Tag Archives: hurricanes

Hurricane Irma Postscript

IrmaIrma has whirled into history, and has impacted millions of people. My heart goes out to all those who faced Irma’s strong winds, and to all those whose homes and livelihoods have been severely disrupted. My prayers also go out to those who have lost loved ones to this storm. I pray that God’s peace that passes understanding rest on them. And of course, we are praying for the first responders, the incredible folks restoring the electric grids, and all those providing relief efforts wherever Irma hit. Their efforts are needed, and accomplishing amazing things.

As I write this post, please remember that I am writing from a southeast Florida, Broward County perspective. God puts each of us in a geographical location to defend and protect that location. When I use the Keys of the Kingdom (see my previous post on Irma HERE for a fuller explanation of this type of prayer), my greatest authority extends over my geographical area.

What that means practically, is that while I prayed with millions of people around the world that Irma would not impact the Lesser Antilles, the people with the most authority to pray were the ones who live on those islands. My prayers, and the prayers of those from afar supplement and enhance the prayers of those who live there. I also believe that our prayers have direct impact on preserving lives through these negative events. In this sense, we have tremendous authority, wherever we live, to pray for life, because humanity is one large family.

For us, that means that as we gathered for five evening prayer meetings last week (Tuesday through Saturday evening), we started by praying for the storm to turn north before it struck the islands. We knew the best scenario, and the one everyone was praying for, was that it would turn north and spin out into the northern Atlantic. However, once it slammed the Lesser Antilles with unimaginable force, we shifted our strategy. Once a storm coming across the Atlantic gets through the first islands, there is no place to send it that doesn’t impact people. At that point, we stopped praying that it would go in a certain direction, because there were no good choices, but that it would diminish. We also felt that the Lord had shown us that the islands close to us were at risk, so we prayed for the Bahamas at first, and then for the Florida Keys as it slid by the Bahamas.

But through all that, we never forgot our main calling: protect Broward County; pray for our primary area of geographical influence. This truth, that we are the ones with the most authority over our own geographic area, was hammered into me by a spiritual mentor, the late Bob Jones*, who would contact me during every hurricane season to remind me to do this job. Our trust is that other prayer warriors in their geographic areas were doing exactly the same thing. We also knew that many other congregations in South Florida were having prayer meetings, and that millions of people were praying for South Florida during the entire time.

We thank every one of you who prayed on our behalf. Those prayers were invaluable in strengthening all of us for the onslaught of fear released through the media, and through well-meaning folks who felt it necessary to remind us in the strongest terms that our lives were in danger and we should get out. Again, as I wrote in my first post on Irma referenced above, panic and fear had already set in by Tuesday. People didn’t have false bravado, but for most, evacuation north is just not an option. There are too many people with too many needs.

Ultimately, like Frances and Jeanne in 2004, Katrina in 2005, and Matthew in 2016, Irma skirted Broward County so that we only received a medium strong tropical storm. The Miami-Herald’s headline on Tuesday of this week was: “Irma, at least in Miami-Dade and Broward, wasn’t even a Hurricane.” To me, that means, our gates were shut to the hurricane. It wasn’t pleasant. It was so large that tropical storm winds continued for most of a day, and that accounted for the many trees that went down as the ground saturated with water. But the good news is, in a tropical storm, the tree limbs generally stay on the ground; in a hurricane, they can become missiles and battering rams.

I don’t have the time to get into what happened on Florida’s west coast, but one forecaster that I read stated that Irma’s path “threaded the needle” of the western population centers as it came ashore so that the impacts were less severe than they should have been. The dreaded storm surge, especially for the Tampa Bay area never materialized. Having said that, I can’t imagine the rebuilding process that will now need to take place for much of southwestern Florida and the Florida Keys (as well as Cuba and the other impacted islands). Your prayers, along with those who exercise the primary geographic authority, did much to protect life.

Thank you for all your prayers, your support, and your concern. Last week was intense, but I believe we did the job the Lord has called us to do. God is good. Storms like Irma are bad. And we are those who stand in the gap between the good and the bad.

