Pray for Southern California: 'Watching Rome Burn'

Ventura County is just north of the Los Angeles basin, and it's burning out of control with high winds and dry weather.

This has been a bad year for California wild fires, and this one in Ventura County is a particularly dangerous one. The LA Times reported:

By 8 a.m., winds were gusting to 40 mph and on the distant ridges, peaking at nearly 70. The ocean was mottled with whitecaps. More than 1,000 firefighters were on the scene, and by 10:30 Gov. Jerry Brown had declared an emergency.

Up to 27,000 people in Ventura (with a population of 109,592) have been evacuated. The fire has consumed more than 55,000 acres, gobbling up homes, entire neighborhoods, and hillsides. It's still growing.

One evacuee described the city: it "looked like Armageddon." Another said it was "like driving through the gates of hell."

We must pray for southern California. No matter what our political beliefs are, or how we view things differently, people are suffering at Christmastime when the rest of us are buying gifts.

The New Testament said that Jesus calmed the wind and the waves. I pray that God will move upon this fire and end it. I pray for the firemen, air attack personnel, police, ambulance crews, rescue workers, and disaster relief officials and volunteers. I pray for their safety. I pray for the families, businesses, and truckers who are suffering loss from this fire.

I encourage everyone reading this to join in praying. When there's a mass shooting and we offer prayers, some people get upset that prayers are not sufficient (that includes some California lawmakers). But when it's a genuine "act of God" to whom else should we look than to God? The Bible says the rain falls on the just and the unjust--on the righteous and the unrighteous. Bad things happen to good people, and fires burn the saints' homes along with the sinners'.

But God is merciful, and so should we also be. So we must pray for southern California, and send relief. Let's make sure no child goes without a Christmas, even though they may not have a home with their own tree.

This call to prayer has touched me in a way that supercedes any political beliefs and divisions. It is a call for unity, peace and well-being for our fellow human souls. It is a God thing.

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