Tsunami of Prayer

As I watched more Earthquake/Tsunami footage, waited and prayed. I also couldn’t help but ponder about what the Bible has to say about the nature of Holy God. From the very opening words of Scripture it says “In the beginning God…” !  It serves as a great reminder that as modern or technologically sophisticated we may believe ourselves to be, man is still the created and God remains the Creator and Sovereign.

I learned that Japan is frequently esteemed for it’s disaster readiness. I then contrasted that with the thought that although they may be prepared for an earthquake or other natural disaster are they really ready for their future?

As I spent the entire night without sleep I was fasting in prayer. I thought about how somehow appropriate it was that this was happening during the season of Lent; a time of darkness awaiting the coming light. I drew many analogies to what was happening in Japan and our attempts in my city, state, county and nation for building a Christian Emergency Network. This being a group of people who serve the community during times of distress by not only helping meet their physical needs, but also addressing their spiritual needs. Disasters come and go, but the power of the Gospel is an everlasting deliverance.

I literally had hours to focus on what God was doing in the Midnight Hours!! At this time when I would normally have been asleep for hours and not even known about what was happening on the other side of the world I was having a study in the impact of prayer.

WHY? Isn’t that often the question at such times as this?

Why am I really up now? Do I not trust that God has everything under control? Am I grotesquely “rubber necking” at the images playing out in the footage from the other side of the world? I had to really pray “search my heart oh Lord, and let me know if there is any wicked way in me. Reveal any sin in me so that I may repent and be in good standing with you and with others.” I know the importance of coming into His presence with a clean heart so that I would not be offensive to Him. I want my time of prayer and seeking God to be one of communion in a sweetness that grows my relationship with Him as I long to learn more about God and how to be transformed into a more accurate image of who He created me to be.

After I addressed these concerns I was better able to focus on reaching out over the world-wide web to people with news as it was happening live. This is a passion of mine; communication through using visual new media in order to take people I may never have met and be able to encourage and equip them. “Coming alongside” also meaning “to comfort”  the Greek word paraklesis — the very act of doing life “together” is what the church is called to do I believe. The “Helper” that Jesus said He was going to send when He went away was the Holy Spirit — the paraklete. I get so stirred up with the Holy Spirit at such times that it is like this Tsunami Wave crossing the Pacific…it’s traveling great distances at high speed (500 – 700 m.p.h.) and is anticipated to have an impact!

WHAT IS A TSUNAMI?

Being from the land-locked Midwest United States, many of the people I live around haven’t a clue what a Tsunami is. Therefore, I thought I would use this short little clip to help explain:Wave-generation-characteristics-recession-inundation

So a Tsunami is generated by a sudden shock. It is NOT a gigantic wave but is more like a surging high tide in fast motion. Out at sea where the ocean floor is so deep there may be no little elevation of a “wave” detectable. However, as the Tsunami wave reaches the shoreline and shallower ocean floor, the elevation of the wave will increase. In fact, as Tsunami is nearing the shore, a sudden very outgoing tide may signal the impending trouble soon to follow. Just as it is often “darkest before the dawn”; it is often an extremely fast outgoing low tide tsunami tide feeder right before the incoming high tsunami tide comes surging in.

We saw that principle at work after the New Orleans flooding disaster a few years back. Tremendous loss of life and property, a very dark time for many people and their communities. Then, just as God always does … the light of goodness comes shining thru. God’s light doesn’t just trickle in either, it FLOODS in to overtake the darkness. How does God do this? Through prayer.  Don’t you see? We are given the awesome honor of being able to join in a concert of prayer! Today, with our connectivity through the internet and mobile devices, more than ever we are able to reach out at any time of day or night and say “here I am,” “I am here with you,” and “let’s pray.” Isn’t that exciting?

One of my favorite songs talks refers to the story in the Bible where Jesus halted the raging storm with a word. Some of the lyrics say, ” sometimes he calms the storm, other times he calms the child.” That is to say, when we go through these “storms” of troubles, as I pray for God to “stop the storm,” but IF I am praying according to His will, I think I will pray like Jesus did in Gethsemene before He went to die to take on punishment for sins He never committed. . . “Father please let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not MY will, but THINE be done.”

It seems so often that when I have prayed this way for others God either changes their situation to a more acceptable/comfortable one OR God causes such growth through both the person and me that I then see the “why” more clearly. When I still don’t see the “why” I firmly stand on “His ways are higher than my ways… I am His child always and forever… He loves me and will only do what is best for me.” And that goes for any of my brothers and sisters in the Lord as well.

