Australian flood: not too late to pray

Snake-infested, muddy water has covered a vast area of southern and central Queensland, Australia, during the recent unprecedented, multi-billion-dollar flood. Described as Biblical in proportion, this giant mass of water has brought devastation to thousands of people. Houses, cars, and homesteads were submerged. Personal possessions and precious memories have been destroyed. And for some people it has been the second flood in ten months. 

The region’s economy and jobs have also been seriously affected. Damaged roads, bridges, and rail lines, and the closure of a major regional airport, have hampered the movement of freight and people. Forty coal mines were inundated, leaving over 70 coal ships lying idle off the coast. 

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Crops and orchards were destroyed, and beef cattle drowned. Hugely important to Australia’s economy, these industries have lost billions in production and revenue. With so many businesses unable to operate, people can’t work, pay their mortgages, or put food on the table. 

When we see or hear of such a calamity, there wells up in most of us the urgent question: What can I do to help? Local agencies, emergency services, the Australian Army, friends, and neighbors worked together during the rescue phase. Financial assistance came from donations to flood-relief funds and the government. The recovery phase is expected to cost billions of dollars and to continue for months. 

While financial assistance is imperative, another form of support is needed to help rebuild these communities and re-establish economic stability. This assistance is spiritual in nature, and it’s given through effective, solution-oriented prayer. Such support is needed now, and you and I can provide it now. How?

Every time we think of people trying to recover from these floods, let’s take a moment to affirm that God’s love and care is always present. It’s never washed away. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, . . . though the waters thereof roar and be troubled” (Ps. 46:1–3). 

God’s goodness is always present. It’s not halted by disaster, or fear of loss and lack. We can maintain that those who are economically challenged as a result of these record-breaking floods are not left hopeless or helpless. God is sustaining them. Whatever is needed, it’s there in abundance. The divine Father ensures that each one’s needs will be met in exactly the right way. 

Prayer, affirming God’s tender love and all-encompassing care for flood victims, will support those who have been affected. 

God has solutions. His right ideas enable each person to move forward. God’s intelligent directing makes it possible for flood-devastated businesses to survive and thrive. God provides excellent business guidance because He is already conducting the business of the universe. God’s business is good business. It is always successful, abundant. 

Business in spiritual terms can’t lack anything. Flood waters may wash away material possessions, but they don’t destroy opportunities for useful service and employment. Usefulness is a quality of God that everyone permanently possesses and expresses at all times. 

Over and above flood destruction is God’s promise of restoration and renewal. That’s why prayer that confidently affirms the tender presence and power of God brings comfort, courage, and strength to those in need. It prompts the outpouring of help. It leads to individually right solutions. It stimulates those in authority to find inspired ways to mitigate future flooding and take greater preventative action. It also renews business activity and brings about fresh employment opportunities. 

The might of such prayer shouldn’t be underestimated. Prayer is potent, effective. Many times I’ve prayed with individuals experiencing hardship. Although they lived far from me, this didn’t stop them from experiencing the healing power of God’s truth. Their needs were met and solutions found. That’s why right now anyone reading this article can provide prayerful assistance. No matter where you live, your prayers about the recovery effort for people still caught up in the Queensland flood disaster will be invaluable. 

It’s not too late to lend this prayerful support. Affirming God’s tender love and all-encompassing care for flood victims will support those who have been affected. It will strengthen their hope of recovery, sustain their resilience, and underpin their expectation that a better way of life can emerge from loss. It will aid in lifting thought up and moving people confidently forward toward a new and brighter future.

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In the Christian Science Bible Lesson
Praise the abundance of God
February 7, 2011
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