As Hurricane Irma heads toward the U.S., it has weakened to a Category 4 storm — but still has sustained winds around 150 mph. It’s expected to maintain strength as it hits Florida this weekend, aiming directly for Miami per current projections. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has advised Floridians on both coasts to evacuate. Georgia’s coastal towns are also evacuating.
The storm has already killed 20 people across the Caribbean and caused widespread damage, including the near-total destruction of Barbuda.
Join us in praying for Florida and the Caribbean — for those already affected by the storm and those preparing for its fury.
Pray for people evacuating.
As Florida and coastal Georgia families evacuate, traffic is thick and slow-moving. Gas and grocery supplies are low. And all of that means patience begins to wane. Pray for the 1.4 million people ordered to evacuate and the 3 million people in harm’s way. But also pray for people who are hesitant to leave or flat-out refuse to move out of harm’s way.
Prince of Peace, we ask for an extra measure of Your great peace and patience for all the people who are desperately trying to get out of the storm’s path. Prolong their gas supplies so there are fewer breakdowns on the road. Keep people alert so as to avoid accidents. And allow everyone to get out safely. If there are people hesitant or refusing to leave, we ask You to speak to them about finding safe harbor.
Pray for children.
It’s scary for children when they’re evacuating or when they’ve been displaced from home or even lost their home altogether. Pray for comfort for children. Pray also for the safety of displaced children, as chaos is a key time for predators to use vulnerability and confusion to harm young ones. And pray that children don’t become separated from their parents.
Jesus, we know that You love children and hurt to see them scared and suffering. Wrap Your loving arms around them so they may know Your great peace in this scary time. Keep them safe from evil people who may want to prey on their pain or confusion.
Pray the storm shifts.
While all reports seem to indicate that Florida will face the brunt of the storm, we know that God is in control of all things, and He wants us to ask and keep on asking (Matthew 7:7-8), as He is God of the impossible (Matthew 19:26). Pray that the storm will shift so there’s less damage than anticipated.
Almighty God, the wind and the waves bow at Your command. We plead with You for the storm to shift. Calm the winds and waves. Move Irma out of direct path with Miami and other largely populated areas.
Pray for aid workers and first responders.
In the wake of a natural disaster, communication can be challenging, roads can be unpassable, and plans can be hard to execute as new obstacles develop. Pray for the people who work to help families in trouble as well as those who administer medical aid and distribute relief supplies.
Great Shepherd, guide the hands and feet of all the people who are working on Your behalf right now or preparing to work. Remove the obstacles they face, and give them grace and patience in difficult circumstances. Renew their energy and strength so they can continue carrying out their work after long hours and fatigue. Revive the spirits of those who have witnessed deaths and who help recover victims’ bodies.
Pray for supply-truck drivers.
World Vision is pre-positioning relief supplies ahead of Irma hitting Florida. Trucks are en route from Texas and will wait in Georgia until we know specifically where to send them after the storm passes. Pray for the truck drivers who are transporting all the pallets of goods. Pray for safety as they travel and that they’re able to safely reach areas in need after the storm passes.
Lord, as drivers truck in supplies, keep them awake and alert on the road. After the storm passes, as they begin to transport to affected areas, give them passable roads so they can reach distribution points quickly and efficiently.
Pray for the cleanup work.
As flooding continues across the Caribbean and is highly anticipated in the U.S., cleanup efforts will be extensive as the water recedes. Pray for wisdom for the leaders organizing the efforts and for safety as workers encounter hidden and emerging dangers.
God, we ask You to keep cleanup workers safe as they help communities dig out from the floods. Give them the wisdom to know what to do and how to do it so they don’t injure themselves or others.
Pray for those who lost loved ones.
At least 20 people have died so far in five Caribbean nations. Pray for families who have lost someone and are grieving on top of all the other problems they face right now.
Comforter, we ask that You be with those who have family members or friends who died in the storm. The pain is indescribable, but we know that You see their pain and tears and are present. Help them to feel Your peace in the midst of such great pain.