July 16th, 2010
09:53 AM ET

Change of prayers in the Gulf

For the past 60 years, each Sunday from Mother's Day to Labor Day, Foley United Methodist Church has met for a beach service at the state park in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

This year the service has been interrupted by the oil disaster.

Clean-up efforts forced the congregation from the sandy beach up to a concrete pavilion, "partly due to the relief workers basically taking away our beach. We’re glad they are, but that is the situation," said the Rev. Lance Moore, who has pastored the congregation for six years.

“We’re down there praying every week," Moore told CNN's Belief Blog by phone on Thursday. "It’s important for us to pray every week, every Sunday since we’ve been out there since it has happened. Every day we’re down there, we’re praying for some relief.”

The. Rev Lance Moore baptizes a baby with a shell in cleaner times in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Sunday, the beach service will play host to another event - seeking prayers for the communities hardest hit by the oil disaster. The church will be participating in a National Day of Prayer for the Gulf.

The day of prayer follows past Sundays in the Gulf where legislatures and governors had called for a day of prayer. This week's event was organized in part by the National Association of Evangelicals and the Evangelical Environmental Network, which put out a statement saying:

Thousands of people of faith will join together in prayer for the residents of the Gulf Coast facing the tremendous human impact of the spill, and for God’s creation in the Gulf, which was decimated by this ecological catastrophe. ... Congregations will call in prayer “… For the oil flow to stop; give us the wisdom to end this tragedy. For the people in despair that you would provide peace and hope. For restoration for the sea, the land, and all who live and inhabit them.”

Following the big news Thursday that BP successfully attached a new cap to stop oil from spewing into the Gulf, Moore says their prayers may be different this week.

“We’ve been praying since Mother's Day for help, and maybe this Sunday it’ll be a prayer of thanksgiving,” he said.

You can read more about the day of prayer here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • Environment • Prayer

soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Christ Loves You

    I LOVE God and Jesus! 🙂

    July 16, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      I love Luke Skywalker, but I don’t think he's going to help us either.

      July 21, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  2. matteo

    Man there are a lot of belief bashers on here. Aren't people without a religion supposed to push freedom even more because they are supposedly less ignorant? Maybe its because some are just so offended by the notion of God...why, because you think it is old fashioned and pointless? I am not offended by people who do not believe in God, I don't bash on you guys. I fully understand your doubt, God is ridiculously hard to even think of...not to mention actually believe he exists. So go you guys, but why fight a person's religion? Instead don't bash, belief in a God and no belief does not make another person not human...instead stand on the principles that you create for yourself, and embrace humanity, help bring peace.

    July 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • ProvePrayerWorks

      Why doesn't prayer work for Christian or any religious amputees?

      July 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
    • ProvePrayerWorks

      @Joel3 That's the best insult you have?

      July 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • Amanda

      I think the problem is that there are a lot of religious people who fight so hard to push their relgion on others and that's why they get bashed. I'm not saying they all do (you seem to be a fairly level-headed, laid back kinda dude), but there are TONS who do. I just mean that you can't call someone a sinner and say they are going to hell because they don't go to church and not expect some retaliation. That being said, I will agree that there are a lot of non-religious people who pick fights with believers just for the sake of arguing – and that's just as bad.

      July 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  3. Eric G

    @Joel3: Thanks for the suggestion, but I already had this book. Have you read it yet? I was expecting something a little more substantial. It seemes that when the author tried to give examples of the success of prayer, he either pointed out his rule of patience or just referenced the bible. I am looking for something that gives actual examples of how prayer changed the outcome of a certain event or action. Maybe something that presents some verifiable evidence that I can research?

    July 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • Joel3

      Ok, give me a sec. I can tell you have doubts but I'm still going to entertain your request.

      July 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  4. Dan

    Why is CNN pushing this belief blog so much? Personally I don't want my news mixed with fantasy.

    July 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • David Johnson

      I'm glad CNN is "pushing" the Belief Blog. It gives atheists a chance to point out how silly faith is.

      July 20, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  5. Brendan

    1 person doing something is better then 100,000 praying (which has never done anything for anything)

    July 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • Joel3

      You obviously need to do some reading if you think praying never did anything...wow

      July 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
    • Eric G

      @joel3: Can you suggest something to read that gives examples of the power of prayer? I am going to the library in a 1/2 hour.

      July 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Dan: I own a copy of the God Delusion. I am an atheist, but I do read as much about religious beliefs (mostly Abrahamic religions) as I can. Prayer facinates me because I think it is an attempt to manifest a god by attributing random actions with divine intervention, thus providing evidence of a god by proxy. I don't have any doubt that prayer does provide some people with a calming peace, but so does meditation. It is the mind of the believer that interests me. Not only "why they believe", but also "why do they deny evidence to continue their belief"?

      July 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  6. jeff

    Prayer: How to do nothing and still think you're helping.

    July 16, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  7. Prayer !=Progress

    No. The answer for the gulf now, is to clean up. Hard work will get that done. Mumbleing to yourself on a beach Sunday morning might comfort you, center you, make you feel empowered, but it won't get oil out of the water.

    July 16, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  8. Joel3

    For all of you LOST folk who ASSUME prayer doesn't work I have great news for you: It does. Yes, absolutely. Here is YOUR problem: God does not work on or answer prayers on YOUR schedule. Prayers are answered according to HIS will and HIS schedule, understand? Patience is key. One more thing: Prayer should not be used to run down your "wish list" got it? Thanksgiving is first and foremost, praying for others as well. Humble yourself and show some humility in front of God. He already knows your desires if He knows YOU. This is the real question you should be asking: Do you know HIM? Have you taken any time out of your so called "busy" lives to spend with our Father? Or do you prefer to find reasons to convince yourself He doesn't exist? A relationship with God takes time. That is the number one problem with most non-believers, and trust me I used to be just like you. Seek and you shall find. Open your hearts and He will open your eyes.

