Stop the presses!  Regardless of the work of morning devotionals, a writer must always be alert to the immediate prompting of the Holy Spirit to ‘hold’ the well-written piece and substitute a more relevant message.  Today’s message has stepped aside for a timely request to PRAY!  From the safety and comfort of our own homes, we see relayed on television the devastation in Texas and Louisiana.  Heart wrenching images of elderly people sitting in nursing homes surrounded by flood waters, waters that have invaded their residence lapping at their tables and chairs!  Next, I see toddlers clinging to the safety of a parent’s arms as they wade through streets in water waste deep.  We must PRAY!  Harvey, the destructive hurricane, is bringing much hurt.

PRAY!  Pray for the first responders, for their safety, their wisdom to assess clearly the immediate need and how to deliver relief for these displaced residents.  Pray for volunteers who have left their own families to help those in critical need.  Pray for those who are donating and for the leaders of organizations who have gathered donations to provide help that is needed.

Pray most of all for the people suffering.  From little children to the elderly, from strong and healthy young adults to the disabled who cannot help themselves, pray for the people caught in the grips of natural disaster.  Pray for pastors and counselors who minister to the emotional and spiritual needs of these hurting people.

Pray to hold back – by the invisible and powerful intervention of the Holy Spirit and the angels of mercy – to hold back the powers of darkness.  People who prey upon the hurting and displaced, people who steal and destroy property belonging to others with no respect or regard, pray that theirs hearts will be turned away from evil and see the power of good!

Here’s a suggestion: Pray Philippians 4:13 and 19 for the workers and volunteers.  “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! And my God shall supply all need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  Pray 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 for those who suffer.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Our Lord and Savior prayed for others – He is our best example!  Chapter 17 of John is a great example of His prayer.  “I do not pray for these alone (those with Him) but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.  That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (verse 20-21).  Knowing His concern for others (which took Him to the cross) let us bow our knees in concern of others and pray for His provision and comfort for everyone involved.  Pray, and give if you can.  Personally, Samaritan’s Purse is my choice for donations.  Together, God’s people CAN make a difference!