What Prayers Do You Offer When Catastrophe Looms?

 

This morning, I’ve been thinking a great deal about my many friends in Florida. Off the top of my head (and forgive me if I’ve left you out), I can identify @frontseatcatt, @formerlawprof, @jamesgawron, @samuelblock, @cm, @bossmongo, @eb, @theotherdiane, @kevincreighton, @barkhaherman, and I know there are many others. Feel free to use this post to let us know where you are.

Due to the impending hurricane, I’m inclined to pray for all of these folks, for those who have already been hit in the islands, and for those who may be hit outside of Florida. But I realized that prayer is an odd thing: outside of the written prayers, just what can or should I pray for?

I tend to pray for the safety and well-being of those who could be affected. I don’t pray for the storm to move away from us; I believe that G-d rarely interferes with nature, and I don’t know if he chooses to act on hurricanes. I also realize the storm may miss us altogether. But assuming it arrives here, I think prayer is helpful in many ways.

Prayer connects me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually with those who may be at risk. In a sense, I believe prayer brings G-d into that circle, and I’m comforted by that thought. It’s funny, but I tend not to think of my family, not because I’m special, but because I have many blessings in my life, and I’d like G-d, at this time, to spread around his interventions.

I know many of you are praying for those of us in Florida. Do you have a general prayer? Or do you ask for specific things? For those who don’t pray, how do you see hurricanes and those who are affected?

If nothing else, I hope this post will serve as a prayer for all of us.

Be well. Stay safe.

There are 27 comments.

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  1. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    I pray for safety for those to be affected and comfort and strength for those affected by loss and heartbreak.

    If specifics are brought to my attention, I’ll pray for those.

    I’m kinda trying to be a better prayer warrior. It’s not going well :p

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stina (View Comment):

    I pray for safety for those to be affected and comfort and strength for those affected by loss and heartbreak.

    If specifics are brought to my attention, I’ll pray for those.

    I’m kinda trying to be a better prayer warrior. It’s not going well :p

    Looks you’re doing pretty well to me, Stina! Just showing up matters, I think!

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Anyone who wants to offer any kind of prayer here, please do!

    • #3
  4. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    When considering the type of threat that a hurricane represents, I think the prayer is for wisdom and courage. Wisdom to make the kind of decisions and actions appropriate to the threat in my circumstances, and courage to face whatever outcomes occur.

    I grew up in southern Florida at a time when Miami-Dade just became the most populous county in the state. There were certainly six, possibly more, hurricanes that came through in my childhood. One left seaweed on our lawn. We taped windows and had towels at the edges. One hurricane we rode out at a hospital where my dad was working as it had both structural strength and a generator. The building code made structures pretty sound and I do not recall any devastating outcomes from those storms although there were plenty of stories from elsewhere and from yesteryear when these storms caught people unawares.

    I certainly wish the best for all of our Ricochet members that may be in the path. But as a group they are the kind of sound thinkers in which I think wisdom and courage exists in abundance. 

    • #4
  5. Jim Chase Member
    Jim Chase
    @JimChase

    Susan, for me, I suppose it’s an “all of the above” approach. I believe in an Almighty who can move mountains, and thus believe that the One who can do that can calm or redirect the storms, both literal and figurative. 

    But should He not, I pray for the safety of those in the path, for the preparations to be made. I pray for the first responders, for safety in the dangers they may face in bringing relief and rescue to those impacted by the storm. I pray for the leaders – local, regional, and national – that quick and wise decisions are made in the midst of the disruptive chaos that storms bring. I pray for those who come in and volunteer in the aftermath – the cleanup, which can take so very long depending on the scope and the areas affected. I pray for the victims, those who lose life, loves, and property, because such can mark you for life. The loss of house and home can be, and usually is, traumatic. Recovery takes time, and you are not the same.

    I pray that the attitudes of those far outside the impact zone to put aside judgmental attitudes (politics, climate policy, whatnot) and remember that these are people and neighbors in need. Life happens, with its storms, and no one would want to be on the opposite side of the pointed finger.

    Above all, though, I pray for the real and tangible presence of the Father – in nature, in people, and in the specific circumstances, be those circumstances good or bad. He remains sovereign, beyond my understanding, but worthy of my unending trust.

    Be safe, y’all.

    Peace and grace,

    Jim

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    To @rodin and @jimchase–amen.

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    For the record, I have tried to type @eb into the list of Floridians and her name won’t take! Weird.

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I will be praying that the hurricane wobbles off course and goes back out to sea. 

    • #8
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I pray that the people can feel His presence. That may be the most important. 

    It is so hard for me to feel His arms around me, I pray others can feel them more easily. 

    • #9
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    — Matthew 6:7-8

    The Lord’s got it covered.

    • #10
  11. David Carroll Thatcher
    David Carroll
    @DavidCarroll

    I will be praying that the Lord divert or reduce the hurricane so that is does not cause loss of life or injury. Prayer changes things. Ask largely. Miracles still happen. 

    • #11
  12. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Percival (View Comment):

    7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    — Matthew 6:7-8

    The Lord’s got it covered.

    “Thy will be done.” One size fits all. 

    But “pretty please” never hurts.

    • #12
  13. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    I pray that people are properly stocked with bullets, water and food and are good at helping their neighbors. 

    • #13
  14. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    For the record, I have tried to type @eb into the list of Floridians and her name won’t take! Weird.

    When I saw this, I thought maybe I didn’t have my state on my profile. I just checked and I do have Florida listed. I guess it is just a glitch.

    We are praying as well. The latest track show it hitting FL well south from y’all and us, across from Lake Okeechobee, but then heading straight up the eastern half of the state. The “good” news is that the wind speeds they are forecasting when it hits the coast are:

    90% chance of tropical storm (39-73 mph)

    80% chance of 58 mph

    50% chance of hurricane (74-110 mph)

    I say “good” because when Matthew and Irma came through the winds were 65 mph and the majority of damage was tree limbs and roof damage. As it moves inland it will weaken somewhat.

