The Point: Pray for Houston

Please pray for Houston. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

The images coming from Houston, south Texas, and Louisiana are absolutely staggering. We must pray for them, that God would protect those in danger. That He would provide shelter, clothing, and food to all those in need. Pray for the police, firefighters, the National Guard, and all the volunteers. Pray for local and state and federal officials that are coordinating relief efforts.

And please pray for churches in Houston and the surrounding areas and states, that they’ll do what Christians throughout history have always done in the face of disaster—run into it, and not away from it.

Even now, let’s pray: God of compassion, You hear the cries of all those who are in trouble or distress; accept our prayers for those whose lives are affected by storms and flooding: strengthen them in their hour of need, grant them perseverance and courage to face the future and be to them a firm foundation on which to build their lives. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 


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  • Phoenix1977

    So first your god causes misery (or at least allowed it to happen) in the form of a hurricane and next you pray to him for relief? Fascinating …

    • Scott

      Ever the antagonist. : – )

      The question of suffering is not a new one to Christianity. In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis stated the argument like this: “If God were good, He would wish to make His creatures perfectly happy, and if He were almighty, He would be able to do what He wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore, God lacks either goodness, or power, or both.” He also follows up with perhaps one of the best answers to this critique. I will not spoil it in hopes that you might choose to read C.S. Lewis’ book, but I can quote for you a small part of his well articulated answer:

      “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world… No doubt pain as Gods megaphone is a terrible instrument; it may lead to a final and unrepented rebellion. But it gives the only opportunity the bad man can have for amendment. It removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.”

      Of course this does not directly address natural disasters but those are mentioned in his reply to this argument. This is however the one quote from that section that I have committed to my memory… as it resonates with this bad man. : – )

      • Lily

        The book is called “Problem of Pain,” not “Mere Christianity” 🙂

        • Scott

          Yes!.. Thanks Lily! Sorry Phoenix… “Problem of Pain” discusses this topic in further depth than” Mere Christianity” (the shorter version of his theory is in Mere Christianity). Both great books although I like “Mere Christianity better… maybe that is why I tried to credit it falsely! : – )

          Many apologies!

      • Phoenix1977

        “Ever the antagonist. : – )”
        You need one in every discussion 🙂

        I like your quote of Lewis’ theory (and perhaps I should read the entire piece) but, as we see for the better part of a century now, that rebellion indeed has happened. I know, for me, the existence of human suffering (the African famines, for example) led to the first cracks in my faith. And the more I studied the history of Christianity the more cracks came to be. The final breaking point was both my pastor, who claimed I was acting in a blasphemous way by questioning god’s actions and intentions and I should simply trust in the church and the bible without having critical thoughts (big mistake to tell me to follow blindly) and, of course, my sexuality.
        And I keep saying it’s ludicrous to pray after a disaster that cost you your home and everything you owned to the same deity with the power to have prevented the disaster to begin with.

        • Scott

          “The final breaking point was both my pastor, who claimed I was acting in a blasphemous way by questioning god’s actions and intentions and I should simply trust in the church and the bible without having critical thoughts (big mistake to tell me to follow blindly) and, of course, my sexuality.”

          It is not wrong to question your own faith… perhaps your pastor didn’t have a good answer at the time or enough patience (and time) to walk with you through your questions. I will not condemn him for a mistake that anyone could have made although it grieves me. If he would have had more patience and attempted to walk with you through these questions, would you have been open to listening? If so, then perhaps you would be willing to explore how other great thinkers have come to different conclusions about who Jesus is and why they believe God does in fact exist? C.S. Lewis is a good place to start.

          You have told me before that there is 0% chance of you considering going back to the Christian faith… so I respect that. But I also believe the Holy Spirit is above us all… and there is always hope no matter what anyone (including myself) says. : – )

          • Phoenix1977

            “perhaps your pastor didn’t have a good answer at the time or enough patience (and time) to walk with you through your questions.”
            He literally told me all answers to all questions could be found in the bible and if the bible did not hold the answers the questions were not worth asking. And all good Christians should trust the bible and the church that blindly or they are no good Christians. Like I said, I’m not someone for following blindly.

            “If he would have had more patience and attempted to walk with you through these questions, would you have been open to listening?”
            Back then I would have been, although I’m not sure the end result would have been any different. Since then I have experienced too much grief from Christians to ever return to that life.

            “But I also believe the Holy Spirit is above us all… and there is always hope no matter what anyone (including myself) says. : – )”
            To have hope someone needs to have an open mind and an open heart. Mine are closed for Christian faith.

    • Ynot NOW

      So, am I understanding correctly, that you ARE attributing to God the power and sovereignty to cause or withhold a hurricane, but do NOT advocate talking to him about it?

      • Phoenix1977

        Actually the opposite. If your god is so benevolent and loving towards mankind, why would your god allow such an event to take place? Unless he either doesn’t care, doesn’t have the power to stop such an event or doesn’t exist. In those cases talking to him is of very little use.