Tag Archives: hurricanes

Storms, Bad Storms, and More Storms

Those of you who have followed my blog posts on the Northwest (Watch the Northwest and Are We Done Watching the Northwest Yet?) knew to expect the severe storms that we have been experiencing throughout the United States these last couple of months. Many of you, like the folks at my congregation, have been praying to diminish the strength and ferocity of these storms, and asking the Lord to preserve human life. As the season has progressed, I have found my focus shifting from praying that no bad storms develop, to praying that lives would be preserved in the storms.

I am not saying that we should stop praying that no storms ravage our geographical areas. I will continue to lead my congregation to pray ferociously against any possibility that major storms hit our area of influence. We will release a hedge of protection in intercession that we believe no violent storm will penetrate. But I do not not currently have unlimited authority over every geographic area in the United States. My primary authority lies in the geographical area that God has posted me. As I have prayed against storms in other areas of the United States, I have seen storms, bad storms, and more storms. This has confirmed something that I suspected in January. When I watched the northwest I saw anointed local intercessors in the northwest rise to the challenge and pray for their area. I saw intercessors throughout the United States respond to the call and pray for the northwest. And yet an incredibly bad storm still hit the northwest.

As I wrote in January, I believe the intercessors, especially the local ones, had an impact on the storm which hit the northwest. Here is an excerpt from what I wrote in January:

Since I know that prayers have authority, I can tell you that the storm was not as severe as it could have been. When I alerted the friends whom I had dreamed about in Washington state, they shared that they were already praying against negative weather patterns. They then took the alert I issued to heart and prayed with more focus. As a result, I was not surprised that the Seattle-Tacoma area (where they live) was not hit as hard as had been forecast. At the last minute one of the Low pressure areas dropped a bit further south than expected, and forced the worst weather just to the south of their area. I don’t believe that was an accident. I believe that was a sign of their intercessory authority.

However, even with this victory, the storm still hit. I was, and am, extremely concerned about this. The Lord had told us that what they experienced was going to come to the rest of the United States. Since then, even with all the prayer coverage, we have seen brutal weather patterns and many deaths. I am certainly not saying that the prayers have been ineffective. I believe, especially in view of the severity of the tornado outbreaks, that many more people would be dead without those prayers. I believe the intercessory coverage is having an effect and that we must continue to pray for all those in harms way when storm systems threaten. But I also believe that we are going to see many more storms this year. They will continue to impact all over the United States.

So, my strategy is this: I will continue to raise a hedge around our immediate area of influence so that no storm winds bring damage or death to our area. I will also pray for God’s mercy to be evident throughout the United States as these storms continue to manifest. My main focus outside my immediate area is that life be preserved through the storms. Last week’s outbreak in which 6 people died in Oklahoma highlighted this primary need. I may not be able to stop these storms, but I can sure pray that lives be spared. I suggest this strategy as one that will help focus intercessors throughout the world. Raise hedges of protection around your area, and cry out to heaven for those in harms way outside your area of primary geographic influence. The storms may come, bad storms may occur, and more storms may multiply, but mercy triumphs over every judgment. His mercy is what we desperately need in the face of this stormy onslaught. Cry out for it.

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Watch the Northwest

Last week, while the Lord was speaking to Dawn, my wife, about some of the things that we should be aware of in 2012 (or in the near future beyond 2012), she saw a vision of a compass dropping down in front of her. She knew that the Lord was telling her to watch the Northwest United States. Since the Lord was speaking to her about things that could shake, we assumed it meant that we would see some level of shaking there in the coming year.

When the Lord tells us to watch something, we do just that. We pay close attention to what is currently happening in that place, and we ask that the Lord release more revelation and understanding. If the Lord has mentioned shaking, we understand that mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13). So we pray for shock absorbers for all the people that live in the area, and especially for his people who live there.

This week, the Lord gave me two dreams on the same night that directed my attention Northwest. In the first dream, I saw a friend of mine from Washington state drive his vehicle onto a highway that we all were waiting to get on. I believe that the highway represented the highway into 2012 and beyond. Streams of cars were getting on this highway, and I was waiting to get on the highway. My friend began his trip several hours ahead of me. As I approached the highway, I saw some police officers, so I asked them about the road. They told me there was a major problem a couple hours up the road. I instantly knew that my friend would be drawing near the problem, and that I needed to call him to warn him about it.

