Don’t let the vastness of Hurricane Florence’s looming devastation cower you into thinking that your prayers can’t make a difference.
“We were under great pressure,” the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.”
Paul continued, in recalling the times of trauma he had faced in behalf of the gospel: “Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.”
Yet, he reported: “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises from the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us….”
Paul concluded the sentence: “… as you help us by your prayers.”
“Then many will give thanks on our behalf,” he rejoiced, “for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many” (2 Corinthians 1:8-11).
Let’s not miss this divine moment to be one of “many.”
Granted, we do not know how God will answer our prayers across a flooded region or in the lives of those who will be Hurricane Florence’s countless survivors and first-responders, disaster relief officials and volunteers, pastors and chaplains and laypeople who sacrifice to help their suffering neighbors.
We simply know that even the apostle Paul requested prayer for his ministry and that he had confidence in – and was thankful for – the prayers of many.
As we add ourselves to the “many,” let us pray specifically for people we may know in North Carolina and the East Coast and for survivors and aid workers who will be shown and heard on TV, radio, newspaper and internet news reports.
We may see and hear of people surrendering their lives to Jesus as Lord and Savior.
We may see and hear of amazing hopefulness among survivors as they interact with those who have lost hope.
And while we’re praying during Hurricane Florence’s immediate onslaught and long-term recovery, let us have confidence that it will always be appropriate to be among the “many” who pray for our country, for our president, for our missionaries and for the world’s masses who need Jesus’ redemption, for our pastors and church leaders, among so many others in today’s troubled world.
It’s simply and squarely a matter of obedience to God in His divine Word to pray in all things.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Art Toalston is senior editor of Baptist Press who has spent many vacations on the Outer Banks.)