How you can pray about bad weather
Originally appeared online in the teen series Q&A - September 20, 2022
Q: There are constantly so many storms and things now. How can I pray about bad weather?
A: It was my first year as a counselor at a summer camp for Christian Scientists. One night, in the very early hours of the morning, a major storm rolled in.
I was the first one in the cabin to wake up, and I heard deep rumbles in the distance, accompanied by flashes of lightning that happened what felt like almost every second. I looked outside, and even though it was nighttime, I could still see the dark clouds racing across the sky faster than I’ve ever seen clouds roll by. I knew the storm was headed our way.
I acted fast, awakening the other counselors in the cabin and helping to roll down the window hatches so rain wouldn’t blow in. We also tried tying the doors shut, because the wind had started to pick up. Though we couldn’t fully see the storm yet, I knew it was bigger than any storm I’d ever encountered.
Just before the storm hit, there was an eerie stillness—just for a moment. Then the rain came down hard, and I saw one of my fellow counselors, who was heading out to get further instructions from the camp director, disappear into the rain not five feet away from the cabin. Even his neon jacket wasn’t visible behind the sheets of water.
Our campers started to wake up as the wind blew hard and broke the ties we’d had on the doors, slamming them open and closed no matter how hard we tried to keep them shut. The kids were as scared as we were and came to us for help as rain poured into the cabin. I tried to read Psalm 91 from the Bible to one boy, but my fear was so great that I could barely finish it. Our campers were running around wildly. I could hear the crash of falling trees, and I was afraid one would hit our cabin.
I knew that God was there with us, and I knew that the storm was not of His making.
Then, in the middle of all of this, I had a moment of surrendering. I sat down on the floor, right in the center of the cabin, and I simply surrendered to God because I had no idea what else to do.
This surrender took the form of a deep prayer—of asking God, “Where are You, God? We need You right now.”
That week, the Bible Lesson from the Christian Science Quarterly included an experience of the prophet Elijah in the Bible (see I Kings 19:9–12). It featured cataclysmic events like an earthquake, a fierce wind, and a fire. Here’s how the Bible tells it: “Behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
As I sat there, I remembered this story, and as I listened for God, I heard the same still, small voice say to me, “I am not in the storm, and I will not let anything happen to you or My other children. You are all safe.”
Immediately, I felt peace. The storm was still raging, and the kids were still running. But I knew that God was there with us, and I knew that the storm was not of His making. His power is only good—and it is the only power there is.
I also remembered another story from the New Testament, one in which Jesus calms a storm with an authoritative “Peace, be still” (see Mark 4:36–39). With this newfound trust in God, I got up, went outside, faced the storm, and rebuked it, saying, “You have no power over us. God is bigger than you. Peace, be still!”
And within a few minutes, the storm moved on, and we all went back to bed. There were no further weather threats; we were in the clear and went back to sleep as if nothing had happened.
At this point in my life, I was still at the beginning of my own journey of learning more about God, and this experience taught me so much about God in such a profound way. I had a tangible sense of His presence and power, and I caught a glimpse of the ultimate powerlessness of anything unlike God, good.
I was so grateful for this experience, because it taught me that no matter what storms we face in life—literal storms or mental ones—God is not in them, but He is still with us. We can know and demonstrate that His peace and His power can calm any storm.