A Lesser Hurricane Irene: The Evidence of Prayer?

        Though many people were killed, almost five million lost power, huge regions were flooded and flooding is ongoing, and billions of dollars in damage took place, some curiously bitter people continue to insist that Hurricane Irene was a hyped event. Some are very thankful that the huge storm was not as bad as originally predicted. Some are arrogantly putting forth their opinion that the storm was nothing that couldn’t be handled, and that they handled it quite well.

        Did something intervene?

        Maybe there was collusion between all the weather boys and girls up and down the coast and the scientific computer geniuses that postulated a storm of nearly Biblical proportions. Maybe they all made a deal with the news media to play it up and make Irene appear as the almost second coming of Rita or Andrew or Isabel grafted onto the upper east coast, New York City, and New England.

         Or maybe there are many more powerful Christians in this nation than otherwise thought praying powerful prayers that a very powerful God answered.

         Hurricanes are a natural phenomenon like any other natural process such as rain or lightning. They happened eons before any human set foot on the land. They will not stop just because we are here. I will personally, however, believe that the Lord God of all creation can do whatever He wants whenever He wants, and that if He uses natural means to judge humanity it’s His prerogative.

         I will also believe that real believers have power over the elements.

         And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” [Matthew 8:24-27]

         The Greek word for “storm” in the above verse is seismos. It means, “A commotion, a shaking, AN EARTHQUAKE.”[1] In fact, this Greek word appears 14 times in the New Testament and every other time it is translated as “earthquake.” Along with the earthquake was a great wind. Mark and Luke called it “a fierce gale of wind,” which Strong labeled “a hurricane.” In other words, the storm on the Sea of Galilee was not a rain event or a thunderstorm. It was the result of an earthquake and wind. Great roiling waves had resulted which were swamping the boat. The apostles rightly feared for their lives. This was no mere storm but something much more out of the ordinary.

         What did the Lord do? He did two things:

         First, He jumped their case for being cowards, and for having so little faith.

         Second, He rebuked the winds and the sea.

         Now, the Sea of Galilee was notorious for having freak wind events. The rushing winds would often form great waves. But on this particular occasion an earthquake was apparently also involved. Did the Lord allow this as a test? Was it a surprise to Him? It was certainly a great surprise to them and if He had not acted to rebuke the wind and waves the apostles would have all ended up at the bottom of that crazy, violent sea. It was a life and death situation and they had no means whatsoever to save themselves because they—

         (1) Were a bunch of chickens, and

         (2) Had far too little faith to affect any change.

         From watching the Lord perform the miracle, the apostles learned that even the winds and the sea obey Him! Who is this guy?!

         And they eventually received the power to do the same thing.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” [John 14:12]

         Thus, real Christians have power with God through prayer to rebuke the wind and sea. Thus, it is quite possible that all the experts were right but that some other force acted upon Hurricane Irene, which just happened to follow on the heels of a very rare 5.8 Virginia earthquake.

         And this means this country is not populated with a single Elijah holding the fort but millions of dedicated followers of the Lord Jesus that are increasingly making their presence felt.

         Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.” But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.” [Romans 11:2-4]

         Besides, the Lord’s people are salt and light—the preservers of humanity and those who show the way. Many will say that Irene was a bust without ever thinking that they possibly dodged a howitzer through the prayers of God’s people.

         The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. [James 5:16-18] [2]

         Lieutenant Dan eventually made his peace with God. For all those who did not during the opportunity that was Hurricane Irene, there will be another showdown in the not too distant future, except for those who die and go to hell in the meantime. Mock God all you want, unbelievers. Mock His people. But it is highly likely the ones you mock just saved your keisters.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible © 1890

[2] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

August 29: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/August/Virginia-Residents-God-Intervened-in-Irene-/

Posted on August 28, 2011, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I am ashamed to admit that I had not considered the less than cataclysmic Hurricane Irene to be a result of the prayers of true believers. I had chalked it up to the usual hype by news media types, hungry for ratings, that turned into more of a “crying wolf” scenario. Having lived through Hurricane Ike in Houston, I was having a difficult time getting too excited about Irene. Now, I am now downplaying the misery that many are facing as a result. I remember the weeks with no power, grocery shelves with nothing on them, lines at gas stations where you were fortunate if you got some before they ran out, and throwing away everything in freezer and refrigerator. It is an experience I would prefer not to repeat. What I remember most about it though, is the heart of the people of Texas. There was a real “can do” attitude here and Houston was back up and running a lot more quickly than I ever imagined it would be.

