Tag Archives: hurricanes

Very Slow Hurricane Season

ProtectionWhile the hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to the end of November, the season is fast passing by. The main feature of this season is that there have been no main features. Those of you who read this blog regularly, know that I will not declare victory over the current hurricane season until it is over. We have a responsibility to stay on the wall until every threat is canceled. However, I am extremely pleased with what I have seen so far.

Yesterday, in an article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, weather-reporter Ken Kaye wrote this about the current season:

October, usually the meanest stretch for hurricanes in South Florida, instead might be relatively calm this year.

The same atmospheric conditions that have so far tempered storms could persist into November, said Phil Klotzbach, the Colorado State University climatologist who develops seasonal outlooks.

“I don’t see any significant storm development in any of the reliable global models, and consequently, I expect the rest of the season will continue to be very quiet,” he said.

Several forecast teams had predicted the season would see an above-average number of hurricanes and potentially be extremely active. But so far it has been remarkably subdued, with only two Category 1 hurricanes (Humberto and Ingrid). Normally five hurricanes emerge by the first week of October, including two major ones.

“We are working very hard on trying to figure out exactly why the season has been as dead as it is,” Klotzbach said. For now, experts say dry air, Saharan dust and wind shear have slowed down storm formation. (see rest of Sun-Sentinel article).

I could tell them why the season has been dead. God’s people are learning to stand in authority over these storms. His people have learned to take up the keys that Jesus provided for them, and to turn the keys in the locks that shut down hurricanes. This doesn’t mean that we won’t see more activity this season, it simply means that we are currently doing a pretty good job, so good in fact, that forecasters are trying to figure out what is going on.

October is a month where we usually see more Caribbean storm development, rather than the Cape-Verde storms which come across the Atlantic. We are praying that we will not see any development this year. However, if something does develop, we have less notice because of the proximity of the Caribbean to the United States. This reminds us to pay attention, and to continue to use our authority to protect life and property through intercessory prayer.

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A Slow Hurricane Season?

CapeVerdeSeveral sources are reporting that this has been the slowest start to a hurricane season on record. Those reports are incorrect. The erroneous reports state that this is the first season on record that we have not had an Atlantic hurricane by this time. However, the Weather Channel found five hurricane seasons where the first Atlantic hurricane did not form until September (67, 84, 88, 01, 02). While this certainly is a season with a slow start, we will have to get through September 11 with no hurricanes in order to set a record.

Even though this isn’t yet a record breaking season, it certainly has had a slow start. One of the reasons for such a slow start is that there is a large area of dry air over the Atlantic. None of the storms coming off Africa—the so called Cape Verde-type storms—have been able to survive passage through that dry air. Those of us who live in hurricane-prone areas truly appreciate that. This South Floridian extends his thanks to everyone who has prayed against hurricane force winds this season. I’m certain the dry air is an answer to our prayers and intercession.

However, the Lord has shown us that we are not out from under threat, no matter how slow the season may seem. The National Hurricane Center would heartily agree. We have much of the season in front of us. Even if we successfully fend off all the Cape Verde-type storms so that none become hurricanes, we still have those late season Caribbean disturbances to deal with. As if that isn’t enough to keep us on the prayer wall at this time, the Lord has also given us some indication that a storm may develop in an unusual way in order to get around our normal prayer patterns. I don’t know exactly what that means, but it will keep me on the alert.

The last time a hurricane did something that got through our defenses was in 2005. At that time, we simply did not expect significant hurricane threats to come at us from the west. Though we watched hurricane Wilma closely, and even prayed about her in our regular meetings, we didn’t call a special prayer meeting. Forecasters told us that Wilma would be a spent storm as it hit Florida’s west coast. Since it had to travel a hundred miles over land to get to us on the east coast, we didn’t think it was much of a problem. So when Wilma strengthened as it passed over Florida, and released destruction in our area, we learned a lesson and closed that gap in our understanding.

While we certainly still have gaps in our understanding, we can learn. We can ask the Lord to teach us how to pray even more effectively in this arena. We can ask the Lord to teach us more about the intricacies of hurricane development so that we can counter any plans from Satan’s Kingdom to get one through.

Do I believe that we can stop every hurricane? I think the biblical answer to that question is obvious. The one who quieted a raging storm with a word has given us his authority (See Matthew 16:18-19). He has also called us to stand in the gap for our geographic areas (See Ezekiel 22:30). Until he warns me that the gap is too large to cover, I will pray believing that our prayers will stop hurricanes from hitting our area of influence.

