Droughts, Hurricanes, Shootings: All Warnings!
Hurricane Floyd is behind us. But Hurricane Gert and others pose a continuing threat to North America's eastern coastal dwellers. Floyd's winds and torrential rains were responsible for killing at least 34 people. In two days of battering the eastern seaboard, the hurricane left thousands homeless and millions without power or water. Wind, floods and fire destroyed homes, businesses, farms and wildlife habitat. Suddenly weakened from category 5 to a category 1 hurricane just before coming ashore, Floyd failed to wreak the epochal devastation predicted by many forecasters (we believe in answer to prayer).
The largest evacuation in U.S. history brought 3.5 million coast dwellers and vacationers inland for refuge. Rescue teams including National Guard helicopters saved thousands who fled to rooftops to escape rising waters. Damage in North Carolina alone mounted to hundreds of millions of dollars. Floodwaters caused parts of Interstates 95 and 40 in North Carolina, that state's busiest highways, to be closed Friday.
The Washington, DC area, like much of America in 1998 and 1999, suffered severe drought this summer. Until a miraculous late summer rainstorm (once again credited to prayer) Maryland would have had its most severe drought of the 20th century. Farmers across America, especially small farmers and ranchers, have been ruined because of crop and herd loss. Yet, while many farmers have been devastated America's huge safety net has kept most of us from feeling the brunt of these losses.
Are these phenomena the normal behavior of the earth? Are they the product of random chance? A result of the "global warming" liberals believe can be controlled by reducing the population via abortion and by taxing and fining working Americans? Or are these the growing judgments of an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent God, the Sovereign God of the Bible?
Furthermore, while Floyd was preparing to wreak havoc in the lives of thousands of Americans, a madman fired several dozen shots into a crowded church in Fort Worth, Texas, killing seven churchgoers and injuring seven more. This brings to 12 the number of such bizarre massacres in the past year.
Colonial pastors would have instantly understood such tragedies to be severe judgments from the God. They would have called immediately for repentance and days of Solemn Assembly. They would have viewed this year's violent outbreaks against Christians not as persecution but as warnings from God that His hand of protection was being lifted from the Church. Civic leaders, too, most of whom held a strong Christian worldview, would have called upon all citizens to seek the face of God with humiliation, repentance, fasting and prayer. Following the Columbine tragedy, Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) introduced a Joint Resolution of Congress urging all Americans to observe special "days of prayer and humiliation" to seek God on behalf of America. The resolution failed to win the necessary 2/3 majority by 9 votes.
Meanwhile America is inviting each and all of the progressive judgments God outlined in Deuteronomy 28. Arrayed for battle, yet restrained by His meekness and mercy, God is still giving us room to repent. Yet, His judgments will continue to unfold if the Church remains asleep and unrepentant. May America's pastors, like our Colonial forefathers urgently call God's people to repentance before irreversible disaster strikes.
Please Join in Agreeing Prayer:
Dear Lord, help those struck by tragedy at Fort Worth. May the Holy Spirit comfort all those who mourn. Use this year's string of killings to get the Church's attention and to bring us back to You! Move, Sovereign Lord, upon the victims of Hurricane Floyd as well as the victims of the droughts, tornadoes, fires, floods, and other "natural" disasters that have struck
America and elsewhere this year. Most of all, help us to HEAR YOUR VOICE, WARNING US FROM HEAVEN through these events (Dt 28:all; Job 37:2-12; Ps 18:6-15; 29:all; 77:16-20; 135:6-10; Is 40:21-24; Jer 23:14-23; Mt 11:19-26; Heb 12:11-25; 22:10-31; Rev 9:20; 16:9, 11).
"Please check back with us as new matters for prayer are posted each week. By joining together with others, the power of our prayers are multiplied.
Please feel free to print and share these with your prayer group or pastor.