UPDATE:

My friend in Maui reports that they had only about six foot waves and had a photo on his FaceBook page from their hotel where there were a couple of people actually out in the rough surf. That is not smart. In fact, upper California or Oregon had a person or two swept out and lost at sea for such foolish activity. Another analogy for those who will not heed a warning and believe “it’s not that bad” or “it doesn’t apply to ME”.

Santa Barbara, I waited as long as I could before writing this post, but Sue had not called me back so I found out through an online source that the beaches had been closed along the California coast as a precaution. However, they just warned people in the marina, and told swimmers and surfers to remain out of the water until the all-clear is given.

So no harm done to either of the places and people that I was praying fervently for all night long. That is, those that I already knew. However, my prayers are continuing for the people of Japan!! There have been reports of hundreds, but I suspect more like thousands of deaths. Plus I keep going back to the thought of the ripping hearts of the mothers and thier babies separated, unable to communicate. Also the myriads of people who are stuck without transportation walking towards there homes; not knowing if their homes are even there. Remember, it is also very COLD! There are some emergency shelters, but those will be full and stretched in resources. Families are certainly separated, unable to locate one another. Are they safe? God only knows !

Therefore, I will continue the tsunami wave of prayer for the relief and rescue efforts that are no doubt underway even now. I am exhausted! I have been up for nearly 2 solid nights now. However, since I have posted this, I am going to be able to get to sleep knowing that God is at work in all this.

As mighty as the power of that earthquake was, and as devastating as the resulting waves of destruction across Japan – God Himself is the ALL-Mighty who never sleeps nor slumbers. It is night now, I must sleep. I will do so with the glorious hope of the approaching light of a brighter tomorrow!


 

 

 


Historical Disaster – Tsunami of Prayer

Historical: the last 24 hours has been one of those days that I will always remember. I was just about to go to bed at about 2 a.m. ET (W-5) when I heard on the radio that there had been a massive 8.9 earthquake off of the eastern shore of Japan! This is the 5th strongest quake since 1900 in the world and was followed by numerous aftershocks which were high enough magnitude to do further damage.

It was what followed that would cause me to go into a sleepless overnight vigil of watching live footage and praying. Although the epicenter was offshore, it spawned a tsunami that reached 23 feet high as it crashed upon the northeastern coastal city of Sendai in Miyagi prefecture (state) which was closest land to the epicenter.

Footage from cellphones and helicopters, security cameras and other such means documented live as the churning ocean surged inland taking sizable boats, buildings, trucks, cars, houses, people . . . everything in it’s path was being devoured and destroyed by this sudden natural disaster.  Suddenly, Tokyo which was over 230 miles away from the quake’s epicenter was literally being rocked and shocked as the specially designed earthquake resistant buildings swayed with great strength in the middle of the bustling workday.

EVERYTHING CHANGED IN AN INSTANT

In a moment… the blink of an eye, people were jerked out of their everyday workday routines into a state of controlled panic. I say “controlled” only because it is true that Japan is noted as being one of the most practiced in emergency readiness countries in the world. Truthfully, the footage of many people did show remarkable calm being maintained as they seemed to act by rote practice of emergency drills. Only — this was NOT a drill, which was apparent as slabs of drywall fell from the ceiling of a department store, a bronze statue lie on the sidewalk next to the pedestal upon which it had been perched while a citizen was performing CPR on a victim and others cried as yet another aftershock (some in 6.0 range) caused even more of building frontages to fall down narrowly missing people moving about. Meanwhile, there were two women holding some kind of pillow over their heads, standing in doorways trying to avoid further harm.

In that moment… members of the Japanese Parliment were forced to stop there stately deliberations as more urgent matters had presented themselves in the strongest possible “tabling of a motion”. At this same time, co-workers in office buildings were shown hustling under their desks while books, papers and computers fell all around them. Another person was seen in a supermarket with grocery packages crashing to the floor amidst the isles of rocking shelves while the attendant struggled simply to remain standing on her feet!

What we did not see in these video snippets were the no-doubt terrified children in daycare and school situations. Oh how my heart cried out for them and their mothers. I remember what it was like in the mid 0’s when tornadoes struck in the middle of the day when we kids were separated from our families (and that was in an era before cell phones). Since power went out with electrical grids, phone service and the nuclear power plant wisely shut down, the ways of connecting between family members was suddenly shut down.

Roads could be seen with gigantic fissures and cracks of displacements running 4 feet apart. The overhead highways were closed for closed to prevent further damage during the severe after shocks under heavy load of traffic. Additionally, the Bullet train transportation lines were shut down as the lines would need to be inspected before further use. There were even people literally stuck inside airplanes at the airport and others who made there way from the terminal to wait on top of the building. What we viewers don’t realize is that it was also frigid cold and raining!!