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*Not the Bob Jones of Bob Jones University, but a prophetically gifted man who had major spiritual insight and vision.

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Images credit: National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Irma Prayer Thoughts

IrmaAs one can see from the graphic, Irma hasn’t made up her mind yet. That hasn’t helped anyone’s peace of mind. Even though the storm will not be near Florida until the weekend, hurricane supplies are flying off store shelves, people are fleeing the area to other states, events are being cancelled left and right, and builder supply stores are filling up with people desperate for the last piece of plywood. And one can also feel the palpable undercurrent of fear. I suspect that Harvey’s impact has certainly exacerbated the normal tension. In addition, Irma’s strength combined with her uncertain path has driven some from understandable anxiety, over into irrational fear or panic. That helps no one.

Take a deep breath. Turn off the weather reports, and get focused on the one who is greater than the storms. Of course, we have to make our normal preparations, but by this late in the hurricane season, South Floridians have been prepared for months, and the only thing to do now is the “top-off-the-supplies” things.

Oh, and we also need to pray. I have been contacted by many people asking if the Lord has given us anything about this storm. For those who are new to this blog, my congregation has an almost twenty-year history of stirring up prayer against storms like this, and building faith to pray against any storm that threatens our area. When Jesus walked on the earth with his disciples, he taught that he was going to give his Church the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (see Matthew 16:19). Keys give one authority, but it is an authority we use in faith, and works most effectively through agreement. For those who are new to the topic, you might want to download my book (Amazon Link ) or read these posts to become acquainted with the topic (Joaquin, Turning Away Hurricanes).

Has the Lord shown us anything? He gave us an encouraging picture just yesterday; it was a picture of a series of gates closing. For those who understand that the Keys of the Kingdom open and shut doors (or gates, in this case), that indicates that our prayers are having an effect. We want the gates shut to this storm. However, what that means for me practically, is that I can walk a bit more peacefully, even as I complete my personal and congregational preparations for any hurricane strikes. It means it gives me a picture to latch on to as I pray with my congregation about this storm. Using the Keys, I will command all the gates through which this hurricane can enter to close (that is how you pray with the Keys). I will also continue to ask, seek, and knock on the doors of heaven asking for the Lord to intervene at every turn (that is normal prayer). In that way, we cover our bases of prayer, and pray in the way in which Jesus taught Christians to pray.

As I look at Irma’s potential paths, I can see one that gives it a chance to spin harmlessly out into the Atlantic. Obviously, for the next several days I will be praying that the storm diminishes in strength, and that it spins out to sea. I will also be praying for the islands that are currently in its path. They need our prayers as the threat for them is imminent.

If I get anything else helpful, I will update this blog as I can. Time to Pray, Prepare, and Praise: Pray it away; Prepare responsibly; and Praise when it is past.

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Update/Wed Sept. 6th: It appears that the comments that have come in are not appearing for this article. It is a glitch of some sort. My apologies to those who have sent comments.

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Images credit: Accuweather.com

 

 

Hurricane Matthew Report

windsAlmost from its inception, Matthew drew people’s attention. Its quick development in the face of strong shear will be cause for much discussion in the scientific community in the days ahead.

Although our congregation held three evening prayer meetings (Friday, Tuesday, Wednesday), I haven’t posted on Hurricane Matthew, simply because of a hectic schedule (including those prayer meetings).

I wanted to send this update to all those who were praying for us, and to thank you for the prayers. As you can see from the wind field graphic to the left, hurricane force winds (the red line in the graphic) did not come to South Florida. It appears at this point, that the storm will not make landfall in Florida, and perhaps it will not make landfall in the United States on this pass. Obviously, there is still room to pray for those who continue in harms way. Hurricane paths are tricky things, and it could yet make landfall. There is also room to act, as Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas did not fare as well with this storm as we did yesterday. Please be generous as you consider how to help those who have been harmed.

If you don’t know where to give, consider Food for the Poor (Click Here for their website). Several of my congregation members have worked there over the years (some still do), and it is a worthy charity that helps the people of Haiti and other poor nations in many different ways.

