Yesterday afternoon, three of us took a direct flight from Rochester to Baltimore and drove 90 miles to Fredericksburg, VA. Friday night we stayed in a hotel in the Fredericksburg area (60 miles north of Richmond). We are here for a free one-day conference that helps us prepare for multi-site. You can't beat a free conference… the problem is – HURRICANE IRENE!
We also discovered that our flight back to Rochester tonight is already cancelled, and all three of us have Sunday AM responsibilities. Waiting to fly back until Sunday isn't an option. So as soon as the conference ends this afternoon, we will drive back home. We hope to stay ahead of the worst of the storm as we head north. Wind gusts are expected tonight in the DC area between 30 to 60 mph and up to five inches of rain. (Don't worry, we will keep an eye on the weather in case we need to leave the conference early.)
But that raises a question – how are we supposed to pray about this hurricane and other natural disasters?
Yesterday while driving around Rochester, I heard someone pray concerning the hurricane and their prayer slightly annoyed me. The host praying on K-LOVE seemed to pray as if bad weather is something God can control if He wants to (and if we pray hard enough) but he prayed almost as if Satan creates bad weather. I do believe God allows Satan at times to use weather for his means (see the book of Job), but the bulk of biblical evidence doesn't indicate Satan's regular control of the weather. And the biblical material doesn't seem to correlate with how we often pray.
Here are some verses that come to my mind:
- Psalm 147:8, 16-18 – He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills… He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
- Psalm 148:7-8 – Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lighting and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding.
- Job 37:6-7 – He says to the snow, "fall on the earth" and to the rain shower, "Be a mighty downpour." So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labor.
- Isaiah 45:7 – I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.
- Lamentations 3:38 – Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?
So – how do verses like that impact how we should pray? Do you ever hear someone praising God for showing his power through natural disasters?