Jesus calls Christians to become the salt and light of the world. In the time of Jesus, people used salt to preserve food and make it taste better, as we do today. That means being the salt to the world is preserving that which is good and helping make the world a better place. Being the light means pointing people toward Jesus, the light of the world in which life is found. This includes the imperative that Christians be the salt and light to the victims during national disasters by reaching out to them and helping them in any way they can. What they do is not just limited to preaching the Gospel but also includes acts of mercy and love. If some groups or institutions are the first responders to flash floods or natural disasters, it should not be only the government or non-profit organizations—the church should also be involved; not being passive in helping out but active.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
[Ephesians 2:10]Also, keep in mind the goal of the church in doing those acts of mercy and love. They don’t just give, provide, or care just for the sake of doing those things; they do it intending to advance God’s kingdom through preaching the Gospel. If the flood victims are not Christians, they ultimately need not only temporary provisions but God’s eternal provision for the salvation of our sins, Christ. When the church helps, it should not only be to give to their needs but also to minister to the victims. We minister by preaching the Gospel, encouraging and praying for them.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
[Romans 1:16]We pray for the flood victims by praying for their concerns. That means we have to be observant of their physical, mental, and emotional needs. You might see that some victims feel hopeless. That is something that you can address as you pray for them. We pray for them with sympathy, as if their problems were also our problems, especially if we are praying for fellow believers.
How do you pray for disaster victims?
As you pray for flood victims, there are certain biblical truths that you can keep in mind. The first is how it’s important to have a compassionate heart. Whenever we minister or pray for the victims, it should be out of compassion and love toward them. Especially with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are victims, we are to take their burden as if it is ours and weep with them. We should never forget that our motivation when praying for victims, besides the Gospel, is our love for them. The apostle Paul teaches us that we can do so many things for others, but if it is not out of love, then it is useless. Our motivation is our love of God, resulting in our love for our neighbors.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
[1 Corinthians 13:1]Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering
[Colossians 3:12]Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Speaking of motivation, it is also essential to check your heart when you help flood victims. Ask the Holy Spirit to incline your heart to have pure motivations. When we help out those in need, we are to help them out of love and desire to glorify God and not for our own gratification.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
[Psalm 51:10]Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
[Proverbs 4:23]All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.
[Proverbs 16:2]The second aspect of helping flood victims is to know their situation and needs. While you intend to pray and minister, take time to know the people you want to pray and minister to. You are there to help them as people as well as victims. Therefore, talk to them and listen to them as they pour out their hearts and share how they feel. Get to know them, their situations, their concerns, and their needs so that you can specifically address these points as you pray for them.
The third objective is to pray with a renewed mind. If we want to pray good, pleasing, and acceptable prayers to God, there is no better way than to pray according to God’s will. We know God’s will by reading His Word and meditating on it. This is where the Holy Spirit renews our minds, and we think and pray according to the Scriptures.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.
[Romans 12:2]Fourth, always pray for God’s mercy upon the flood victims. That is what every prayer revolves around. The comfort, provision, help, and things they need and will receive are from God’s mercy. If you want to be an instrument of God’s mercy, you will provide for them and comfort them.
The last thing to keep in mind is not something directly related to prayer but is also really important as you minister to the flood victims. It would be best if you would also generously provide for their needs as you pray and minister for them. Imagine coming to those who need food, water, and shelter but only praying for them and not doing anything about their other needs. While we should minister to victims by preaching the Gospel to them, praying for them, and encouraging them, it is also essential to demonstrate the Gospel. If indeed we have been changed by the Gospel, it should be evident in how we love others and how our love is put into action.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
What do you pray for in difficult times?
You can pray for comfort and God’s mercy and grace upon victims, especially if they’ve lost someone during the flood or their house has been ruined. Those victims are probably devastated, and for some, the things that have happened may not have yet sunk in. Pray for comfort for the broken and the hurting; that they shall recover mentally, emotionally, and physically (if there are any injuries) from the disaster.
