With Franklin Graham and Vice President Mike Pence by his side, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) declared Sunday, September 3, a state-wide day of prayer for hurricane-ravaged Texas – followed up days later by President Donald Trump issuing his own proclamation declaring Sunday a National Day of Prayer for the Harvey victims.
While visiting an extensively damaged church in Rockport, Texas, which bore the brunt of Hurricane Harvey, Abbott’s proclamation offered a new ray of hope across the state to the millions of Texans who were affected by the worst U.S. storm in more than a decade.
“As we gather today here at this church, it’s important that we remember that the greatest power that exists is the power of God and the way that God can touch and move all of our lives,” the conservative governor told hurricane survivors, according to WND.
Concerted prayer effort
Rev. Franklin Graham, Pence and his wife all gathered to spur on the massive relief effort last week to bring people together after what many called the worst national disaster in the history of the U.S. – as far as its scope is concerned.
As the president of the Christian nonprofit humanitarian aid organization, Samaritan’s Purse, Graham’s efforts of reaching out to hurricane victims was greatly appreciated by Abbott.
“It was God, acting through the lives of so many Texans, who came to the rescue of other Texans,” the Christian governor impressed. “It was the power of God that was able to pull the people out of the water and literally save them. There is no storm as tough as the people of Texas. We will rise again, and we will rebuild this great town and the affected areas across the entire state of Texas.”
The first responders and volunteers were honored and encouraged by Abbott, who has toured many areas of southeastern Texas ravaged by the Category 4 hurricane that violently struck Texas’ Gulf Coast before lingering around as a tropical storm the ensuing days and dumping up to 50 inches of rain.
“We will pray, regardless of what faith or church background you may have,” he continued. “We will pray as one united people, for the future of the state and the future of this country, for healing and for hope, for rebuilding and for the next great generation of Texans.”
The bold leader of Texas reflected a prayer of King Solomon from the Old Testament as he asked for God’s wisdom to help him meet the needs of hurricane survivors.
“[I]t is right and fitting that the people of Texas should join with their fellow residents and with others from across the country and around the world to seek God’s wisdom for ourselves and our leaders and ask for His merciful intervention and healing in this time of crisis,” Abbott expressed, according to his government website.
Likening the hopelessness and despair that many in the Houston area have experienced after being struck by Harvey, Graham brought up the time the Apostles were on the boat with Jesus Christ during the storm on the lake.
“You’ve gone through a storm, and let me tell you, the Lord Jesus Christ, he’s still here,” Graham insisted to victims in Rockport. “[I pray for] an army of volunteers from across the country [to help rebuild this area].”
Pence also encouraged those in attendance in the south Texas city.
“[President Donald Trump and the American people] are with you,” the vice president assured Harvey survivors,” according to WND. “We are here today, we will be here tomorrow, and we will be here every day until this city and this state and this region rebuild bigger and better than ever before.”
His wife then offered a prayer for the Texas flood victims.
“Heavenly Father, we thank you for these amazing people, who are an inspiration to us all across the United States and across the world,” Karen Pence voiced to the crowd. “We pray you would build them up, give them the strength and the endurance as they go forward.”
After asking for nearly $15 billion in federal aid for the Harvey recovery effort, President Donald Trump followed up Abbott’s statewide day of prayer with a proclamation of his own.
"From the beginning of our nation, Americans have joined together in prayer during times of great need to ask for God’s blessing and God’s guidance,” Trump’s proclamation reads. “As response and recovery efforts continue, and as Americans provide much-needed relief to the people of Texas and Louisiana, we are reminded of Scripture's promise that "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
A united healing process was urged by the commander-in-chief.
“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,” Trump announced.