Can our prayers stop any hurricanes from developing this year? Or at least delay them to the point that we do set a record for the slowest start to a hurricane season? Let’s continue to pray, and find out.
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Chantal’s Short Run

ChantalTropical storm Chantal, the first Cape Verde-type tropical cyclone of the season, sputtered to an ignominious end yesterday afternoon, days earlier than expected. While forecasters are blaming several key atmospheric conditions, I believe that the real cause of its demise rests on the prayers of Kingdom people.

When I last spoke to Bob Jones, a prophetic voice who has an incredible record of predicting storms, he urged me to get the word out to churches in Florida and other coastal areas about the importance of praying for their geographic area this year. He is very concerned that there are areas where the Church is not praying against storms. This could be a costly mistake this year, especially for Florida. If we do not take the time to use our authority, we should not be surprised if bad things happen to our area of influence. It is that simple.

Bob also told me that the season would begin early this year. Chantal has fulfilled Bob’s word about the early start to the hurricane season. Chantal became a named storm late Sunday evening, July 7, and ended on Wednesday. Even so, it fulfilled Bob’s prediction, and may be a harbinger of a busy storm season. Dr. Jeff Master’s, from wunderground.com, wrote this about Chantal’s early formation:

Formation of a tropical storm east of the Lesser Antilles Islands in early July from an African tropical wave is an uncommon occurrence. Since Atlantic hurricane records began in 1851, there have been only thirteen tropical depressions or tropical storms that have formed July 15 or earlier that have passed through the Lesser Antilles, an average of one early-season tropical cyclone every thirteen years. Note that two of these storms, Dennis and Emily, occurred during the notorious Hurricane Season of 2005. There were five other pre-July 16 storms that formed east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, but did not pass through the islands (Bertha of 2009, Barry of 1989, and tropical depressions in 1967, 1978, and 2001 that did not become named storms.)

He then adds why he believes this portends a busy season:

Chantal’s formation on July 8 is an usually early date for formation of the season’s third storm, which usually occurs on August 13. A large number of early-season named storms is not necessarily a harbinger of an active season, unless one or more of these storms form in the deep tropics, south of 23.5°N. According to Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray, leaders of Colorado State’s seasonal hurricane forecasting team,

“Most years do not have named storm formations in June and July in the tropical Atlantic (south of 23.5°N); however, if tropical formations do occur, it indicates that a very active hurricane season is likely. For example, the seven years with the most named storm days in the deep tropics in June and July (since 1949) are 1966, 1969, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2005, and 2008. All seven of these seasons were very active. When storms form in the deep tropics in the early part of the hurricane season, it indicates that conditions are already very favorable for TC development. In general, the start of the hurricane season is restricted by thermodynamics (warm SSTs, unstable lapse rates), and therefore deep tropical activity early in the hurricane season implies that the thermodynamics are already quite favorable for tropical cyclone (TC) development.”

Two of this season’s three storms have formed in the deep tropics–Tropical Storm Barry, which formed in the Gulf of Mexico’s Bay of Campeche at a latitude of 19.6°N, and now Tropical Storm Chantal, which formed at a latitude of 9.8°N. With recent runs of the GFS model predicting formation of yet another tropical storm southwest of the Cape Verde Islands early next week, it appears that the Atlantic is primed for an active hurricane season in 2013.

In response to Chantal, and out of an abundance of caution, we scheduled a prayer meeting last evening to stand in authority against any negative consequences of this system. However, before we could gather, the storm had degenerated to a tropical wave. We had prayed against the system on Sunday, before it became a named storm, however, we thought we would take another shot at it last night. When it dissipated, we canceled our meeting. If Bob Jones and Doctor Masters are correct, we will have other opportunities to gather.

Get the word out. It is time to stand in our authority (see Matthew 16:19).
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Turning Away Hurricanes

StoppingtheStormAfter speaking with a prophetic mentor today, I felt I needed to issue this warning about what he has seen about this hurricane season. As I wrote in an earlier post (see The 2013 Hurricane Season), Bob Jones had seen a threat to our South Florida area this year. In that post I wrote: “Bob told me that he had seen at least one [hurricane] that we would need to push away, but that he was confident that we would be able to do so.”

He reiterated that same thing to me today, but added some sobering things. He believes that the storm that he has seen is a powerful storm that would bring a lot of damage wherever it hits. The good news is that he is confident that our congregation, and those who are praying with us for our area of influence, will be able to turn the storm away. The bad news is that as we turn this storm away, it will turn toward other vulnerable areas where the intercessory coverage, and the understanding of intercessory authority, may not be as developed. He has asked me to get the word out to as many leaders as I can. He wants entire coastlines protected by churches who understand their authority in Jesus Christ.