    Thanks for providing a different perspective. I will remember it the next time (and there will be a next time) a natural disaster shows up on our U.S. doorstep.

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  2. As believers, I think we need to be really careful here. . .

    We do not know (for sure) the cause of this storm: Natural phenomena, specific judgment (?), etc. But as Christians we can be quick to say that either a pending natural disaster (or one that has occurred) might be possible judgment or if it passes–was the grace of God/answered prayer.

    But the truth of the matter is, unless God has specifically told us, we do not know.

    I know God has used “natural disasters” as judgments in times past (but not all of them are said to be judgments).

    I know God has answered prayers to stop/thwart storms.

    I know God is sovereign, ultimately in control, either can cause, divert, or allow disasters to happen.

    I personally simply see them as “end time prophecy fulfillments.” The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Bad things happen to even His people sometimes. None of us are immune. I personally know of many God-loving people who have endured much heartache, pain, and tragedy.

    As for Hurricane Irene, I simply took that she didn’t “behave” as badly as some feared she might–for whatever reasons. I am thankful and give glory to God that some people were spared what may have been much, much worse.

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  3. I love the fact that Jesus is always in my boat! No matter what storm happens around me!

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  4. So true, Vorlonvoice. He didn’t promise to always get us out of our “storms,” but He has promised to always see us through them. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b

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  5. Reblogged this on Real Christianity and commented:

    In late August of 2011 I wrote a series of articles regarding Hurricane Irene and the Virginia earthquake that both occurred within a few days of each other. This particular article, “A Lesser Hurricane Irene,” relates very well to the current Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy that is expected to blast the East Coast in a couple of days, just as Irene did 14 months ago. In this article I state: “Lieutenant Dan eventually made his peace with God. For all those who did not during the opportunity that was Hurricane Irene, there will be another showdown in the not too distant future… You may want to read all of these articles, especially since Sandy is supposed to be at least as bad as Irene, and some are projecting much worse. Thanks, RJ.

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  6. Amen. I just read something like this on another site earlier. I agree. Irene was probably going to be more tragic… but God had mercy because people prayed. We do know that soon, God’s judgment comes upon the world… and nothing will stop it. So we need to be praying for people to come to Jesus because many still do not know Him. We need to be praying for people to come to repentance, because many who at one time said, “I do,” are living without Him. God’s judgment will come because prophecy must be fulfilled… we can’t stop it. However, we can have an impact as a nation (and when I say Nation I mean a nation of believers united across the world…the Church!). We, together, can have an impact on the number of lost souls, and the number of unrepentant persons coming to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.. and coming clean before God so that they can be renewed! Amen… let us pray for revival… because the day is here! Again, there will come a time, and it may be now, when nothing will hinder the judgments on the world happening, or else we make the Bible a lie. Rather, let us pray for those who, if they died right now, would wake up in hell. Let us pray for those who believe they are going to heaven yet live in outright disobedience as if they were not saved at all.. never having been saved to begin with. God bless you! And again, Amen!

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  7. How prophetic of you RJ…
    You said “Or maybe there are many more powerful Christians in this nation than otherwise thought praying powerful prayers that a very powerful God answered.”
    &
    “Lieutenant Dan eventually made his peace with God. For all those who did not during the opportunity that was Hurricane Irene, there will be another showdown in the not too distant future, except for those who die and go to hell in the meantime. Mock God all you want, unbelievers. Mock His people. But it is highly likely the ones you mock just saved your keisters.”

    THE HEADLINES on Newzjunky [Northern New York’s 24/7 News Site] today read as follows… “Storm Severity in CNY [Central New York State] Lowered; “We’re Dodging a Bullet”.”

    THANK YOU ALL MY BROTHERS & SISTERS IN CHRIST… I love how you pray for me!

    & THANK YOU RJ… GREAT POST! GOD BLESS!

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