This first dream is pretty self-evident. As we all prepare to launch into our 2012 destinies, some of us will get to significant events, and even major problems, ahead of the majority. Those who first encounter the problems will teach the rest of us about the types of things we could encounter on the road ahead. However, even those who encounter the problems first can have warning. I believe the police officers represent the spiritual authorities of the Kingdom of God who have advance information and are willing to share it with us. When we get the information, we pass it along to those who need it.

So, from Dawn’s experience and my dream, I can share this insight: We need to watch the Northwest, and pray for it, because there is going to be a major problem that will teach us about the types of things we can expect as we advance into 2012. We also can alert folks in the Northwest to step into a heightened state of intercessory alert so that they are able to handle whatever is coming their way.

So what kind of problem could be coming to the Northwest? The same night I had the first dream about my friend from Washington state, I also had a second. In the second dream, I was in the state of Washington. I knew a severe storm was coming. In fact, the atmosphere felt like the atmosphere we experience in Florida before a threatening hurricane makes landfall. At one point in this dream, I saw the storm coming across a large bay from another populated area. It was dark and foreboding, and I knew it would be at our location within the hour. At that point, I checked out the house I was going to shelter in. By south Florida standards, the house was ill-prepared to weather the storm. Instead of the concrete, block, and stucco construction that enables us to withstand high winds, the house was a frame house that appeared a little dilapidated. As I took shelter in the basement, I noted that the basement was not secure against the high winds and moisture that I expected. When I listened to the weather report, I learned that the storm had become a category three storm (a major hurricane). As I listened to the report, I realized that it would be a lot safer to stay in the house of the same friend that I had seen in the previous dream. However, I knew he was not home and had not put his shutters up, because the storm was unexpected.

I believe these dreams, and Dawn’s experience, are about a storm coming to Washington state and its vicinity. I am not suggesting that it is a literal hurricane, since water temperatures are too cold for tropical systems. However, the Lord has spoken to me about weather events in the past. Since I live in South Florida, it makes sense he would speak to me in terms I can understand. When a hurricane becomes a category 3 storm, they call it a major hurricane because its winds are between 111 and 130 mph. Winds of that speed do major damage. So, even if the dream is not about a weather event, it is still highlighting a major problem on the road ahead.

One thing I did not mention about the dream may indicate that this is about a weather event. When I was checking out the basement of the house I would be sheltering in, I noted that the basement windows had been replaced by the working end of thin, flimsy, snow shovels. I was a bit disgusted in the dream because I knew that the shovels would provide inadequate protection for what was coming. These shovels could be an interpretative key. They may show us that the problem is a major winter storm.

This would not be the first major winter storm that the Lord has spoken to us about. Back in the summer of 2000, the Lord showed us that a terrible storm was coming to the Mid-Atlantic states. He showed us it would be a Perfect Storm scenario (three storms coming together). He also told us that he could not find anyone to pray about it. I began to share this information with folks who lived in the Mid-Atlantic, but everyone, and I mean everyone, I shared it with, did not believe it referred to a real storm. They thought it symbolized something. So I shared the information with our South Florida congregation, and we began to pray against a perfect storm in the Mid-Atlantic states. We experienced supernatural encounters and confirmations along the way, so we kept praying. Eventually we got to March, 2001. The weather forecasters began to forecast a perfect storm scenario in the Mid-Atlantic for March 5. On March 2, 2001 they began to call it the storm of the century as three systems targeted it. Several governors shut down their states for the expected storm on March 5th. But, embarrassingly, nothing happened. The March 6th, 2001 USA Today called it the Imperfect Storm because it missed. I happen to know why it missed. The Lord found someone to pray.

Now, back to Washington state. I know a storm is approaching, and that it is bringing major problems, but I’m not absolutely certain it’s winter weather, though it could be. Whatever the storm is, they need our help. I have alerted some of the folks there that it is time to pray over a quickly approaching problem. This blog post is intended to alert even more intercessors. This is advance warning so that the Church is able to get it shutters in place. Shutters represent intercessory authority that brings protection to the people of an area. We have been given keys to open and shut (shutters). When things hit us by surprise, we do not have enough time to get the shutters up. The Lord spoke to us about 1999’s Hurricane Irene in 1998 so that we would have enough time to get the shutters up (you can read about that HERE). He spoke to us about the Perfect Storm of 2001 in the summer of 2000 so that we would have time to get the shutters up. He is now giving advance notice of a fast approaching problem so that we can get the shutters up.

