Monday, August 29, 2005

Prayer for Louisiana

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This morning I'm holding in prayer the citizens of New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina is threatening, and a million people have evacuated the city.

At times like this, I long to marshal the power of prayer to bring safety and hope. I know many individuals are praying, but it's also great to know that we're all praying together. And God is there.

Last year I had the privilege of being involved in an online effort to support the people of Florida with prayer. Many hundreds of people participated in a Weblog started by a friend of mine down in Florida. He wound up with prayers and messages of support from as far away as Turkey and Australia.

Here's one message that was posted that I found particularly helpful at the time:

[Our friend in Florida] said earlier he wasn’t praying to stop the hurricane. I think that’s very wise. Hurricanes are a natural part of the earthly system – they actually serve a useful purpose. What needs to be prayed for is that no harm comes to people. This doesn't involve asking God to change reality, it just acknowledges that anything normal or useful is not at the same time destructive and harmful.

Prayer can also elevate thought so as to discern the wisest decisions to make. This can involve evacuation as well as measures to protect property. I heard a story on NPR the other day about a woman whose house had been destroyed in hurricane Opal a few years back. She rebuilt according to construction guidelines for hurricane-prone areas and her house survived Ivan.

This, to me, is an example of how human thought can be led to institute wise policies to protect against natural events. After all, if it weren't for the presence of humans on earth, these things would just go along their course and not be characterized as evil.

So let’s pray to lift thought beyond fear and foreboding to discern the wisest course to take in order to preserve life and harmony.


While I'm not on the scene as my friend was, this year I'm holding Louisiana close in my heart. I hope as you pray today you feel a part of a universal prayer circle being brought to bear on the situation, and that through our united prayers we can make a difference.

I've also been thinking about how wonderful it would be if we could all be alerted when prayer is needed. Visitors to this blog could start a "prayer alert" email to be notified whenever someone wants specific united prayer for a particular situation.

Here's a very brief survey that you could take to let me know if a prayer alert would be of interest. There are some other email newsletter options included as well—I'd love to know your thoughts, so please be honest!

Thanks for your input, it's so appreciated.

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At 8/29/2005 10:20:00 AM, Blogger karen gsteiger said...

I'm with you on this one...a friend's family has been evacuated...they're worried that they're going to lose everything!

At 8/29/2005 07:17:00 PM, Blogger Rev. Veronika Birken said...

"No evidence before the material senses can close my eyes to the scientific proof that God, good, is supreme."
(Mary Baker Eddy.)
This is what I used as a prayer when our area was in dire need for rain and threatened by bushfires. I just love to be reminded of this truth.
Peace, Veronika


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