Hurricane season prompts Fla. day of prayer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP) -- Florida Baptists are being called to a day of prayer for the hurricane season on June 3 to seek the Lord for a calm season and for careful preparation by families, churches and disaster relief teams.
Rick Shepherd, Florida Baptist team strategist for prayer and spiritual awakening, noted, "The God who knows 'the very hairs of your head' and every move of every sparrow knows the needs we have, including our concern for hurricane season."
A key facet of showing God's care, Shepherd said, is "sending us to show His concern, which includes praying for our neighbors and our communities as we seek God for the well-being of the place in which He has placed us."
"Our state and nation are experiencing a measure of God's chastening, His remedial judgment -- more as we ignore His signals. We see that as churches and as a nation," Shepherd said. "His calls continue -- through His Word, through fellow believers and through circumstances, including calamities -- storms, floods, earthquakes, economic turmoil and fires."
Shepherd suggested Florida Baptists claim 2 Chronicles 7:14 "to see evidence of God speaking in our day."
June 3 is the first Sunday in the hurricane season, which officially begins June 1, a time all Floridians dread given the potential of life-threatening and destructive storms that affect the state peninsula and extensive shoreline.
After several years of disastrous storms in 2004 and 2005, Florida's hurricane activity has been relatively quiet, which Shepherd described as answered prayers for mercy on behalf of Florida Baptists.
Specific prayer needs suggested by Shepherd include God's mercy in dealing with hurricanes, Florida Baptist disaster relief teams, the nation of Haiti and open doors to share the love of Christ.
To help churches participate in the day of prayer, a simple reproducible bulletin insert, "See Needs -- Seeking God," has been produced for use during worship, Bible studies and small groups or during special times of prayer.
Florida Baptist congregations were sent a mass email with the bulletin insert, or it can be downloaded at http://www.flbaptist.org/MinistryPrograms/MW/PrayerSpiritualAwakening/SpiritualAwakening.aspx.
Barbara Denman is director of communications for the Florida Baptist Convention. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/Baptist Press) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).