We must keep prayer watch over the Northwest at this time. Not only so that we can provide shock absorbers for those who must go through this particular shaking, but also because we will learn about what we can expect in the near future for other parts of the United States. Watching includes praying, and it includes learning from what we see.

Watch the Northwest.

Rina, Friend or Foe?

Earlier this week we celebrated (?) the sixth year anniversary of Hurricane Wilma’s visit to South Florida. Those of us who remember Wilma, have a strange sense of déjà vu as we watch Rina follow a similar late season track around the Caribbean. There are certainly differences between Rina and Wilma, not the least being that the Lord had spoken clearly through major prophetic ministries that 2005 was a season intended to get our eyes firmly on the Lord (a cleansing hurricane year). I have heard no such word this year.

What I have heard, is the Lake Okeechobee needs rain, and the Lord wants to help us with that.

As a result, when I see Rina, I see an opportunity. Obviously, that opportunity is also mixed with a hurricane threat, though forecasters are stating that Rina could lose much of her strength by the time she draws near Florida. Since I remember what they had said about Wilma, and that it would not be as severe as it was, I take forecasts with a grain of salt. To be fair to hurricane forecasters, they always tell you to take intensity forecasts with a grain of salt. They are still developing their science. They do very well, but there are too many variables, and in all reality, too many opportunities for supernatural interaction from both sides, for forecasters to nail it down.

So, since I want Rina’s rain without Rina’s hurricane force winds, I know how to pray. I will pray that Rina has no hurricane force winds as it approaches Florida, and I will also pray against negative flooding rains. But I will ask that it be a beneficial event for South Florida (especially the Lake Okeechobee watershed), a part of the United States that depends on tropical systems such as this to keep its lakes and aquifers healthy.

And I will plan on a wet weekend.

Filling Lake Okeechobee

On the evening of August 7, the evening that starts Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), the Lord told Dawn that we were going to hit a number of home runs at our meeting that night. When Dawn shared this with me, I knew that one of the home runs needed to be our prayer that Lake Okeechobee would fill up.

Lake Okeechobee is an important part of South Florida’s water supply. We have been having problems with the lake’s water levels, because the South Florida Water Management District and the Army Corp of Engineers will not let the lake fill to its normal level of eighteen feet above sea level. The Dikes and Levees surrounding the lake are so compromised and in need of repair (currently being done), that they will not allow the lake to get over fifteen feet above sea level. While this is an important safety measure, it creates a problem for South Florida’s water supply.

Sometimes the dry seasons in South Florida are so dry, that Lake Okeechobee can drop four or five feet before the summer rains fall. When the lake drops below ten feet, we are in trouble. When it drops below nine feet, we are in big trouble, and water restrictions become draconian.

You will understand our need, then, when I report that as of October 1, Lake Okeechobee was at eleven feet above sea level. To make matters worse, our winter dry season has started weeks earlier than normal. Things were looking very bad.

In view of the negative outlook, I knew we must use our authority and pray that Lake Okeechobee would receive abundant amounts of rain quickly. The weather forecasters had stated that there was some sort of tropical disturbance over the Bahamas that would impact Florida on some level over Yom Kippur, so we decided to call it over Lake Okeechobee’s watershed. I really wanted a home run. What would a home run look like? I didn’t really know, but I was hoping we could get close to the twelve foot mark.

In retrospect, that would have only been a double. Yom Kippur turned out to be very wet as the tropical disturbance over the Bahamas did move over South Florida. We didn’t realize how wet things were until the Sun-Sentinel published an article on Saturday calling the weather on October 8, Yom Kippur, a hundred year rain event.

Here are the important quotes from the article in the Sun-Sentinel:

The lake, South Florida’s primary backup water supply, is expected to rise as much as 2 feet because of water draining in from storms in Central Florida . . . . Oct. 8 turned into the wettest day in nearly 100 years for areas near the Kissimmee River, which drains into Lake Okeechobee. Rainfall averaged about 6 inches across 3,000 square miles, with some areas getting as much as 14 inches.

