Praying for Joplin

Siestas, this is Amanda checking in with a broken heart. You may know that I married into a wonderful, godly family from Southwest Missouri. I can’t count how many times I’ve sat shotgun next to Curtis as we’ve made our journey down the highway from Springfield to Houston. It has always been our tradition to stop in Joplin for something to eat on the way home. My heart aches every time I see another headline about the tornado that ripped through the city on Sunday – the latest calling this the deadliest single U.S. tornado since they began keeping records 60 years ago.

I can’t fathom the death, destruction and fear that has gripped that city. I pray God is showering down strength and the hope of the Gospel onto those people. There are some incredibly faithful, hard-working, Jesus-loving folks in the state of Missouri and I pray that God is equipping them to minister to these survivors with incredible compassion and effectiveness. I pray that the ones who have lost everything will find Jesus to be so very near. I pray they will see restoration. For the ones who have lost friends and family members, I pray for comfort and peace. If anyone reading this has been directly affected, I want to tell you that I’m so very sorry for what you are going through.

I am praying for God to be merciful as another round of storms is due to hit the region. Curt’s sister, Lindsay, is due to have our first little niece this week. Of course I’ve been obsessing over her like any good sister-in-law, and even more so now. We are going up there next week to meet the baby. All that to say, Missouri, you are on my heart every minute. And we are all praying for you.


158 Responses to “Praying for Joplin”

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  1. 51
    Angie says:

    Here in Springfield/Nixa Missouri area, I am awestruck at the love, leadership, concern and outpouring that is going to Joplin.
    Joplin is our sister city, and this is devastating, and yet so close to home.
    Tonight we are forecasted for more tornadoe’s in our area… please pray specifically for those affected in Joplin, for God to lay a hand of protection on and around them.

  2. 52
    Kayleen says:

    My son Tim is headed to Joplin on Friday to work with Mercy Chefs who will be serving hot meals. Their calling is to “just feed people” to meet physical the physical needs of the hurting. Please pray for my 20 year old who has a heart for hurting people and has found a ministry to use his gifts.

  3. 53
    r. says:

    I live in MO and am underemployed and am losing the job I do have in a few days. I keep applying and not getting hired, but I want so much to even work TWO jobs to help!! I have no one I am responsible for any longer and totally free to do this. I cannot imagine having all the bare necessities I use to survive swept away… not to mention all the precious photos of my kids, family mementos I intend to pass down. I am so thankful for those who have survived, and for all those generous hearts who have headed there to provide hands-on care. I keep praying. Thank you so much for this post.

  4. 54
    Bobbie says:

    We’re praying for Joplin, too! It’s so hard not to be able to help, living so far away. I know God will work wonders in this city, I’m praying for open hearts and arms that will receive Him. If you hear of specific needs, please post it. A church here is collecting material supplies (of course, not turning away cash donations!), so that helps, but I feel these needs won’t go away soon as this area works to rebuild and rid their beautiful city of all the destruction!

    To all our Siestas that were in the path of this tornado please know you and your families will be in our thot’s and prayers for a LONG time. Our God is so awesome, He’ll be closer than we can be but our prayers will ring constantly in His ears! Keep us posted! We’ll help where and when we know how.

    Thanks, Amanda for this post-Joplin has been on my heart, too!

  5. 55
    April says:

    Praying for Joplin. Thank you Amanda for putting into words what so many of us are feeling for this town and all of those so devastated with weather related tragedies this year.

  6. 56
    Shahockey says:

    Please keep my friend in your prayers she lost two family members.

    • 56.1 Mississippi says:

      So sorry to hear about this! May God bless and comfort your friend during this time!

  7. 57
    Peggy says:

    Praying from Canada. All my extended family lives in the U.S. and so far have not been affected by these disasters of late, but all of you who have been,are on my heart and mind. Just know that people care and are praying for you all.

  8. 58
    Patti says:

    Praying with you.

