As Hurricane Irma continues to barrel down on southeast Florida, many are utilizing their religious faith in a last ditch effort to beat back the storm — and they came to a Jacksonville Beach pier with outstretched hands like Moses.
“We’re gonna put this storm to sea — no fear,” one person at the pier said, according to News4JAX.
Organizers started advertising the Thursday gathering earlier this week and made sure the message reached the entire city on social media. Numerous churches and religious groups responded to the “Code Red” call for intercessory prayer and protection against Hurricane Irma at the Jacksonville Beach Pier.
“As Christians, we are told in scripture that we can speak storms to quiet down like Jesus did,” organizer Mary Parker told 4JAX. “People care about Jacksonville. They care about the beaches, yes. They don’t want any more erosion, they don’t want any more destruction of property or families dying. They came to prevent what happened in Texas.”
The prayer gathering, complete with hymns and bible verses, started on 7pm Thursday. “Then He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still,'” someone from the group read.
So far, the prayers seem to be going unheeded. According to The New York Times, Irma’s full force is expected to hit Florida’s major cities on its west coast at about 9pm tonight. More than 6.5 million residents have been ordered to leave their homes after Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for all counties. Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina have declared states of emergency.
Watch the News4’s report on the prayer service below:
Featured image via screen grab