    July 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • Joel3

      You need to be asking the Father that question in your life, not me. However, I can promise you will not be let down, that's for sure.

      July 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
    • Mantra

      It works because it's all in your head in the first place.

      July 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • Joel3

      Uh no, it works because the spirit of God rests within me an all of His people....Get on board

      July 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
    • Amanda

      Listen........I get that your religious, and that's fine – good for you. I just don't understand why most religious people feel the need to constantly preach at others who are not, criticize them for their lack of "belief", and try to dictate how they live their lives. Anyone who is a true Christian would realize that judging should be done by God, not man. In other words, why can't the religious wing-nuts let sinners live their lives as they see fit and trust in the fact that if God truly hates the sinners, He will deal with it in his own way.

      July 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  9. Jdubba

    Nah....you can still be a good person and figure out the answers without prayer. In fact, you'll get more truthful answers without the god factor influencing your research and

    July 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
    • Matt

      I do not agree!

      July 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
    • Prayer !=Progress

      There are lots of good people that don't pray. Don't mistake you're views for fact, as religion is based on the stories and teachings you choose to believe.

      July 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • Joel3

      Me neither, you got it backwards bruh..seek God

      July 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  10. Matt

    Love and Prayer together hold the answers to everything!

    July 16, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
    • Prayer !=Progress

      No, being inquisitive, asking hard questions, educating yourself, listening to different sides of the same story, acting on problems and issues...those are the things that hold answers. If we were left to prayer and love we'd still be burning witches for the love of a higher power that, even the most pious admits we don't understand!

      July 16, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  11. Apeman

    wow....I'm impressed....a Christian that knows how to do something besides just pray......

    July 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  12. Jdubba

    Nice Apeman......excellent term. Do the math.....2hrs in Church, every Sunday, 52 weeks per year = 104hrs per year x 70yrs avg. = 303 days of your life that you could've been doing something productive or for fellow man but have wasted on honoring a fabricated concept. Instead, you're saying amen and supporting a gang of thieves, with your hard earned money, many of which are little kid fondlers. Nice....real nice. The truth hurts, doesn't it ?

    July 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Matt

      303 days are not a very big percentage of eternity, so I would say that those 303 days in Church were well spent.

      July 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • Ron

      I give you full permission to let go...It is clear you hate religion. Now please, before you hurt yourself anymore, back away from the computer. Surely there is an episode of Family Guy on?

      July 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  13. Apeman

    Man caused this issue....man should fix it.....

    July 16, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  14. Jdubba

    Do you mean H – E – double toothpicks ? Hell ? Are you freakin serious ? Hah, another total crock of poo. C'mon, you've got to be smarter than that and if not, learn a little history. Spanish Inqusition, England's Holy War, 100yr war.....you name it, each religion has got one that killed thousands, if not millions. How did your prayers work out on day 3 or 4 of the Deepwater Horizon spill ? How about your "god" never letting it happen and sparing 11 innocent men ? Keep on lying to yourself and looking to the sky.

    July 16, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  15. Apeman

    Just like the prayer mongers to put all the hard work on God, Great Spirit or whatever you call it. Don't lift a finger to actually help but pray, pray, pray,.....you might as well be muslim republicans....

    July 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  16. Sofee

    prayer gives us guidence but action makes it happen, Jesus threw out the money changers from the temple. I"m not suggesting violence but we must take responsibility by demanding and expecting more from our officials. also personally being more careful how we use our resourses, not being wasteful, recycling.Not using product harmful to the environment .Educating our children and grandchildren. Get the kids out from under the TV and video and outside into nature so they will learn to love and apprciate God's creation. We have ti find an alternative sourse of energy other than crude oil.

    July 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  17. cafields

    Keep on Praying and if you have half a brain you will come to the conclusion I have, religion is BS.

    July 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Matt

      Perhaps if you have only half a brain. But if you have a whole brain, you will discover that Love and Prayer together hold the answers to everything.

      July 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  18. truebuckeye

    Holy Crap, most of you people are going straight to ....
    Don't anyone ask "what has happened to our country?" just read some of these comments...
    I Will pray for you........

    July 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • Mantra

      ...and I'll save you a seat.

      July 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • skeptic56

      Save me a seat, too. I'll bring the popcorn!

      July 16, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  19. Jdubba

    Sure its good...we just shouldn't need to have to patronize "a god" to make it happen. It should be natural to come together as humans to help one another but the very nature of religion and god is divisive and has caused more death, destruction, and hate than any other concept in history.

    July 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  20. Jdubba

    God and Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. Now make sure you put 10% of your earnings in that church collection plate so that the Diocese can influence some more people in Washington. If god and religion were real, don't you think it would be self-evident among all beings.....like breathing, needing water, or taking a dump? Religion is one of the worst and most invasive forms of socialistic and indoctrined behavior.

    July 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • Joel3

      Once again, you got it backwards. The "common people" like yourself, don't believe and don't get it. The wise folk like my brethren and sisters in the faith see the world for what it really is: LOST. The rulers you were right about, some find it useful, but to their own demise. Trust me when I tell you the destruction of an ungodly ruler is worse than any sinner. They will be dealt a double-portion of their own bad fruits , and God considers them "enemies" – period. The world is chasing all the WRONG things. You will never ever find happiness by following the rest of the world which has been misled since the fall. God's people view the world as looking into a fishbowl. You should take a look!

      July 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.