Hurricane Ian victims and those still in its path receive blessings, prayers and help

Heartfelt prayers from faith leaders for all those suffering amid Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida with Category 4 force on Wednesday, as Fox News Digital has been reporting extensively — with South Carolina now in its sights.

In the face of the anxiety, tumult, loss of life and devastation that hurricanes often bring, faith leaders from around the nation offered prayers and thoughts for those who are suffering in the midst of this storm and for those still in its path.

Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse, told Fox News Digital earlier this week, "Samaritan’s Purse is monitoring Hurricane Ian closely and we are standing by with multiple Disaster Relief Units that will deploy to Florida."

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The group has since deployed teams to the area to help those impacted by the storm.

He continued, "We have responded to seven hurricanes in Florida over the past 18 years, and we have seen firsthand how much suffering and hardship they bring."

Rev. Franklin Graham said his teams have seen "firsthand how much suffering and hardship" hurricanes bring. Samaritan's Purse is on the ground in Florida this week. 

Rev. Franklin Graham said his teams have seen "firsthand how much suffering and hardship" hurricanes bring. Samaritan's Purse is on the ground in Florida this week.  (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)

He also said, "We need to be praying for all of the people who have already been affected by this storm and those who are still in its path."

He added, "This can be a very frightening time for those who are riding out the hurricane — so please join me in praying for God’s peace and protection on everyone who is in harm’s way."

A young man looks out at Charleston Harbor as winds from Hurricane Ian begin to roll into the Charleston, S.C., area on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. Faith leaders across the U.S. offered prayers and thoughts for those who are suffering in the midst of this storm and those still in its path.

A young man looks out at Charleston Harbor as winds from Hurricane Ian begin to roll into the Charleston, S.C., area on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. Faith leaders across the U.S. offered prayers and thoughts for those who are suffering in the midst of this storm and those still in its path. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Troy Miller, president and CEO of the association of National Religious Broadcasters, also shared thoughts with Fox News Digital.

"A number of our members are broadcasting and operating their ministries in the area affected by Hurricane Ian, and we are keeping them, and all those in the path of this storm, in prayer as the storm develops," he said. 

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"We also have member organizations who are currently on the ground being the hands and feet of Jesus — bringing support and meeting the needs of the community throughout this emergency."

‘Calm our hearts as the storm rages’

Dr. Jerry Newcombe, executive director of the Providence Forum and an on-air contributor for D. James Kennedy Ministries, lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and knows firsthand the worries that come with a devastating storm. 

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He offered a prayer for all those affected by Hurricane Ian.

"O God, who rides on the winds and waves, calm our hearts as the storm rages. Give us wisdom and grace to weather this storm. Thank you that every hair on our head is numbered. Thank you for the gift of life itself. Teach us to live in a way that honors you and our fellow man throughout our lives."

Joe Dalton, on vacation from Cleveland, Ohio, checks out beached boats at Ft. Myers Wharf along the Caloosahatchee River, on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Florida, following Hurricane Ian. 

Joe Dalton, on vacation from Cleveland, Ohio, checks out beached boats at Ft. Myers Wharf along the Caloosahatchee River, on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Florida, following Hurricane Ian.  (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

He added, "Protect us from the storm. Let the loss of life be minimal. In Jesus’ Name. Amen."

Dr. Newcombe also shared a quote from Abigail Adams in a letter to her husband John Adams, the nation's second president, on Sept. 16, 1775.

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"And unto him who mounts the whirlwind and directs the storm, I will cheerfully leave the ordering of my lot and whether adverse or prosperous days should be my future portion, I will trust in his right hand to lead me safely through."

‘You have the ability to triumph’

Rabbi Pinchas Taylor of Plantation, Florida, offered prayers as well. 

"First and foremost, when a hurricane comes we pray that everyone should be safe and secure," he said, "both people and their property. And we are confident that, with God's help, we will prevail through the storm."

"We are confident that, with God's help, we will prevail through the storm."

He continued, "In the Song of Songs, we read: 'Many waters cannot extinguish the love and rivers cannot flood it.' This verse means that although life is constantly filled with worries and hardships, they cannot extinguish the hidden love in the depths of our souls."

"Through being subjected to challenges in this world, our souls are refined and elevated to a greater level of connection with the divine." 

He continued, "There is purpose in the 'many waters,' and that's why it never extinguishes the love. The descent is for the sake of an ascent." 

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The rabbi added, "Perhaps this hurricane can serve as a reminder that whatever life throws your way, no matter the degree of the whirlwinds and floods which rage forth, you will not be extinguished. You have the ability to triumph. Wishing everyone a safe journey."

Authorities transport a person out of the Avante nursing home in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Orlando, Florida. Fr. Jeffrey Kirby of Indian Land, South Carolina, called the Lord "the master of storms and protector of your people."

Authorities transport a person out of the Avante nursing home in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Orlando, Florida. Fr. Jeffrey Kirby of Indian Land, South Carolina, called the Lord "the master of storms and protector of your people." (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Fr. Jeffrey Kirby, pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Indian Land, S.C., also offered a prayer for all those in Hurricane Ian's path.

"Lord God," he said, "you are the master of storms and the protector of your people; come to our aid. Grant protection and safety to those in the line of this hurricane. Dispel fear and anxiety. Let this storm pass."

He added, "Defend us. Give us your peace. For you are Lord forever and ever. Amen."

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Pastor Jesse Bradley, who runs Grace Community Church in Auburn, Washington, also offered words of supplication as Hurricane Ian continues its path of devastation.

Pastor Jesse Bradley, of Auburn, Washington, said, "We pray for leaders and first responders to have wisdom and courage with their decisions."

Pastor Jesse Bradley, of Auburn, Washington, said, "We pray for leaders and first responders to have wisdom and courage with their decisions." (iStock)

"Father God, we love the dear people in Florida and lift them up together in prayer today," he began. 

"We ask that you would guide them as they evacuate, comfort their families and give them your peace right now. We pray for leaders and first responders to have wisdom and courage with their decisions."

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He added, "By your grace, would you please slow down the winds and redirect this hurricane away from cities. We are praying for your protection, and that there would not be a loss of lives. Jesus, you are the Prince of Peace, and we seek you as we are grateful for your love and mercy. In your name we pray, Amen."

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He also offered the encouragement and affirmation found in Psalm 46:1: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

Maureen Mackey of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.