It’s become the prayer heard around the world — a desperate and heartfelt plea to the Lord from a meteorologist stunned, beleaguered, and beside himself by the troubling storm report he was delivering.
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But WTVA-TV Chief Meteorologist Matt Laubhan’s now-viral invocation is also being credited with saving lives, as residents of the small town of Amory, Mississippi, heard it moments before a deadly tornado hit.
“So, Amory, we need to be in our tornado-safe place. We’ve got new scan coming in here as we speak,” he said during an on-air report Friday night before pausing, looking down, and letting out a worried sigh as he saw the real-time severity. “Oh man, like, north side of Amory, this is coming in. Oh man.”
Then Laubhan stopped to seek God in the middle of his report, proclaiming, “Dear Jesus, please help them. Amen.”
Watch the stunning moment:
The video of Laubhan’s prayer quickly went viral, but the impact is now getting increased attention, with some residents of Amory crediting the meteorologist with saving their lives.
Leah Ann Hubbard told The Independent she’s used to tornado weather in Mississippi but that Laubhan’s report dismantled the typically “unfazed” feeling many have during these storms.
His tone and tenor told Hubbard and others something was different from the norm.
“He saved lives, for sure,” Hubbard told the outlet. “We knew it was coming, but you didn’t know if it was going to touch down. All of a sudden, Matt says, ‘This is a potentially deadly tornado.’ I just remember him saying ‘deadly’ over and over.'”
The intensity of Laubhan’s words of warning led her to hunker down. She said the damage to the town, which she later surveyed, looked “like an apocalypse.”
One person commenting on a YouTube video of the meteorologist’s prayer proclaimed, “This was the last thing my family heard from the storm shelter right beside the TV, then our power shut out.”
Others commented on the prayer and its impact, thanking the weatherman for his care, compassion, and willingness to turn to the Almighty on behalf of others.
“I may not be a Christian, but this was a heartfelt prayer from a [meteorologist] who knew this was possibly a mile wide EF-4 that had destroyed two other towns in the past hour,” Dean Hirasawa wrote. “I would like to think the people of Amory and all those in Mississippi in the 100 mile path of this monster tornado appreciated his prayer!”
A man named Darin Hyden added, “We need more people like this in broadcasting. God bless you, sir!”
As for Laubhan, he posted a Bible verse to Instagram Sunday along with an encouraging message to those hurting amid so much loss.
The weatherman opened the post with Hebrews 11:1, which reads, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”
Laubhan continued, proclaiming, “The goodness of God WILL prevail.”
So many are hurting tonight and my heart breaks for you. I was blessed to learn this “memory verse” with a bunch of kids, praising God and lifting up those who are hurting tonight in prayer. Things won’t instantly be better, but surrounded by the loud, young voices of these 3rd-5th graders, I know for a fact that God will be faithful in this time of great pain and heartache and that even though the damage is severe, the goodness of God WILL prevail.
Tragically, the tornados Laubhan reported about ripped through various parts of Mississippi, killing at least 26, leveling at least one town, and leaving behind widespread havoc.
Continue to pray for those impacted by the storms as they pick up the pieces of their lives.
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