There are now famous video footage clippings of waves crashing over bridges and roads while cars try to speed away in vain. Tsunamis travel at 500-700 miles per hour! I saw a sea of debris consisting of buildings, floating vehicles, a large white boat, houses, surging across obvious villages and farmland. I could not believe what my eyes were seeing. It was so catastrophic!

GROWING AREA OF CONCERN

I think it was about 3 a.m. or so when the USGS announced that the entire Pacific region was in a state of high alert with Tsunami warning going out to Hawaii Islands and even the Western Coast of the United States! The footage continued and they soon put up projections on when the Tsunami would hit Hawaii at about 8 a.m. our time and then U.S. about 11:30 our time.

There was NO WAY I was going to be able to sleep now!! I was watching the footage, crying out to God in prayer, calling upon the truth of Scripture to try to make sense of what I was witnessing. I saw people standing on bridges as hundreds of cars and fragments of villages churned under the bridges they were standing on.

I tweeted to #prayforthepacific which was a hash tag that was coined by one of my creative friends in Italy. And since it was going to involve more than #Japan I though it was best. However, the main thing that I wanted to do was keep up with information as it came live and post much to #indyprayer and #prayer. This area of prayer is my foundational rock in times of trouble… and this was definitely such a time.

One of my FaceBook friends was in a Westin Resort about 1/8 a mile from the western edge of Maui. He was telling me that the sirens had been going off for hours, it was the middle of the night there. There had been an earthquake at Hawaii registered at like 4.6 within half-hour of the Japan big quake. A few of my Pacific coast friends were still up late and we were talking to David. He told us that although CNN was reporting that the Western Coast of the Hawaiian Islands were in danger and should evacuate, his hotel would be doing a vertical evacuation. They believed the resort would withstand the coming wave and would simply move guests up two or three floors.

The constant waiting and prayer was so hard, but I was feeling more and more peaceful about Hawaiian Islands and Santa Barbara, California (where we had lived on West Coast of U.S.for ten years). The scientists were saying that the reefs had a tendency to diminish the wave height. Still I did remember when the Santa Barbara Pier was quite damaged from a particularly bad storm and the beaches were a mess afterwards. It also threatened a few of our favorite restaurants and a bike shop where my husband and I had worked which was below sea level. That was then, this was now.

See NEXT POST . . . Tsunami of Prayer

God of Power; God of Details

I just received an update from the Silverbergs regarding Baby Jonah’s continued struggle in critical care. They have very specific needs and I am thankful that this update is succinct and specific as to how we can pray for them. As the world focuses on this mornings devastating 8.9 earthquake off Japan and the ensuing Pacific Tsunami (I will be doing another post on that after supper), please also remember the Silverberg family in your prayers.

Dear Praying Family,
” The Lord’s Mercies are New Every Morning”
Thank you so very much for your love, prayers and support.
Jonah had another crisis on Wed
He had a virus and very high fever.
Valerie said he had thew RSV virus, caught from human contact.
The doctors could not control the fever. His heart rate was over 200 beats/ min.
for most of the day. The doctors and nurses worked feverishly over him.
Valerie told me as she watched, she was afraid he was dying, and the Doctors
couldn’t stop it from happening.
Well. Praise to the Lord, he began to come around and do better.
Val spent the night again at the hospital on Wed.
Jonah is not well but doing a little better.
We are still seeking help w/ someone to stay w/ Jonah when Val is not there.
We are also looking for the right person to hire for some nights w/ Jonah.
We are very thankful for the young women who did this to help us for 2 1/2 weeks.
Naomi was a huge blessing. How wonderful for her Family and Church to allow her to come
all the way from upstate NYand stay for that time. She asked for nothing in return. Only to
be a blessing.
It has now been over 2 weeks since she had to leave.
Also, we are praying for someone who can help on a regular basis  w/ our 3 children, form 2-9 PM,
like 5 days a week. Or a part of that time or days. We need some continued regularity  for the
childrens’ sake.
Josh is a handful, so the situation needs to be appropriate, as I will be home some of that time.
When Jonah comes home, we will still need the help.
If we lived by the Church, some folks would help. We live several neighborhoods away, and no one
in the Church has a vehicle. We also live by a different subway line.
Please pray w/ us for the Lord to provide the above mentioned help.
Thank you again, so very much for being there for us to rest our burdens on.
We love you very much,
In Christ’s Love,
Marty for Val
The God who can keep all the powers of the giant waves or quaking of the earth from completely anhilating all life in the Pacific this last fifteen hours is also concerned about the details of who can sit bedside with a tiny baby in the Bronx. There is nothing outside of our Sovereign’s sight and care!