Bob asked me to remind people that we have the keys of authority that Christ has won for us. When we ask the Lord to intervene in things over which he has given us authority, we ask amiss. We need to take authority over storm systems and command them not to come into our arenas of influence. Bob said that we have enough degrees in the body of Christ, now we need decrees. That doesn’t mean that education isn’t good, or that the pursuit of educational degrees is somehow bad, but we should seek to grow in Christ’s authority even as we aspire to further education. While degrees are optional, standing in Kingdom authority is not.

Jesus taught us clearly on this topic. He said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19 NASB). He has given us the keys of authority, we must use them in accord with heaven. As the Head of the Church, the Lord issues decrees in heaven, then his Body binds or looses on the earth according to his decrees. Our authority derives from Christ’s finished work, and our direction comes through the Holy Spirit, but we are the ones exercising the authority he has given to us on this earth. If we choose not to use that authority on the earth, or do not understand our authority, we cannot blame heaven. We need look no further than the mirror. We have a job to do, and we must do it.

Please do what you can to stir up intercession during this hurricane season. We do not walk in fear. Peace is our mandate, and a major part of our protection. God will protect his people, but we also want to protect our regions as those who stand in the gap. The Lord is still looking for those, who like Abraham and Moses, intercede for those who deserve judgment. His heart is revealed in Ezekiel, “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30). His is still looking for those who will build the walls of protection, who will stand in the gap between grace and judgment, and release mercy to a region.
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Hurricane Warnings

FLLBeachLast week, the Lord indicated that Dawn and I were to visit and pray over three separate beaches in our county. This is the first time in our fifteen year history of praying against hurricanes that he has given us such a directive. My faith is normally modeled upon that of the Centurion who sought Jesus’ aid for his servant (see Matthew 8:5-13). When Jesus granted the Centurion’s request, the Centurion pointedly told Jesus that he did not need Jesus to come to his geographic location. The Centurion knew that Jesus could provide the aid by simply giving the orders. In the same way, I have realized that when a group of believers gathers together at their place of worship, they can release protection across their area of influence without necessarily going to every location personally. But this year, assuming we heard him correctly, he sent us to the beaches in person.

Why? I don’t know exactly, however, I can hazard some educated guesses. First of all, I think he wanted to remind us just how lost our beach culture is. Even though we live in the Fort Lauderdale area, we almost never get to the beaches. I suspect that the Lord wanted to show me what has happened in the years since Fort Lauderdale divested itself of Spring Break. While we are no longer an attraction for Spring Breakers, we certainly haven’t lost the sensual indulgence or the immodest apparel which were the hallmarks of that era. In fact, the apparel has become more immodest as the years have gone by. As we walked the beaches, we not only prayed against storms, we also prayed for the many spiritually needy souls whom we encountered along the way.

The second reason he may have called us to the beaches probably has to do with our increased need. We are holding our second prayer meeting of the season this evening, and events on the ground might have changed over the years so that personal involvement is more necessary. The Lord has taught us over the years that the more wickedness a region tolerates, the more susceptible to hurricanes (or other disasters) that region becomes. It’s as if our indulgence in sin pushes the protecting hand of the Father away from a region. Satan is looking for any gap that he can send disaster through in order to torment people. He is always seeking ways to kill, steal, and destroy (see John 8:44 and John 10:10). As the Father’s hand of protection is pushed away, intercessors must stand in the gap for their region. As that hand of protection is pushed even further away, they must increase their intercessory activity to match the gap between God’s protection and Satan’s hatred. While we did not have to walk the beaches in the past, it might now be a normal part of our activity, at least until revival and repentance are granted to our region (thus closing the gap again).

In any case, the Lord’s direction highlighted something I stated in my last post. We can expect some level of storm activity this season for the South Florida area (as well as other regions). If there were no specific threat, I doubt that the Lord would have sent us to the beaches.

I also have another specific word from the Lord about a strategy that Satan has released against our region this year. I’m not going to explain what that strategy is, simply because we will be dismantling it in tonight’s prayer meeting. However, the very fact that the Lord gave us a specific strategy indicates that we are countering some level of increased threat.

We are at a very early point in the hurricane season. The Lord is preparing his troops to bring protection to their areas of influence. I am grateful for every direction and strategy he releases to us. He does not delight in death and destruction (see Ezekiel 18:23). So he helps us stand in the gap for our regions of influence. Pay attention to the strategies he is giving you. They may make all the difference this season.
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