Sunday, March 29, 2009

Flooding A True Community with Prayer

I'm in the middle of a flood right now, one of tears, as I pray for our close family friends, The St. Johns.

And before you exit away, thinking this is just a personal story, please don't. I believe this story has something for everyone to learn.

You see, our friends are in Fargo, North Dakota, as they experience a natural disaster to go down in the record books. As I sit in my comfy writing chair, my very best friend in the whole world is evacuated from her own home. They are waiting for the waters to recede. Waiting to see if they will have a home that is fit to live in when all is said and done.

What has amazed me as I've watched the news reports is that this place is a true community. They haven't just come together all of a sudden in a disaster. They were a strong community before it happened, and I'm certain they'll be even stronger after. Where I live, and in many cities, the church has to force community, even manufacture it to some degree. THESE PEOPLE live community every single day. My heart is moved by it.

Anyone who knows me knows that "God of The City" is my favorite praise song right now, so when my friend forwarded this to me this morning, I knew that God wanted me to share it. The photos are amazing, and the Word at the end got my eyes to raining again. Please take the time to watch it all the way to the end. Notice the community effort despite the incredible discomfort each one must have experienced.

And please, will you join me in prayer after the video? My heart would be greatly blessed if you would.

Fargo Flood Fight 2009

One more thing. My daughter asked me yesterday why God would allow our precious friends to be moved from Dallas and taken into a situation where they would be in harm's way, and I was caught off guard at her anger. The only thing I could think to say in immediate response was, "Sweetie, I've no doubt that the Lord took the St. Johns there for such a time as this. He's going to use them mightily." We stopped to pray, and our hearts were encouraged, even if just for a moment. I pulled up Matthew's blog, and it is obvious that they are doing just that, ministering through the disaster. If you have a moment to go over and leave a comment, I know it would encourage them. It's short and sweet (unlike my post), but precious still.

Father God, I am amazed and in awe at Your greatness. I love the way you can take a people and gel them together so that they can survive this flood. Recede the waters, Lord God. I pray for the people of Fargo and the area all around, that You would protect each and every one. Guard their homes, and continue to guard their hearts from discouragement. I pray for Matthew and Christa, Emily and Katie, and all the staff and families at Bethel Church. Continue to give them everything they need to pull together and help one another during this disaster. Encourage them as they draw upon the strength inside of them, the strength that You provide through the Holy Spirit. May those who don't know Jesus in their community see Jesus in these chosen ones, who are Your salt and light and help for the hurting. Thank You, Lord, that You have these people in the palm of Your capable hands, and may You receive honor and glory through this situation. 
In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

21 friends shared a comment:

Peggy said...

Blessings LauraLee, I prayed this prayer with you and much more! I will keep praying for all the ND, MN Red River communities & then all those down stream, when the northern area starts with such a high overflow, it is only the beginning! We must keep praying & watching the news as we trust & believe God for His awesome protection & only He can recede these flood water, give strength & protection to the many & restore the destruction! The ND & MN communities have always been "REAL"
community and I imagine the churches are the best also. For such a time as this, God brings great leaders into their midst!

My eyes are alert & my heart is attentive & I am crying out to God for these people. May God's Mighty
power & Love flow greater than the waters!

Sheila said...

Laura, I just watched this video with my sons. My 5 year old said, "I wish we could go there and help them mom." We prayed. I cried. Truthfully, I know the folks there are blessed in this terrible trial. With this flood of waters is comes a washing away of all that is not really important. Jesus will stand out as the ark in for the people there working in and through His people there. I pray a flood of salvation sweeps through these towns and homes!

I love that song too! I've heard it a few times on the radio. I sing it with tears for my family, my community, my time.

I love your heart LauraLee!
Thank you for sharing this!

Joanne Sher said...

You definitely brought a tear to my eyes. I am praying for your friends, and all the others in the wake of this. What a powerful video.

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing this video, it really touched me. May God lay sweet blessings upon the people of this community, they truly know how to show Jesus to someone. My prayers go out to your dear friend, may God be extra close to them. I love you.

Lynda Schultz said...

Nothing comes into our lives without a divine purpose. In circumstances such as these it might be hard to understand what those purposes are. But these dear folks, and others like them, can be assured that God acts for His glory and for our best interests—no matter what.

Thanks for sharing this, Lauralee.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

As I watch this, my eyes fill with tears; yes, God will carry them through. He carried us through in 1999, when we were carted from our front lawn in a boat in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd. Our town was swallowed up. Our home was barely spared. That set off a long season of rebuilding the homes and lives of our small community. Today I am repentant about not praying or thinking very much about our friends in Fargo. God forgive me.

Praying now and heading over to your friend's blog.


Laury said...

Praying for your friend and her family especially, Laura, and for all the residents affected. Thank you for sharing the video. It is eye-opening.

Terri Tiffany said...

Wow--thank you for sharing this. I have been watching the news on it and can't imagine so many people hurting in that cold and water. I'm praying for them and so glad you are their friend!

