Monday, September 1, 2008

Hurricane Gustav - A Call to Urgent Prayer by Tom Victor

Dear Friends and Prayer Partners,

I woke up very early this morning with a growing concern. Here in the United States we are in a holiday weekend. But we are also facing a significant challenge. No doubt many of you are already praying - but would you take a couple of minutes to read the following. Then please join us in prayer and help to get this prayer alert out to others that can join with us both in the United States and around the world. Here's why.

History and Context:

In 2005 as Rita, a category 5 Hurricane was lining up for a direct hit on Houston, sustained winds had reached 180 miles per hour. Lt. Col. Warren Madden, a Hurricane Hunter and meteorologist for the Weather Channel, recorded a peak wind gust of 235 miles per hour while flying in the eye of the story and called Rita, "the strongest storm that I've ever been in."

It was indeed a killer, the strongest hurricane to enter the Gulf of Mexico at the time, surpassing the strength of Hurricane Katrina that had devastated New Orleans and the surrounding area only weeks earlier. As a result the largest mass evacuation in our nation's history began in the Greater Houston area, involving some 2.7 million people.

Suzette Caldwell, associate pastor for Windsor Village United Methodist Church and President of the Kingdom Builders' Prayer Institute, issued an urgent call to pray. A specific prayer assignment was given as people in Houston were encouraged to point their hands towards Rita and pray in unity. That call was picked up through the Houston Prays network and sent out to key prayer networks in places like Indonesia, India and to praying people literally around the world.

The Miracle:

Did God answer those prayers? We watched as Hurricane Rita shifted her course and landed 100 miles to the east in the least populated regions of the coast. The winds diminished from 180 to 115 miles per hour when the storm made landfall. Winds blowing offshore in Texas actually flattened the storm surge which was only seven feet in Galveston, well below the Galveston seawall. The five inches of rain expected to fall overnight in neighboring New Orleans also did not happen and the pressure on their levee system was eased. Following Rita, gas prices fell in the U.S. instead of rising as feared.

Current Challenge:

We are facing a new threat as Hurricane Gustav is moving toward the Gulf of Mexico. A line of storms is forming behind, including tropical storm Hanna. Water temperatures are very favorable for intensification of Hurricane Gustav. It has already reached Major Hurricane Status of category 4 with sustained winds of 145 miles per hour. Those winds are expected to strengthen with a growing probability of a full category 5 hurricane.

The implications of Gustav and this line of storms following for our entire nation are very significant, especially for the peoples along the Gulf Coast and in major cities of New Orleans and Houston. Evacuation plans are already in place as well as contingency plans for the GOP National Convention on Monday.

God was gracious to us during Rita as united prayers were lifted up in the area and around the world. Would you join with us in prayer once again?

Call to Urgent, United Prayer for Gustav:

Please join with us in faith as we unite our hearts in prayer. For those in the Gulf Area, you are encouraged to point your hands towards Gustav and pray the following:

The Prayer:

Father, we acknowledge you as Lord over the United States.

You reign above all gods. All power belongs to You.

We thank You for your continual protection and provision.

Using the authority given to us in the Name of Jesus, we speak to Hurricane Gustav and we command the winds and the storm to dissipate.

We ask for the peace of God to still Hurricane Gustav, and we declare that Gustav will not bring harm or destruction to New Orleans, Houston or the surrounding coastal areas.

We also speak to Hanna and the storms lining up following Gustav. We declare peace to these storms and we command them to dissipate and to do no harm.

Lord, we ask You to touch the heart of every believer in this area to pray against this hurricane. Raise up a Spirit of prayer and empower your people to pray effectively.

Father, please forgive our many sins. Please forgive our disobedience, rebellion, unbelief, and any forms of idolatry. Lord, help us to be a nation that is kind and forgiving to others.

Have mercy upon us. Lord, help us to overcome our temptations as a nation, and please deliver us from this impending destruction. We ask You to destroy every satanic assignment against our nation during this season.

Father, in Your great love and compassion we also ask you to protect the peoples of the islands in the path of Gustav, Hanna and these weather system.

Now to the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. We ask this in Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thanks for praying,

Tom Victor

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