The Power of God and the Power of Prayer
Posted by Luther D. Powell on July 5, 2012
My area has been hit with some nasty storms in the past week. Scattered counties in Ohio have lost electricity for days, and folks are still cleaning up the mess of trees and debris everywhere. The worst of the storms hit me last Friday and my best friend, who lives a three-minute drive away from me, just got power back in his house last night. With the face-meltingly-intense heat we’ve had these past few weeks, I imagine anybody who doesn’t have electricity isn’t having a good time.
The afternoon the storm hit my house was pretty scary. I had just played a level of Plants vs. Zombies when I heard the rumble of distant thunder. I thought, “Better let the cat inside.” So I go to the front door and open it. Eunice runs in. Clouds are a bland, overcast grey. No rain. Wind seems calm, too calm. Then I look to my left and see the meanest, nastiest monster of a cloud, dark and greenish-grey, rolling towards me. “Ooh boy, this looks bad.” I stepped back inside and the second I got the door closed, a ferocious gust of wind and rain erupted all around my house. This storm came out of nowhere!
Turned on the TV to check the news and there were severe thunderstorm warnings scrolling along the bottom of nearly every channel. “Ya don’t say?” 80 mile an hour winds. Said people in my county should seek shelter because the storm had become “extremely dangerous.” It wasn’t letting up. Stuff was flying everywhere and it basically sounded like a train outside. I figure, “Shelter…yeah, good idea.”
The electricity started flickering. Now, the power has gone out during some wimpy storms over here, but I could tell this was bad. Did I mention I was home alone? As I scrambled through the house to find matches and candles, I prayed frantically, “Please, God, don’t let the power go out, please help me find some stupid candles fast enough, please don’t let our house blow down, please protect my house and those around it, in Jesus’ name, please help my family drive home safely, please take care of my friends through this, PLEASE DON’T LET THIS HOUSE BLOW DOWN!”
I couldn’t decide whether I would run to the crawlspace or try to light some candles before our power would go out permanently. The wind would die down a little, pick back up, die down, pick up, and every so often I ran to a window to see the damage outside. A tree in our front yard fell over. I prayed like a crazy person, got some candles lit, then paced the hallway waiting for the wind to die down again.
After fifteen or twenty minutes of hurricane-proportion winds, rain, hail, thunder and lightning, my older sister made it home from work in one piece. She had a rough time driving through the storm because power lines and trees were all over the road! After another ten minutes, my parents came home as well. The storm had calmed by then, and we still had power.
I think storms are beautiful, when they’re not tearing my neighborhood up. They showcase God’s power, and only but a hint of it. You can say goodbye to anything man-made if the winds blow hard enough. People question God’s motives behind storms all the time, and some horrible things have happened to people during fits of nature’s rage. It’s easy to wonder, “Why would God do that?” or rather, “Why would God let that happen?”
Been reading in Exodus lately, and I’ve noticed a pattern in the story of the plagues of Egypt. Whether or not Moses would ask God why He threw so much stuff on Egypt instead of just setting the Israelites free in the first place, God made His reasoning quite clear time after time:
“So you will know that I am God.”
We puny humans not only forget this way too easily, but I don’t think we ever dwell on the weight of that statement even when we do keep it in mind. For many worldly thinkers, it’s a bit too much to handle. So God creates us, claims to love us, and then He drops softball-sized hailstones on the windshield of our cars. What’s so loving about that, right?
First of all, God cursed the ground after Adam and Eve sinned; the Earth goes nuts and gives us whirlwinds because we made it that way when we fell. Second, God has literally told us in our own language –which He GAVE us, by the way– that He can and will take away from us, and give back abundantly, to remind us that He’s in control. God loves us so much that He will remove the things that distract us from Him, knowing we need Him most. He’s also loving enough to give us the power of prayer, which, in my case, kept my house from losing electricity. I firmly believe this. Everybody I came into contact with after the storm told me that my house should not have had power anymore, but it did. We never lost electricity. And get this: we lost our cable, our internet, and our phone services. I didn’t pray that we’d keep those, but I prayed we’d keep our electricity. Coincidence? I kinda doubt it, because God has a great sense of humor about those little things.
The next time you’re caught in a beast of storm, remember these things: God isn’t doing this (or allowing, if you will) because He hates you, or because He just felt like messing up your stuff. He’s reminding you that you’re mortal, imperfect like the world around you, and in this flawed reality, you need Him more than anything else. If you pray, He will listen, because He wants you to acknowledge Him.
Luther D. Powell
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