Televangelist Pat Robertson broke out a prayer that sounded more like a wizard’s spell as he attempted to block the approach of Hurricane Florence. The massive storm is on a path to strike the Carolinas later this week, prompting mass evacuations in coastal areas.
When I saw this story today and watched the video, I must confess that I was shocked to see how weak and frail televangelist Pat Robertson has become. He has not been one of the ones I have paid much attention to since becoming a Christian back in 1991, but have tuned in occasionally.
He is being held up today as an object of ridicule because he led his congregation in a prayer for Hurricane Florence to be ‘turned back’ in Jesus Name. The story on Yahoo News, originally published on HuffPost, likened his prayer to a “wizard’s spell” calling it an “incantation”. So please allow me the liberty to stand up for Pat, and for our Christian faith.
“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:37-39 (KJV)
The lost world, no doubt, does see our faith in the Jewish Messiah as something akin to “wizardry”, and our prayers akin to “incantations”, because there is no Holy Spirit of God inside them. Can Pat Robertson’s prayer really turn back the Category 4 Hurricane Florence? I don’t know, but let me ask you this. Can prayer turn back the cancer in my friend Brittany? Can prayer bring a lost loved one home? Can prayer break the chains that bind the struggling alcoholic or drug addict? I think you already know the answer to that.
Yes, a thousand times yes!
As Christians sometimes we are called to have huge faith, and pray really big prayers. This is what the God we serves calls us to, faith and trust in Him. Remember the day you asked Jesus to save you and then trusted Him with your eternal destiny? That is many times bigger than a prayer for an hurricane to change direction. But you prayed it anyway, despite the odds, and God granted your petition. Our God is the God of the really big prayer, the God of the impossible, the One who hold the entire Universe in the palm of His hand.
Can I ask you to do something? Let’s pray for Hurricane Florence to change her course. I have lived through the eyes of both Hurricanes Matthew and Irma since 2016 here in Florida, and I know first hand how hard enduring one of those storms can be. I may not always agree with Pat or some of his doctrinal stands and positions, but in this case I am standing with him as a fellow Christian in the Body of Christ, against a mocking world who couldn’t care less about God, and will be praying that God will blow on Hurricane Florence and send her packing out to sea. And if God allows Florence to come forward, let’s pray that the people in that area will be safe and have what they need to get through this very powerful storm.
In Jesus Name, amen.
FROM YAHOO NEWS:Speaking in Virginia, home of his Christian Broadcasting Network and in the potential path of the storm, Pat Robertson cited a Bible passage in which Jesus commanded the wind and water on the Sea of Galilee to “be still.”
Then the preacher said he and his followers could accomplish the same “if we are together with one accord.” In a clip posted online by Right Wing Watch, he asked followers to “put a hand out toward the Atlantic” and repeat an incantation.
“In the name of Jesus, you Hurricane Florence, we speak to you in the name of Jesus, and we command the storm to cease its forward motion and go harmlessly into the Atlantic. Go up north away from land and veer off in the name of Jesus. We declare in the name of the lord that you shall go no farther, you shall do no damage in this area.”
He also declared a “shield of protection” over the Virginia area in which he was speaking and around “innocent people” in the storm’s path.
“In Jesus’ holy name, be out to sea!” he called out.
He warned followers that they must have no doubts in their faith for the ritual to work but added that the “shield” has worked against previous hurricanes. “It’s almost hilarious to see them try,” he said. “They try to get in and they can’t, and then they go north and they turn around, try to come back in. They can’t do it.”
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.” Matthew 21:21 (KJV)