The atmosphere was somber as news of this coming super-typhoon reached the ears of the Bicolanos. Each one knew the potential this storm had for death and destruction. Immediately, Bicol residents began sending out requests for prayer.
My wife, Joanna, wrote in her blog, “The storm has been upgraded to a Cat 2 and we’re under warning signal 3 here in Albay… We’ve been working like crazy all day today trying to prepare. Everything outside has been put away or secured. Everything downstairs that is below waist level has pretty much been packed up or put up… We’ve heard on the radio that this storm is moving very slowly and it will take at least 10 hours for it to pass over. Winds are expected to be over 200 kph (Cat 4) by the time it gets here. Needless to say, we’re all pretty nervous… Again, we know that our God is in control. He holds the wind and rain in His hands. We’ve have quoted Psalm 46 many times today and I’m sure we will do the same tomorrow. The storm should start hitting sometime tomorrow afternoon.”
Friends and family, from all around the world, began to pray for the Bicolano people.
During the night, the storm seemed to hit a brick wall. She was headed on a collision course with our city, but she was stopped in its tracks about 100 miles out to sea. She tried to move south and was stopped again. She moved back to the north and was finally able to proceed on her westerly route, but now the route was north westerly. In fact, Typhoon Mena completely bypassed the Bicol region! God listened to the prayers of His people and would not let that storm pass!
As I think back to Typhoons Mena, Reming and Milenyo, as well as all the volcanic eruptions, mud slides and earthquakes, I am reminded of a song…
The psalmist tells us that God is our refuge and strength, but many times we forget about Him. I believe that God allows these storms to come into our lives to remind us that He is there, He cares for us and He is in control. We might not understand all the reasons for why God allows these storms and difficulties, but we can know peace in the midst of the storm. Do you remember what the psalmist wrote at the end of Psalm 46?
In speaking of the influential nature of prayer, the great spiritual leader, Charles Spurgeon, called it “the slender nerve that moves the muscles of [God’s] omnipotence.”
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
What does powerful prayer look like? (17-18)
What does a powerful pray-er look like?
What does ‘effectual, fervent prayer’ look like?
- The earnestness and fervency of prayer is found in the life and consistency of the one who is praying.
Consistency in Prayer
- Psalm 66:18
- James 1:6
- 1 Timothy 5:5