    @susanquinn

    • #14
  15. EB Thatcher
    EB
    @EB

    In answer to your question, in this instance, I pray that we will be protected from the storm or come through the storm safely.

    My practice is to pray for the result I want, not to tell God how to give me that result. So for example, if I am concerned about rain spoiling an event, I don’t pray that it won’t rain. Maybe someone needs the rain. I pray that the event will be successful.

     

    • #15
  16. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Mrs.B has been in Haiti on a missions trip and I have been praying for that storm to miss the island with its meager resources for recovery. Like @marcin and @davidcarroll and others, I am now praying for the storm to either blow out to sea, weaken, and/or make landfall in a way that will minimize loss. Since Mrs.B is flying into Atlanta on Saturday, I am praying that the storm does not adversely affect the flight. I have a sister in Florida, so she and her husband are in my prayers as well.

    • #16
  17. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Susan,

    This is my Rabbi this morning speaking at the end of the minyan. I’m standing just behind the cameraman (phone video by assistant Rabbi). The Atlantic Ocean is one block behind the Ark to the east.

     

     

    Hey, my Rabbi, he’s pretty good, isn’t he? I think I’m going to enjoy this Shabbos after all.

    Good Shabbos.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #17
  18. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I should probably find out what Ricochetti live on the SC coast, not that it would help in this case. We’ve had friends from Charleston drive up and stay with us before.

    • #18
  19. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    DonG (View Comment):

    I pray that people are properly stocked with bullets, water and food and are good at helping their neighbors.

    Wait…. why bullets? 

    • #19
  20. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton
    1. Either God is sovereign, or He’s not. Therefore, this hurricane did not happen outside of His sovereign will.
    2. As such, it is up to us to see what His plan might be for this.
    3. We look at the material destruction, God sees the eternal consequences.
    4. There will be opportunity after opportunity for believers of all stripes to express their love for their fellow man before, during and after an event like this.
    5. Therefore, I pray that I will be a model of God’s love for everyone by being a source of strength for those around me, and a help to those in need.

    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

    Matthew 25: 34-40, ESV

    • #20
  21. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    DonG (View Comment):

    I pray that people are properly stocked with bullets, water and food and are good at helping their neighbors.

    Wait…. why bullets?

    Because it don’t get more American than to be your own Roof Korean

    • #21
  22. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    DonG (View Comment):

    I pray that people are properly stocked with bullets, water and food and are good at helping their neighbors.

    Wait…. why bullets?

    Because it don’t get more American than to be your own Roof Korean.

    Good point. I suppose I’m one of those New Age-y conservatives. I lived in New Orleans for a time and would have definitely seen the use. But, at least in my section of Florida, I’ve generally found that we’ve got the “be good to your neighbor” bit down. 

    @kevincreighton, wanna teach me to shoot one of these days? 

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Hey, my Rabbi, he’s pretty good, isn’t he? I think I’m going to enjoy this Shabbos after all.

    Good Shabbos.

    Regards,

    Jim

    He’s a delight, Jim. And a wise man, too. Thanks for taking us to services.

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    1. Either God is sovereign, or He’s not. Therefore, this hurricane did not happen outside of His sovereign will.
    2. As such, it is up to us to see what His plan might be for this.
    3. We look at the material destruction, God sees the eternal consequences.
    4. There will be opportunity after opportunity for believers of all stripes to express their love for their fellow man before, during and after an event like this.
    5. Therefore, I pray that I will be a model of God’s love for everyone by being a source of strength for those around me, and a help to those in need.

    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

    Matthew 25: 34-40, ESV

    So good to see you, @kevincreighton! Thanks for weighing in. Stay safe!

    • #24
  25. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    DonG (View Comment):

    I pray that people are properly stocked with bullets, water and food and are good at helping their neighbors.

    Wait…. why bullets?

    Because it don’t get more American than to be your own Roof Korean.

    Good point. I suppose I’m one of those New Age-y conservatives. I lived in New Orleans for a time and would have definitely seen the use. But, at least in my section of Florida, I’ve generally found that we’ve got the “be good to your neighbor” bit down.

    @kevincreighton, wanna teach me to shoot one of these days?

    @samuelblock Next time you’re in SW Florida, (or I’m up near you), absolutely. 

    • #25
  26. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    DonG (View Comment):

    I pray that people are properly stocked with bullets, water and food and are good at helping their neighbors.

    Wait…. why bullets?

    Because it don’t get more American than to be your own Roof Korean.

    Good point. I suppose I’m one of those New Age-y conservatives. I lived in New Orleans for a time and would have definitely seen the use. But, at least in my section of Florida, I’ve generally found that we’ve got the “be good to your neighbor” bit down.

    @kevincreighton, wanna teach me to shoot one of these days?

    @samuelblock Next time you’re in SW Florida, (or I’m up near you), absolutely.

    Excellent!

    • #26
  27. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I prayed before the Blessed Sacrament and included the people of Florida (or, generically, the people who might be affected) in my Rosary intentions this morning. Our little family has had a lot of stormy weather to endure the last six years, which has caused me to hand it all to God out of necessity. We are powerless. And, it would seem, he’s not finished with us yet.

    These trials have taught me that there is no human excellence without struggle, suffering, sacrifice. Therefore, in instances like this hurricane, I pray expectantly for the good that God will bring out of the tumult.

    “Jesus I trust in you.”

    But, my favorite communal prayer in these times is:

    St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
    Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
    by the power of God,
    thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world
    seeking the ruin of souls.

    — and Dorian, too.

    Amen.

    • #27

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