Thanks again for the prayers, and the well wishes. They are appreciated.
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Image credit: NHC

The Kingdom is Smashing Records

KingdomThe Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing, and it’s smashing records along the way. On November 30th, the Kingdom demolished another barrier that should clearly demonstrate that something significant has changed. Florida has gone ten years without being struck by a hurricane. Since records began being kept in 1851, Florida has been struck by a hurricane, on average, every two years. There was one stretch where Florida was not struck by hurricane force winds for five years. There was another of four years. But those stretches are so rare that the average still stands at one hurricane strike every two years for the 165 years since records started being kept.

The current ten-year stretch is unprecedented, but it has not been unheralded. Since 1998, when the Lord first began to speak to our congregation about the authority he has given us over hurricanes and other weather systems, we, along with many others, have picked up the mantle of authority and diligently applied it to the Atlantic hurricane season. For a brief history on this, please read these posts on this site HERE and HERE (or simply put “hurricane” in the search field on this website to read much more). For a much fuller perspective, click over to Amazon (HERE) and spend $2.99 on the Kindle version of a book* I authored—or order the hard copy— that presents irrefutable evidence that God has called us to advance the Kingdom by taking on hurricanes, other weather patterns, and much more. I have repeatedly stated, in print, video, and by other means that if we use the keys of authority that God has given us, we will be able to impact hurricane patterns. I have travelled to many different countries with this message since 1999, and have written a book about it (and I am currently writing another). The Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing, and this is just one obvious sign of it.

The current ten-year hurricane drought is either a stunning coincidence, an unparalleled stretch of serendipity that just happened to begin as we began training people throughout Florida to take authority over weather patterns, or the Kingdom is advancing. If you realize that our emphasis on this authority was initiated by the Lord in 1998, and that it began with an accurate prediction of the location of hurricane strike, the hurricane’s name, and the fact that it would hit by surprise, facts that were so disseminated throughout South Florida in the six months before the storm hit that a local NBC affiliate broadcast an interview about it two weeks before the storm even formed (thus providing absolute historical proof of everything I am writing about it), one would have to be willfully ignorant to ignore God’s hand in all of this. His Kingdom is advancing. This ten-year stretch is one of the signs of it.

So I am celebrating the ten-year hurricane drought, while at the same time planning to do everything that I can to extend it to eleven years next year. Since I know that so many other Kingdom-minded people are doing the same throughout Florida, I know that we have a very good chance of continuing the record. Ten years from now, I would love to be writing about the twenty year hurricane drought, but that will only happen if God’s people continue to use the Keys of the Kingdom that they have been given.

I am confident that they will not only continue to use those Keys to exercise authority over weather patterns, but also to impact every other area that God’s Kingdom must come. Those who violently fight their own unbelief, their own inertia, and their own lack of Kingdom vision will continue to see the Kingdom advance against all obstacles. His Kingdom will come, on earth as it is in heaven.
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* I feel it is important to mention that neither my congregation nor I make any money from the sale of this book. The Lord has clearly shown us that Hurricane Irene was a Jericho event for us. In the same way that all proceeds from the conquest of Jericho were devoted to God, so also the proceeds of any sales are devoted to God. Any profits from sales enable us to give even more copies away.
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Image credit: clivia / 123RF Stock Photo

Hurricane Joaquin Prayer Thoughts

JoaquinJoaquin means Lifted by Yahweh. For that reason, I would be a bit nervous if I lived near Washington. That city has done enough in recent history to warrant a reminder that the Lord is the one who is in charge, no matter what the three branches of our government tend to think. Hurricane Joaquin would not be a subtle reminder.

When the Supreme Court made gay marriage a civil right, it defied millennia of social consensus, and more importantly, God’s intent for marriage. At that time, I pondered whether a good-sized hurricane might bring a measure of humility to the judicial branch of our government. Now that Washington is actually included in a hurricane’s track, I’ve pondered that thought again, and concluded that I really don’t want to find out what a severe hurricane impact might do for Washington’s spiritual atmosphere. For the sake of all those who live there, I would much rather see mercy released instead of judgment (See James 2:13). I suspect that the people who live in that region would agree with me.

