PRAYER TURNED MATTHEW AWAY ... Bishop said God responded to calls for mercy
A prominent member of the clergy is claiming that Jamaica was spared the wrath of dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Matthew because prayer warriors on the island went on their knees and asked God to have mercy on the country.
“The churches in Jamaica are very proactive. When it comes on to things of spiritual nature, we are on target. We decided that we are going to pray. With all that Jamaica is going through we couldn’t manage a Category 4 hurricane. God has answered our prayers,” Bishop Rohan Edwards, head of the Lighthouse Assembly in Spanish Town, told THE STAR yesterday.
Jamaica was placed on hurricane warning on Friday as the dangerous hurricane targeted countries in the central Caribbean. However, that warning was lifted yesterday after the Meteorological Services decided it was unlikely that the country would experience hurricane force winds.
“It was seen to some extent but because of the erratic nature, the fact that it was moving so slowly ... any kind of shift to the east or west could have brought us under those winds and we didn’t want to take that chance earlier,” Evan Thompson, head of the Meteorological Services, told THE STAR yesterday.
Edwards told THE STAR that the change of events is something really worth giving God thanks for.
“Jamaica is already dealing with a monster in crime and violence, we couldn’t manage this monster,” said the bishop.
Hurricane Matthew is now on course for Haiti, which, according to reports, four people have suffered fatally because of its impact.
Edwards told THE STAR that he does not know how hard the Haitians are praying.
“Every major disaster seems to hit Haiti. I don’t know how hard they are praying or if their prayer is effective. I cannot speak for Haiti because I don’t know of their prayer mechanism, I know about Jamaica.”
Bishop Herro Blair, pastor of Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre, told THE STAR that the shift in the hurricane from Jamaica is purely a result of God’s will.
“Everyone prays to God for something. God’s permissive will works so even though we pray it may be that it goes somewhere else,” Blair said.
Thompson, meanwhile, said he would not say that prayer has not contributed to Jamaica not experiencing hurricane force winds from Matthew. He said, however, that science can explain what happened.
“I believe God is the one who holds the seas and the universe in His hands, so it is up to Him to change any environmental condition. I won’t say that it is not, but I can’t say that that is the only reason because there is a scientific basis to it,” Jamaica’s chief meteorologist, Thompson, said.