This past weekend Sanibel and the surrounding area got close to twelve inches of rain in three days. That on top of what has been a very rainy month. Most folks had to detour around flooded streets, and some had to deal with flooded homes. It was pretty wet--but nothing, of course, compared to Texas and Louisiana, where feet, not mere inches, of rain are falling in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
One local church recently had a sign out front which captured the feelings of many people. It read: "Whoever prayed for rain, please change your request." I imagine lots of folks in Houston have prayed for the rain to stop. As did folks around here. But while I believe you can offer up anything in prayer, I don't believe that God intervenes in the weather. I just don't think it works that way.
So what, you may ask, is the use of prayer in a situation such as that faced by the millions of folks in Texas? Is it a waste of time and energy? I think not. I think prayer is more important than ever. I think we can, and should, pray for the courage to face the problems presented head on. I think we can, and should, pray for the wiliness to do whatever is in our power to help those who are impacted by the storm. I think we can, and should, pray that our leaders be graced with wisdom as they determine what they can and should do to come to the aid of those whose lives have been turned upside down. I think we can, and should, pray that love prevails.
And then, we should get to work and do our part. If we can physically be of assistance, we should. If we can financially help out, we should. For God does answer prayer--but most often God answers in and through us.
(For further information about ways you can help, follow this link to our denomination's website:
(Members and friends of Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ can make financial donations to help in the effort by sending contributions through our church. Checks should be made payable to Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ and marked Hurricane Harvey. All such funds will be forwarded to the denominational effort. Checks can be sent to SCUCC, 2050 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida, 33957