PTL! Hurricane Irma did not slam into either Puerto Rico or Hispaniola, sparing much grief to those islands. I and many of you at Facebook or blog followers were praying/commanding this. Latest projection is for Irma to do landfall in either Florida or the Georgia/South Carolina border. Let’s keep praying/commanding it further east and into the cool waters of the North Atlantic.
A commentator and critic at Facebook wonders if the people of Barbudos lacked enough faith to prevent their devastation. An interesting remark. The Church as a whole is still awakening and recovering from the long illness of cessationsim, which created a huge faith gap in the way Christianity is practiced and prayers offered. Just 100 years ago it was very uncommon for effective healing prayers to be used when a person was ill. (I recall in the 1950s, as a devote Catholic going into my parish church and lighting a candle in front of some saint for the recovery of my brother, who died from a blood clot that broke loose. He was given “extreme unction” by a very fine priest (Fr Ivan Illich of education fame) but in the whole process the biblical pattern of laying on of hands for healing or commanding the clot to dissolve was not used, and indeed beyond imagination.
All of which is to say, we have come a long way in recovering the authority of the Christian to do effective, biblically patterned prayer, but we still have some way to go. Prayer of command to nature (the biblical pattern) are still unknown to much of the Church, and when it is brought up often raises contention, certainly not the prayers “in one accord” that should be common.
To get back to the original question about Barbudos, perhaps in the not too distant future the Church as a whole will have the faith and biblically informed theology to pray in unison against a forming storm way out in the Atlantic and command it not to form into a full-fledged hurricane. We are not there yet, but some parts of the Church have indeed some effectiveness.
For those who have not been following these postings HERE is my older posting on praying against a tornado which covers the essential biblical points of nature prayers.