Provisions like food, water, clothing, temporary shelter, etc., are some of their many needs. Pray for the provision of their needs and that they will find new homes, whether through the help of a relative or provided by the government, or that they will be able to restore their present homes.
If the people you are praying for are non-believers, pray that the Holy Spirit shall open their eyes so that they will see their need for a savior and realize the truth—that even if they have lost everything, they still have everything, and they are secured in God if they have Christ. Pray for them to see and find real hope in Christ; that He is the greatest treasure they could ever have, more than the property they have lost.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
[Ezekiel 36:26]For the believers, pray for God’s preserving grace upon them to keep on persevering in the faith despite what they are going through; that they shall still keep on running the race and living their lives for Christ. Even if they have lost many things because of the flood, they can continue worshipping God, having a grateful heart, serving God, ministering to their fellow victims, and living victorious lives through Christ Who strengthens them. Also, pray that they shall continue to find contentment in Christ.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
[James 1:12]Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
[2 Timothy 2:12]As people encounter problems in life, they sometimes try to solve them independently. As Christians, we should always depend on God and run toward Him instead of away from Him. We can also pray for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are flood victims, that they shall cling to God and not run away from Him during those times of hardship.
Here is an example of how you can pray for flood victims:
Heavenly Father, You are the God of mercy and grace. I pray for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are affected by the recent flood that You would bring comfort and peace to them and their families. Thank You because You are the God of mercy Who comforts them and is with them in this situation. I pray for provision for them, especially for the things they need immediately such as food, water, and temporary shelter. Thank You, because You are the one who sustains them, and You are faithful to provide. I pray that, in these challenging times, You will give them the grace to keep on persevering in the faith and that they shall continue to serve You, worship You, glorify You, and thank You for Your grace and mercy in their lives. Even if this is hard, they can do things through Christ, Who strengthens them. Thank You because their real hope is not in the things of this world but in Christ. You are their refuge and a fortress to Whom they can run. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
What to say to flood victims
What you pray about and the encouragement you give them should all come from God’s word. If the victims are not Christians, the important thing they should hear is the Gospel. Even if they have lost every property they had, they still have everything if they have Christ. They can find satisfaction, joy, peace, and completeness in Christ. They are considered richer than billionaires because their treasure is Christ Himself.
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
[1 Peter 1:8-9]For Christians, you can encourage them that God is with them no matter what season they are going through. He never leaves them nor forsakes them. The Bible teaches us that God is near to the brokenhearted, and He binds up their wounds.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
[Psalm 34:18]Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
[Hebrews 13:5]You can also remind them of things about God. You can remind them of Who God is in their lives and that God is their refuge, strong tower, fortress, etc. Knowing that God is their refuge means that they can run to Him in times of suffering, and they are in good hands because God is the One Who is taking care of them. You can also encourage them by reminding them of the character of God—He is gracious, merciful, and faithful. The Bible says His love is steadfast and surrounds them.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
[Lamentations 3:22-23]Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.
[Psalm 32:10]God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
[Psalm 46:1]The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
[Psalm 103:8]Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
[Psalm 103:13]O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
[Psalm 136:1]You can also encourage them that God can work out the bad things in life for their good, no matter what season they may be going through. It is also by God’s grace that they can persevere in those seasons; counting it as joy when they encounter trials of various kinds because the testing of their faith produces steadfastness. In times of trials, they grow more in Christlikeness and sanctification as the Holy Spirit works in them. God shall bring that work to completion when they shall be perfect and lacking in nothing.
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
[Proverbs 24:16]And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
[Romans 8:28]I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
[Philippians 3:14]My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
[James 1:2-4]In the end, whether the victims are believers or non-believers, we point them to Christ because He is their contentment. He is their greatest treasure and peace despite the storms they are going through in their lives. They still have joy because of the grace they have in Christ, and because of that, they can still bless the name of the Lord, worship Him, and have grateful hearts.
And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.