As Hurricane Harvey continues to devastate Southeast Texas, pastors based in the state have urged Christians worldwide to pray for those affected by the historic, catastrophic flooding.
Joel Osteen, who with his wife Victoria leads Lakewood Church in Houston, tweeted, "Victoria & I are praying for everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey. Please join us as we pray for the safety of our Texas friends & family."
He later added, "Our hearts break as we see the damage and destruction in our city. Please join us in helping Houston recover. Visit http://LakewoodChurch.com/Relief."
Bishop TD Jakes, who leads The Potter's House in Dallas, tweeted: "Join us as we continue to pray for safety, shelter, restoration and a calm in the midst of it all. Isaiah 41:10."
Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Flower Mound, tweeted: "Multiple friends from Houston have reached out for prayer this morning asking us to pray for Harvey to move. Join us in praying?"
He later later shared a photo of the flooding along with the caption, "Kindling for your prayers saints!"
Dr. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, tweeted: "We @Prestonwood are praying for those in the path of Hurricane Harvey and preparing to deliver ministry."
Nabeel Qureshi, a Muslim convert to Christianity who previously served with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, shared a Facebook video showing the massive flooding outside of his Houston home and asked believers to join him in praying for city.
"Lord God, your mercy upon the city of Houston, your mercy upon this neighborhood, your mercy upon us, God," he prayed. "Please stop the rains, please drain the waters, please save these lives, save these homes. No more catastrophe, God, we need you to come and stop this rain. We pray in Jesus' name, amen."
Houston Five pastor Doug Stringer, founder and president of Turning Point Ministries International, told Charisma News he, too, is stranded in his home.
"Our street is like a river, and the retention lake behind us is rising rapidly," he said. It's like a river rising next to our home because there's nowhere for the water to go. Our roof is leaking in different places, and our chimney is like a slow waterfall. There are tornado warnings every few minutes in our area."
He added, "My wife and I are praying for everyone we can as we hear of their need. We are declaring like Elijah the word of the Lord for the diminishing of the rain and waters to recede throughout the region."
Hurricane Harvey hit Texas on Friday and has since ravaged the Gulf Coast with storm surges, flash flooding and devastating winds along the coast and further inland. As of Wednesday afternoon, Harvey has killed twenty people, and the death toll is expected to rise.
Though the initial Category 4 hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm, officials have warned that the flooding is unlikely to recede quickly and that the storm will force more than 30,000 people from their homes. Torrential rains will continue through Friday, with an additional 15 to 25 inches pummeling the region, the Weather Service predicted.
"We are not out of the woods yet," Elaine Duke, the acting Homeland Security secretary, said during a Monday morning briefing in Washington. "Harvey is still a dangerous and historic storm."
Houston police said thousands had been rescued, with more to come. The National Weather Service warned that flooding victims should go to their rooftops, not their attics, to avoid being trapped by the rushing waters.
On Monday, President Trump also declared "emergency conditions" in Louisiana, where forecasts have called for as much as two feet of rainfall in some areas.