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

What a great video! I have been praying for the people of Fargo. Having been through a devastating flood here just last summer, I have some real empathy for them. Our city will never be the same, and yet going through the flood provided some wonderful opportunities to pull together and minster to others, and the opportunities keep coming. I pray that your friends' home is spared. Thanks for the encouragement to pray for their community.

amy & lisa said...

My heart is touched by this post. And yes, it brings tears too. That song is amazing!
As I sit here in wonder and worry about my own daughter and niece both living in Fargo/Moorhead, I feel peace tonight. It brings me great joy to know that others care, that others are praying. Thank you!
I will lift up your friends in Fargo too.

Christa St.John said...

Hello my precious friend! I am on a friend's computer in Horace, North Dakota. Matthew made me aware of your blog entry when he read it just before our worship service this morning! :) We are having many very real and hard moments, yet we see His goodness and feel we are in the palm of His wonderful and ever-powerful hands. Thank you to each and every one for prayers! We expect a winter storm tomorrow (Monday 30th) and are unsure how that will effect the flooding. Your prayers are the greatest gift of all! God is good, ALL THE TIME - Christa

Alleluiabelle said...

I prayed your prayer along with many others who have read this post. Natural disasters such as these, real are eye-openers for so many. We were hit back in 1998 with the ice storm in northeastern, US. My husband was a traveling operator then and worked at the different hydro plants. He worked so many hours that when he finally was able to come home, he was stumbling over his own two feet. We were without power for quite a long time. God is always in control no matter what the situation is and we have learned not to take our wordly material possessions to heart. Our lives are what is important and the unity among man is what's important. GOD IS WHAT'S IMPORTANT. Oh my mind, heart and soul pray for those there during this flood experience. May God touch them all in a mighty, mighty way in Jesus name. Amen.

My love and prayers are with you, your dear friends and all of the people in that part of the nation going through such a trying, trying time.


Melanie said...

I, too, love this song! Keeping your friends and their community in my prayers.

Tracy said...

How moving to see this community working together so beautifully. I can't fully grasp what it must be like, finding yourself surrounded by flood water, being displaced from my home. I am praying, sweet one. I went to your friend's blog to let them know. Thanks for sharing and giving us the opportunity to pray with you.

Dan Garrison, Jr. said...

Paul says he is/we are as His servants called into the "Both/And" life that he describes in 1 Cor. 6:3 and ff where one phrase I am reminded of by the Spirit often shows up in v. 10: "....Sorrowful yet always rejoicing..." In this digital age of off and on, and instantly available temporary pleasures and escape hatches from the pain and suffering of this world, the temptation for me can be to wish for a one-state existence, a steady-state life that is marked only by the rejoicing. But there is too much that says otherwise about the real, gut-wrenching, mind-boggling, faith-testing, doubt-birthing life and world in which we find ourselves in the post-fall, not-yet-fully-restored existence of the now. Praise God for your courageous call, Miss LauraLee, and others, to enter into the suffering of our brothers and sisters, to passionately plea in prayer for Jesus to be made more famous because they suffer well in the midst of trials and give witness to the reality that joy is available in the midst of trials, come what may. Just last week, John Piper reminded me in his imminently eloquent way, of this truth on his blog:

The Sorrow and Joy of the Seasoned Soul
March 25, 2009 | By: John Piper
Category: Commentary

It is not a sign of a seasoned Christian soul that steady joy is untinged with steady sorrow.

Or to put it positively, the seasoned soul in Christ has a steady joy and a steady sorrow.

They protect each other. Joy is protected from being flippant by steady sorrow. Sorrow is protected from being fatal by steady joy.

And they intensify each other. Joy is made deeper by steady sorrow. Sorrow is made sweeter by steady joy.

For the seasoned Christian soul, I do not see how it can be otherwise while people are perishing and we are saved. I do not see how it can be otherwise while these two passages are written by the same inspired man:

I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. (Romans 9:2-3)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

Peter Stone said...

Thanks for sharing this Laura, I've lifted up prayers for them through this time of hardship.

Your daughter's question was a good one, and your answer was spot on. Something I have been pondering this week is the Bible passage where Jesus calmed the raging storm when the disciples were in the boat. What many forget when reading this passage is that Jesus took them through that storm in the first place. Perhaps this is one of those situations?

I pray that through this flood the church and the whole community can respond like the disciples did when Jesus calmed the storm, with stronger faith in our amazing God.

Susan said...

Thanks for bringing this to us for prayer.

Truly when one hurts in the body we all do.

I will pray for your friends and this town.

I truly understand after going through Katrina.

Blessings to you♥

Kim @ Homesteader's Heart said...

Touched doesn't describe what I felt while watching that video. Prayers are on their way and will continue to be. God is so good and I've never heard that song yet but I think it's my new favorite.
God bless you my friend.

Josh said...

Pryaing for this family and all thsoe affected. As much as we hate to see these disasters take place, it is often through them that God pulls people together and shows them what His strength working through them can endure.

LisaShaw said...

I listed the St. John's on my Pause & Pray Day post today. Standing in prayer...

Lisa Smith said...

Praying for your friends, the community and those who have yet to trust in the Lord there. I pray His presence would come into their lives and tragic situation like Mighty Waters.

Thanks for sharing.