  9. 59
    Donna Benjamin says:

    I,and many others here in Tuscaloosa, am aching for all those affected by the horrific tornado in Joplin. We have been praying and will continue to do so. Many here are also sending help your way.
    In His great Love!
    Donna B.

  10. 60
    Stacey says:

    I live about 2 hrs from Joplin, and it is just devastating. Many of my friends are getting supplies together to send there. My BIL’s friend(they are both police officers) went out there to help with the search, and he was struck by lightning. They do not think he is going to make it.

    Reading, Kansas was wiped out the night before,the whole town is gone, so my thoughts and prayers are with them as well.

    • 60.1
      Aimmi Adams says:

      Praying for your brother in law’s friend! As soon as I heard that there had been two officer’s hit by lightning, my heart broke. Even now, I just wonder why? But, I know that God has a plan. I know He does. Praying for your family and friends during this time. Please keep us posted on how he is doing.

  11. 61

    sadness and prayers for Joplin and all affected.
    <3 <

  12. 62
    Yanna says:

    Praying as well.

  13. 63

    I’m praying also, and especially for your sister-in-law at this time.

  14. 64
    Ericka says:

    Praying for the people of Joplin and for a healthy delivery of your sister-in-laws baby girl… There’s a silver lining in every storm cloud. XO

  15. 65
    Cheryl says:

    Prayers from California…

  16. 66
    Sandy says:

    This is a beautiful post, as always, from your heart! My heart aches for them, too. I am praying with you!

  17. 67
    Nicole says:

    Amanda, I am praying right there with you! My Dad’s immediate family is also in Springfield, and Missouri is very near & dear to my heart. My heart is aching for them.

    I pray God will use this disaster for nothing but His glory, bringing beauty from the ashes of the heartbroken. I just know He will. We serve such a faithful & loving God.

    I was listening to the radio this morning and something that resonated so deeply within me was the topic of the great Redwood trees. Hang with me for a second. These trees are some of the biggest in the world, yet their roots only go 5 feet deep. Many people wonder why these trees don’t fall down during storms since their roots are only a small fraction deep as the trees are tall. Here’s the kicker: the Redwood trees’ roots all join together & intertwine underground, creating a foundation to support these massive trees. When one is weak it doesn’t fall because of the magnificent support system it has underground from surrounding Redwood trees.

    The body of Christ is as the Redwood trees – we all are joined together to create a strong support system, intertwining through our roots in the Lord, and allowing no one to fall. Because of this spectacular support we have with each other as the body of Christ, Missouri will stand firm and remain strong because of this support…even when they are weak and cannot stand themselves.

    I just loved that, and felt it in my heart to share! Sorry for such a long comment.

  18. 68
    Gretchen says:

    Father, You are the one who controls the wind and the clouds and all the storms in life. Your ways are not our ways and who can fathom the depths of Your purposes — for Your ways are higher than our ways. Lord, I echo Amanda’s prayers for comfort and compassion on the people in Missouri. Lord, I pray that You would glorify Yourself in such tangible ways in and through Your people. Practically, Lord, I ask that You would meet the needs of so many who have lost so much. Touch and minister to broken hearts and broken bodies as only You can. And Father, I pray for the coming storms later today and ask You in the mighty Name of Jesus to hold them back from causing further destruction. Have mercy, Lord, have mercy on us. We entrust these prayers to You knowing that You hear the cry of our hearts no matter what happens. We pray all these things in the matchless Name of Jesus, Our Redeemer. Amen.

  19. 69
    KMSmom86 says:

    I attended Cottey College in Nevada, MO, about 60 miles from Joplin. When my parents came to visit, they would take me to Joplin to shop and just get away from campus. This was over 30 years ago, but I have fond memories of times spent there. I pray for the people who have suffered great loss, as well as those who are ministering to them.

