A Prayer during Times of Disaster by John Piper


I’m reading through Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper. I thought his chapter,”The Waves and Winds Still Know His Voice: The Power of Jesus Christ,” especially meaningful in the wake of the huge loss from Hurricane Harvey. I hope to do a book review when I complete this book. Today, I’d like to share his prayer (pages 48 – 49), hoping that it helps someone who does not know how to meaningfully pray during times of disaster.

A Prayer during Times of Disaster

O Lord, the suffering in the world is so widespread and the pain is so great! Have mercy, and waken the souls of suffering millions to the hope of some relief now and unsurpassed joy in the age to come. Send your church, O God, with relief and with the word of the Gospel that there is forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ and that no suffering here is worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed to the children of God. Protect your church, Father, from callous thoughts about calamities that leave millions destitute, and protect her also from cowing to critics, like Job’s wife, who cannot trust the wisdom and power and goodness of Christ in the midst of inexplicable misery. Oh, help our unbelief. Incline our hearts to your Word and to its assurances that you ‘work all things according to the counsel of your will’ and that ‘no purpose of yours can be thwarted’ and that you are doing good and acting wisely in ways that we cannot now even dream. Keep us in peace, o Lord, and forbid that we murmur and complain. Grant us humble and submissive hearts under your mighty hand. Teach us to wait and watch for your final and holy purposes in all things. Grant that we would ‘rejoice in hope’ even when present circumstances bring us to tears. Open the eyes of our hearts to see the greatness of our inheritance in Christ, and send us with tender hands to touch with mercy the miseries of the world. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

A Hymn to Encourage You: Be Still My Soul

John Piper also referred to two hymns in this chapter of his book. I thought Be Still My Soul might be especially comforting for those suffering through the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The Lyrics

“Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below…

“Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well-pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.”

See the complete lyrics.

A video by Kari Jobe


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