I am already prepared to call this a home run, but I’m really not certain that is the only impact that our prayer has had. We are having a very wet and soggy day in South Florida because of another tropical disturbance some distance to our southwest. I saw the system developing near Mexico on Saturday, and made a mental note to call it in over Lake Okeechobee on Sunday. So, yesterday, we again prayed for rain over Lake Okeechobee and called this system to head toward our area. Today, for the first time, I saw the computer models for this system. As you can see from the graphic, things could get a lot wetter before this system disappears. That can only help the lake’s water levels. Most of the models put the system right over Lake Okeechobee’s watershed on its way over Florida (Lake Okeechobee is marked in blue on the graphic). That would certainly help the lake’s water levels and alleviate a lot of our concern about the dry season.

When you are playing baseball, home runs are beneficial and fun. When you are praying for rain which will help the people and economy of an area, a home run is a powerful reminder of God’s mercy and the authority he has given his people in prayer. We’ve just hit one of those. Let’s keep going after more.

Hurricane Irene: In Which We Leave the Cone Behind

Since I last posted on Irene on Sunday evening, the track of the storm has moved steadily to the east. Yesterday evening South Florida was barely still in the Cone of Uncertainty. Today, South Florida is out of the cone.

There is a sense of relief when a storm’s path shifts away from your region, especially when that storm has intensified so quickly and viciously. There is also a sense of thankfulness that God has given the keys of Kingdom authority to his people so that we can bring protection to our areas of influence.

The Lord recently spoke to us about watchtowers. He showed us watchtowers throughout our land, and that many of them were not manned very well. Those watchtowers not only provide insight, but intercessory protection for an area. When they do not have enough personnel manning them, an area or region is much more vulnerable to the effects of negative events such as Irene.

I mention this because Hurricane Irene is a major threat to the Bahamas and other parts of the United States east coast—And even though South Florida is out of the impact cone, we remember the Irene of 1999 and how it hit by surprise. So we still continue to use our authority to push this storm away from us. But as it passes our watchtower, the primary responsibility for this storm shifts to the geographical area under threat. We certainly join our prayers and our authority to any region under threat, but we are no longer primarily responsible. The watchtowers of that region become primarily responsible.

I once spoke to a prophetic mentor about this spiritual dynamic. My question was simple. If we successfully push a hurricane away from our area, doesn’t that automatically target it somewhere else? If we look at the current situation, Irene was originally targeted for South Florida. Its energy and destructive force would have been spent on us, sparing points further north. Now that Irene has shifted to the east, many more areas are under threat of a major hurricane. You can see why I had the conversation with seasoned veteran of intercessory prayer. His response to me was simple and direct. He said, “I guess they had better learn to pray, too.”

In essence, he was saying that they needed to man their watchtower. So, while storms like this certainly are a threat, they are also a training mission. They are an opportunity to grow in intercessory authority and confidence. God’s purpose is to grow his Church into an intercessory army. That army is tasked to protect geographical areas from things such as hurricanes (or volcanoes, or earthquakes, or tsunamis, or diseases, etc.). If all of the watchtowers up the east coast of the United States are functioning efficiently, then we could expect to see Irene turn out to sea. Every watchtower, every region’s Church, is responsible to build an intercessory hedge around their geographical region.

Can we turn every threat? I believe we can turn every threat unless it is God’s purpose to release a cleansing judgment of some type. But I would never assume that a threat is intended as a cleansing judgment. I would want a clear word from the Lord on that (like we received through Rick Joyner about the 2005 hurricane season), and then I would still pray, trusting in God’s mercy and grace to avert or greatly diminish the judgment anyway.

Irene is a major hurricane threat. While South Florida must continue to pray, other regions now bear more direct responsibility. We will join with them, holding up their arms and cheering as the storm continues to shift out to sea. Our goal must be that this storm churn harmlessly out to sea. And I haven’t forgotten the Bahamas. They are in immediate danger. We must pray that the Irene’s development is delayed until it is past them, also.

We are still in the opening days of the busy part of the hurricane season. We may have much more opportunity to flex our intercessory muscle. We must never weary of this task. Manning a watchtower is not easy, but it is definitely necessary. If Irene hits anywhere as a major hurricane, we will be reminded why.