The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever. The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peacePsalm 29:10-11

     Most glorious and gracious Father, it’s not just media footage from a faraway place. It’s our friends, our families, and our neighborhoods. The wind and water have forced evacuations, damaged homes, and more is coming.

As the sun rises, veiled by threatening storm clouds, we lift our gaze and hearts to you. Irma is big, but you are bigger. We come, no, we run to the one who sits enthroned over the flood—the eternal King, who does all things well. We come praying for Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and beyondfor people and places where stories of hard providences are being written today in many places in the world.

Father, we don’t ask, “Why this crisis?” or “Why us?”, for we know the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous, even as the sun rises on the evil and the good (Matthew 5:45). And we know the present world will never be destroyed again by floodwaters. But there are two things we do ask for—two things King David mentioned in this Psalm, two things you’ve promised—strength and peace.

Grant us all the strength we’ll need to serve one another in love. As the storm continues to spread, more people will be disheartened, despairing, and displaced. Strengthen our hearts, backs, and arms for what lies ahead. This is a time for neighbor-love, not self-preoccupation. Grant us the power of your Spirit.

Grant us all the peace we will need today to act wisely, trust boldly, and love deeply. Help us care for those most vulnerable and anxious. We especially think of the elderly, children, and the homeless. May your peace rule as an umpire in our hearts—centering us, focusing us, and leading us.

Lastly, Father, we praise you for the gospel today—the Rock, the ultimate trustworthy foundation for any and every storm of life (Matthew 7:24-27). Thank you for rescuing us from building our lives on all kinds of shifting sands. Though we may be standing in water today, even more so, we’re standing in your grace. So very Amen, we pray, in Jesus’ strong and peace-giving name.