As I have observed Joaquin’s stunning increase in strength, and the associated reports of potential damage to the east coast, I have found myself interceding. While I recognize that the areas that are threatened have been hit by hurricanes in the past, I also understand that those areas are not built to withstand such storms in the same way that we are in South Florida. Even with our strict hurricane codes, we do not appreciate hurricanes of any size. I can’t imagine what it is like in areas that do not have the same types of codes.

For that reason, I thought I would write about what I would do if I lived in areas that are under threat from Joaquin. This is what I would do if I lived anywhere on the East Coast of the United States north of South Carolina, and I had no other information from the Lord about this particular storm.

  • I would begin to watch the National Hurricane Center site for its frequent updates (I would not watch the television updates—they tend to exaggerate and impart fear to improve their ratings). I would most definitely read the discussions that go with each NHC update. Often those discussions reveal things that can be incorporated into prayer.
  • I would begin to pray against this storm personally, and at every regularly scheduled meeting of my congregation. I would encourage my congregation to pick up the Keys of authority and use them to turn this storm out to sea.
  • The Keys of Authority work best with agreement (see Matthew 18:18-19), if my area of geographic influence was included in the cone of uncertainty for the three day track, I would call a prayer meeting for the first available time that interested parties could participate. If my geographic area was included in the five day track of a hurricane, I might call a prayer meeting depending on the circumstance, but at a minimum, I would alert my congregation that we may be having a prayer meeting soon so that they can plan accordingly.
  • When we met for prayer, I would build faith by recounting the many storms that our prayers have turned in the past. If I did not have a personal testimony in this arena, I would use testimonies that other Christians have. I most definitely would show this video from an NBC affiliate in Florida to reinforce that storms can be impacted by prayer: Hurricane Irene 1999. You might also watch this hour-long message that recounts story after story of what my congregation has done with the Keys of Authority and weather patterns: Picking Up the Keys. If you take the time to watch it, you will have increased faith to take on any storm.
  • When we met for prayer, I would acknowledge before the Lord that my geographic area is an area filled with wickedness (so is yours). Then I would pray for mercy, and recognize the fact that the Lord is always looking for intercessors to stand in the gap for their geographic area. No matter how wicked my area is (in my opinion), I would remember that the Lord is the one who initiated Abraham’s intercession for Sodom by telling him about the approaching storm. The Lord is always offering us opportunities to stand in the gap.
  • When we met for prayer, I would ask, seek, and knock on behalf of my area. At the same time, I would realize that this is not using the Keys. This is simply approaching the throne of grace with confidence because Jesus has opened the way.
  • When we met for prayer, I would also use the Keys. I would address the storm by name, and lock the door to any damage or destruction it might cause. I would raise hedges of protection against hurricane force winds and storm surges. I would call in shearing winds, dry air, cooler ocean currents, and whatever else is available to degrade the storm. I would use information from the NHC discussions about hindrances to the storm to strengthen those hindrances. I would command the storm out to sea away from my coastline. I would send the storm to the UK where they can use the rain (Okay, I really wouldn’t do that last one—that was a joke for my readers from the UK who have made it this far in the article . . .).
  • When we met for prayer I would let those who understand our authority also pray, so that agreement might be built. I would encourage them to pray in faith, even repeating things that have already been prayed as a form of agreement.

The above is a basic outline for our practices, developed over more than fifteen years of praying with effect about hurricanes and other weather patterns. I would like nothing better than to have intercessory voices up and down the east coast using this, or whatever outline the Lord has given them, to bring protection to their regions. As God’s people step into their authority, storms like Joaquin lose their ferocity, and mercy is extended to entire geographical regions. In that way, mercy can triumph over judgment.
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UPDATE (10/02/15): When I wrote this yesterday, I assumed, incorrectly, that the storm was only going to brush the Bahamas. It has become a category four and is pounding the Bahamas. I know many have been praying for the Bahamas as they have watched what the storm is doing. I simply wanted to acknowledge that fact, and encourage continued prayer for the people of the Bahamas.
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Images credit: National Hurricane Center