Hurricane Harvey was a storm which in some ways is said to have been even worse than Katrina which devastated New Orleans in 2005. Remembering that such hurricanes are not uncommon in our region of the Gulf States, when we pray to the Lord each and every morning we would often ask Him to keep our home safe from such destructive storms and the subsequent flooding. Harvey struck Houston on Friday, August 25.
Sunday Evening, August 27
In our particular area of Houston, we had been spared from any flooding and wind damage up until Sunday. We had experienced no electrical blackouts. But that evening with the persistent rain the street in front of our house flooded, and as it continued to rain the water slowly crept up our front sidewalk toward our front door. The forecast was for 25 inches of rain for our area that evening. It was then I knew I had to get serious and take a stand against the water, or else we would have a huge mess on our hands. I am by no means handy around the house. I did not want my wife to take on such a responsibility.
And so for the next hour or so from our bedroom I did not stop rebuking the storm in the sky over our community and the floodwater inching up our sidewalk—all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. As I prayed I also watched.
On my mobile phone I watched the live radar of the storm on my mobile phone, enabling me to see the storm from above over Texas. Slowly during that hour as I exercised authority over and over and over in Jesus’ name commanding the storm to go, I could see the storm gradually moving east away from our area. Finally the sky opened up and the rain ceased. The floodwater which had been creeping toward our doorstep stopped and gradually receded back into the street. Instead of the 25 inches of rain predicted by our local meteorologists, we only received 10 inches that evening. The next morning on TV they expressed a bit of pleasant surprise.
Below is the radar view I was seeing on my mobile phone that evening. Our home is located within the blue dot in the middle. The storm is shown in red and yellow, while clouds are in green. During the hour of prayer and rebuking the storm, the storm passed over us and we were in the clear!
The next day a voluntary evacuation was in effect for our neighborhood even though the street was dry. This was in anticipation of the controlled release of water from a nearby reservoir which had already been filled to the brim with water from the storm. But we decided we would not be driven out of our home by flooding. Rather we would drive out the flood in the name of Jesus Christ. That evening before going to bed I again with persistence exercised the Lord’s authority and rebuked any flooding in the name of Jesus Christ.
We awoke Tuesday morning after a night’s fitful sleep. The rain had mostly stopped and the street was dry. Praise the Lord indeed for His wonderful grace and mercy.
Then we were informed by local authorities that severe flooding was still possible in our area due to water being released from the reservoir. I left our house and walked over to the bayou on the other side of our street. A bayou is a long ditch used for flood control; any excess rainwater during storms would flow into the bayou instead of into nearby homes. The water in the bayou would flow and eventually drain into the Gulf of Mexico. Since there was no more rain to speak of, any flooding in our neighborhood would come from this bayou. For several minutes standing by the bayou that Tuesday evening, I commanded the flowing water to stay in the bayou, and that there would be no flooding in the name of Jesus Christ.
The bayou next to our home…on the other side of the bayou the street is already flooded (see below)
The street just across the bayou on the opposite side was already flooded
We awoke the next morning to a beautifully dry and sunny day.
During those five days we did not suffer any electrical blackouts. For all this we can only give thanks to God our gracious Father who has had mercy on us, His unworthy servants.
Please pray for the many thousands of Houstonians who had to flee for their lives and lost so much. Five out of every six of them do not have flood insurance for their homes. Authorities tell us it will take Houston years to recover from the damage done by Hurricane Harvey.
The water level in our bayou had reached all the way up to the bridge