Governors Declare Day of Prayer for Gulf Spill

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Adrienne S. Gaines

Leaders of the Gulf
Coast states have designated Sunday a day of prayer for the regions affected by
the oil spill that has sent millions of gallons of crude gushing into the Gulf
of Mexico for the last 66 days.

The governors of
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and the Lt. Governor of Florida
issued proclamations this week calling their citizens to pray for a solution that stops the leak and for
the recovery of the coastline and the fish and wildlife industries devastated by
the April 20 BP oil rig explosion that killed 11 workers.

“Throughout our
history, Alabamians have humbly turned to God to ask for His blessings and to
hold us steady during times of struggle,” Alabama Gov. Bob Riley stated in a
proclamation issued Wednesday. “This is certainly one of those times.”

Although
there is no coordinated national effort to mobilize prayer Sunday, the Florida
Family Policy Council (FFPC) and the national Family Research Council are
urging their supporters to participate. 

“I really want to encourage the church to not
knee-jerk and think about this as some kind of environmental issue that they
should not have any interest in,” said FFPC President John Stemberger.

“This is clearly a stewardship
issue,” he said. “All Christians need to be concerned about this. We need to be
praying for the families of the men who were killed in the explosion, be
praying for the government and the private sector initiatives trying to stop
this [leak].”


Cindy
Jacobs, co-founder of the U.S. Reformation Prayer Network, said prayer efforts
have been under way in the Gulf region since the April explosion that led to
the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. “Our prayer network all along the Gulf is fervently
praying,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs, who is leading a
separate prayer effort for the Gulf Coast June 30, said Bob Jones prophesied in
1997 that after healing evangelist Oral Roberts died there would be an oil
spill off the coast of Louisiana, which would be followed by two hurricanes.
Roberts died Dec. 15.

Since the
Gulf oil spill, Jacobs’ network has been praying that no hurricanes would hit
the Atlantic Coast, which she said would be “an unbelievable disaster.”

Jones wrote in an online message
earlier this month that he believes only God can stop the leak. “There is no help for this nation
apart from God,” Jones wrote June 3. “We must cry out for God to plug
the oil well in the Gulf for He’s the only one that can do it! And He’ll
only do it when the church cries out.”

In a conference
call last week, prophetic minister Chuck Pierce of Glory of Zion Ministries
agreed with that sentiment. “I really cannot see how we’re going to move in and
contain what’s happening right now,” said Pierce, adding that his father used
to inspect oil rigs.


“Something’s
got to come deeper and stir the waters to cleanse the waters,” he continued.
“And I think God is saying that same word to us: You’re going to have to have a
deeper move in you as My people to cleanse in places that you have allowed an
unclean spirit to come in and overtake you.”

Gary
Palmer, president of the Alabama Policy Institute, said Sunday’s prayer effort
grew out of a dream an area businessman had in which he saw people in prayer
and Gov. Riley having issued a proclamation.

“He saw
people gathered on the Gulf, and he felt this compelling that this is what we
needed to do,” Palmer said of the businessman, who asked to remain anonymous.

The man
contacted Palmer, who then solicited help from WallBuilders founder David
Barton, who drafted the prayer day proclamations for the governors to adapt.

Some churches have said there
isn’t enough time to organize corporate prayer Sunday, but Palmer said the
prayer day is as much a call for churches to encourage people to intercede for
the Gulf Coast.  “It doesn’t have to
just be the 27th,” he said. “We just need people to be aware that we’re going
to need some divine intervention.”


Jacobs
believes the oil spill is more than a natural disaster but partly the result of
greed, debauchery on the beaches, poor environmental stewardship and a lack of
U.S. support for Israel—all issues her network has been repenting of since the
leak began.

“Whenever
there’s violent weather or some things like this, you have to ask if it’s just
a natural disaster or if you’re reaping something that’s been sown,” she said.
“We feel this is a cumulative thing.”

Jacobs
points particularly to President Obama’s treatment of Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu when he visited the White House in March. Netanyahu reportedly
was scolded for proceeding with plans to build in disputed areas of east
Jerusalem and denied a photo op, press conference and other trappings
of visits from heads of state.   

“We can’t
say that’s all the reason why, but certainly I believe we need to come into
some repentance,” she said.

Jacobs notes that the last point of Second
Chronicles 7:14 is that if God’s people pray, He will heal the land. “This is
the same God that caused all the plagues of Egypt to go in a night,” Jacobs
said. “He’s no different today. He can do what we cannot do in miraculous
ways.”


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