that the oppressed people of Texas can find spiritual refuge and peace in the Lord throughout this storm.
Pray for those coming to the aid of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief among many other state and nationally-known agencies plan to send as many men and women as possible who are available to aid those in need. Many have dropped everything they were doing, left their families and rushed to the rescue of people in desperate need of rescuing. Pray that they can work diligently and that they are outside of harm’s way in their efforts to help. Pray that the Lord guides every step they take and that all of their efforts will glorify His name.
Additionally, pray that in coming months, as families try to return to any form of normalcy, they will be able to put their fears and the damaging memories of this tragic storm behind them. Pray that they will experience full rejuvenation, and the city of Houston will flourish in the wake of the storm.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
On that same note, pray that the city of Houston will see revival out of this unspeakable tragedy. Pray that the Lord consume the hearts of the hurting in their city. Pray that somehow, through the damage and wreckage of this natural disaster, those experiencing this pain will turn their eyes heavenward, towards the One who can offer them comfort, healing, love, protection and, most importantly, eternal life.
Once you pray, consider other ways you can help in relief efforts. Do you know someone displaced from their home? Offer yours. Do you have the financial means to donate to a ministry providing aid? Here is one: http://www.okdisasterhelp.org/donate/. Are you able to do physical labor? In coming weeks, the amount of clean-up in Houston will be greater than we can imagine. Offer your hands and feet. These are a few other ways you can help. But most of all, pray. There is power in prayer; there is healing in prayer; there is redemption in prayer. Let us all hit our knees and go to the Father.