Between now and the next time I post to this blog, it seems increasingly likely that Hurricane Irma will make landfall somewhere in Florida and then deliver potentially catastrophic wind and rain to the southeastern US. Of course, coming so soon after Hurricane Harvey, Irma will seems likely to stretch the capacity of both our disaster response apparatus and our compassion. And so, perhaps it is providential that the words from today’s psalm (Psalm 31) offer a prayer that can fittingly be offered for those about to endure the storm’s wrath.
In you, LORD, we have taken refuge;
let us never be put to shame;
deliver them in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to us,
come quickly to their rescue;
be their rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save them.
Since you are our rock and our fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide them.
Keep them free from the trap that is set for them,
for you are our refuge.
Into your hands we commit our spirits;
deliver us, LORD, our faithful God. (Psalm 31:1-5)
I tend to believe, of course, that our prayers are most effective when we partner with God to “become the answer to our prayers” (to borrow the title from a book I read a few months back). And so, if you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to contribute to disaster relief efforts through the organization of your choice. My church is providing some links to the donation pages of groups that we think are well-positioned to minister effectively, and you can find those links here.
Thank you for your prayers and your gifts. May all of us find in God (and in each other) a place of refuge that allows us to weather any storm.