As recent storms approached, I headed down into my basement after receiving notification that we were under a tornado warning, in addition to seeing the weather radar indicating that the twister could be targeting our specific community. As the TV meteorologists encouraged people to take various precautions and make preparation for the possibility of damaging winds, I added my own activity to the list. I prayed. I asked for protection for us, our family, our church family, and others in the path of the storm. I prayed that this angry red blob pictured on the radar might weaken and not be as big a problem as it portended. Thankfully, the threat did dissipate from our area rather quickly. The warning was cancelled. I am not sure what happened meteorologically-speaking, but I gratefully give credit to God for answered prayer and for our being spared the brunt of the storm.

However, others weren’t so fortunate. Some people did get hit hard, experiencing significant property damage. There were even a few lives lost in the midst of this weather event and its aftermath. My guess is that I wasn’t the only one praying that day. Maybe some of these same folks who suffered loss from this storm were also seeking God’s help and protection. It raises questions as to why some people are spared while others are not. Skeptics might view it all as random acts of nature, leaving God and the effects of prayer out of the picture altogether. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that prayer makes a difference. Additionally, Jesus clearly showed that He has the power to calm the winds and the sea (see Matthew 8:23-27). The psalmist also suggested that God is in control of the winds, fulfilling His word and His will through their activity (Psalm 147:18; 148:8). While natural forces are at work in the weather, I believe God can still intervene to redirect or calm the storms.

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The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by e-mail at


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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