September 05, 2017
In the seemingly endless stream of heartbreaking photos from Hurricane Harvey, it's easy to feel helpless in the face of such devastation. But, as President Trump reminded us last weekend, there's one thing every American can do -- regardless of their financial capacity or location. Pray. And this White House led the way, proclaiming Sunday a National Day of Prayer for the millions of victims from August's storm. It was a deeply meaningful display of this president's priorities -- and his recognition that the challenges America faces are far beyond anything we're capable of overcoming on our own. As a nation, we need leaders who recognize and understand the true source of our hope and strength. For almost 250 years, that's what's set America apart -- its acknowledgement that we are a nation under God. We're profoundly grateful that Donald Trump understands that the Lord alone can bring healing and restoration.
"From the beginning of our Nation, Americans have joined together in prayer during times of great need, to ask for God's blessings and guidance. This tradition dates to June 12, 1775, when the Continental Congress proclaimed a day of prayer following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and April 30, 1789, when President George Washington, during the Nation's first Presidential inauguration, asked Americans to pray for God's protection and favor," the proclamation read.
"I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers today for all those harmed by Hurricane Harvey, including people who have lost family members or been injured, those who have lost homes or other property, and our first responders, law enforcement officers, military personnel, and medical professionals leading the response and recovery efforts. Each of us, in our own way, may call upon our God for strength and comfort during this difficult time. I call on all Americans and houses of worship throughout the Nation to join in one voice of prayer, as we seek to uplift one another and assist those suffering from the consequences of this terrible storm."
Elsewhere, Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) had a message of his own. At Hyde Park Baptist Church, the governor reminded Texans, "Through the storm, He is Lord -- and that is exactly what we have seen in the past week." From Dallas shelters to waterlogged churches in Houston, people responded -- bowing their knee to our "very present help in trouble." At my own church in Baton Rouge, where people are still recovering from the 2016 flood that ravaged homes and communities, I led the congregation in prayer -- asking God to move in the hearts of people to bring about the unity our nation so desperately needs to unite and overcome.
Like President Trump, we're grateful for so many of you, who are not only praying, but volunteering or giving generously to the cause. If you want to join other Christians across the country in supporting the faith-based organizations that are working on the ground to meet basic needs of Texas families, we encourage you to donate to Samaritan's Purse or our friends at Grace Church in Houston who are helping families in their community.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.