By Tiffany Robbins, Crosswalk.com
When natural disasters strike, many of us are left feeling like helpless bystanders as we wait and watch from afar. While those in Florida and the surrounding states prepare for Hurricane Ian to make landfall, those of us outside of the danger zone may wonder if there’s any way to provide support for those who are worried or scared. The most important thing that we can do as believers is to pray. And while that may not sound like “doing” a lot, there is immense power in presenting our requests to God and interceding on behalf of our brothers and sisters.
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)
Here are three prayers for those in the path of Hurricane Ian, as well as a few ways we can support our brothers and sisters from afar during natural disasters:
A Prayer for God’s Protection During the Storm
We pray that your hand of protection would be over Florida right now and throughout these next few days. For those staying, we ask that your powerful protection will be with them through the storm. For those evacuating, provide them with a safe route. We know that you are more powerful than any hurricane or natural disaster that comes our way. Remind them that you are our rock, fortress, and deliverer (Psalm 18:2). We lift every single person in the path of this storm up to you. May you protect them and guide them to safety with your wisdom.
A Prayer for People to Trust in Him
We pray for all those facing this hurricane head-on that they would find comfort in you. As this storm makes its way closer and closer, it can be easy to lose sight of your power and protection. Remind them that you are ultimately in control. That no matter what we face, we can trust you. We pray that civilians, as well as those providing disaster relief, would find comfort in knowing you are a loving God and have always had a plan for each of our lives. We pray that your comfort would cover them like a blanket while this storm passes.
A Prayer for Restoration
We pray that after Hurricane Ian passes, restoration would occur. We pray that damage would be minimal and that if rescues are necessary, they would be successful. We pray not only for the restoration of physical property but the restoration of hearts. Draw those near to you that are fearful – restore in them a trusting heart that leans on you. We pray you would give each community the strength to help each other rebuild and to come together in love and support for one another. For those of us who are safe from the storm, ignite in us a passion for those who are affected. Lead us to show our support and help in any way that we can.
In addition to these prayers, here are three more ways to support our neighbors during a natural disaster:
I’m sure most of us know at least one friend or family member living in Florida or in other areas that will be affected by the hurricane. If you know anyone in its path, reach out to them! Call them today, or send them an encouraging text message. There is so much comfort in knowing that someone is thinking of you and praying for you in the midst of a scary situation. This simple act can be a wonderful way to show God’s love and support for others, even from far away.
Here are a few encouraging Bible verses to share with others as this storm approaches:
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your feet from being snared. (Proverbs 3:25-26).
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. (Psalm 46:1-2)
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:2)
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2)
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. (Nahum 1:7)
Another very simple way we can support others from afar is by simply staying informed about what’s happening with the hurricane, as well as the after-effects. By doing this, we can be praying for the specific areas and people that are being affected throughout the course of the storm. If there are areas experiencing power outages, we can pray specifically for the people in those areas. If we are informed of any disaster relief teams being deployed, we can pray for their safety as well as courage. By staying in the know, we can better support those who are directly affected.
If you are able to, financial support is another way to care for those going through a natural disaster. Find out if your local church does any kind of disaster relief ministry that you can donate to. If not, there are many amazing organizations you can donate to that provide disaster relief. One of these that we are probably all familiar with is the American Red Cross. Right now, they have a specific option to send your donation to support those affected by Hurricane Ian: https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html/
Another trusted organization is Save the Children. They are a leader in helping children and communities “prevent, prepare for, and recover from climate-induced disasters.” You can donate to them here: https://www.savethechildren.org/us/what-we-do/emergency-response/hurricane-ian-how-to-help
Lastly, Samaritan's Purse is an amazing organization that is also helping with disaster relief. Donate to help the victims of Hurricane Ian here: https://samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/hurricane-ian
While we may feel helpless as we watch Hurricane Ian roll in, supporting those going through it is still possible. Pray for them. Reach out to them. We can be powerful carriers of God’s light, even from afar.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Elen11
Video Credit: Soundstripe, Unsplash
Tiffany Robbins is the Faith Editor of Crosswalk.com. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in Business from Liberty University. Her goal is to share Christ's love and help others grow in their faith through her work as a writer and editor.