    M.J. in Lovington, NM

  20. 70
    Priscilla says:

    I’ve long had a tender spot in my heart for Joplin. Many years ago, I was in a motel there with a nursing baby and a 4-year-old. (My then-husband was gone with the car on a job.) I became very ill with a high fever. I called the local church of my fellowship. One of the kind brothers came and picked me up with my girls, took me to a doctor, took me to pick up the prescription, and returned us to our motel. The antibiotic took care of my infection. That brother and his wife and several others of their congregation checked on us later that evening and again each day as long as we were there. I’ve been praying for those kind souls and the whole city asking — and trusting — that God will meet their needs now as He and they met mine so many years ago.

  21. 71
    Stephanie Joplin, MO says:

    Thank you all so much for your prayers!!! They are SO needed. SO MANY people affected!! They are still searching for trapped and missing people. A local radio station is broadcasting calls from citizens of Joplin who are looking for their neighbors and family members and it’s just heartbreaking to listen to. We live about 10 miles from Rangeline Rd–which also suffered a direct hit. So many businesses and restaraunts that were destroyed. As you have seen, St John’s hospital was destroyed as well. Both of my children were born there and their pediatricians office was right next door to the hospital and it was also destroyed. It’s just so surreal to see the pictures and the arial footage of a town whose landscape is forever changed! Everybody around here knows someone (and some know multiple someones) who were directly affected. This is just such a tragedy. Thank you again for your prayers!!

  22. 72
    Catherine Nelson says:

    I spent 10 years of my life growing up in Joplin, attending Ozark Christian College, and it’s where my husband and I married and had our first ministry. We have family and many lifelong friends there. My in-laws’ church alone has 55 families who have lost their homes. While their needs are great, what they need most right now besides our prayers are cash donations. Physical donations are piling up and can be difficult to manage, so if you plan on sending physical donations make sure there is a need first. (One thing that our church is doing is partnering with this church in Joplin by sending funds and volunteers to that church, and then the church in Joplin can distribute the funds as they see fit.) That being said, the body of Christ has joined together and are working to meet the needs of the people in Joplin. Pray for their long-term needs in addition to their immediate physical needs of the moment. It’s going to be a long rebuilding process for many families.

  23. 73
    dayna says:

    Yes, praying for them! Wanting to send some finacial aid but not sure where would be best. I am sure that God will show me.

  24. 74
    Karene says:

    Joining in prayer for everyone affected. My heart just breaks for all those who are suffering from the loss and devastation. May God be your Rock and your Strength. Love from So. Cal.

  25. 75
    Georgia Boone says:

    Praying!!! Gretchen you said it so beautifully!! I have thought of the people in Tuscaloosa often and wondered how they were doing.. I live in MI and we don’t get updated reports to often.

    I was watching the weather channel a little bit ago and saw tornadoes going across parts of Oklahoma. My prayers are with them as well.

    Blessings and prayers to all!! None of this caught God off guard.

  26. 76
    Gayla says:

    Thank you, Amanda, for saying what we are feeling.

  27. 77
    Rhonda says:

    Springfield MO local news just reported that the death toll is now 123 and there are still 1500 people unaccounted for. Heart breaking!

  28. 78
    Kathy says:

    Amen and Amen- My best friend from high school and her husband have lived in Joplin for decades- I have not heard from them- I greatly appreciate you love and prayers on behalf of our dear brothers and sisters in Joplin

  29. 79
    Peggy Blazek says:

    I am also praying for Joplin..what sadness and pain. Gretchen, I loved the redwood tree story. Thanks for sharing.

  30. 80
    Margie says:

    Thanks for your post, Amanda. Breaks my heart. I cannot fathom having everything I own gone in seconds. I cried as I walked to my car today after work. Our hearts are so heavy with so very many awful things going on in life and in the world and, these days, even in the weather. I’m so sad for the unspeakable loss down there. Only God can grant what His children need to get through this. I often wonder what it is that He does for those who aren’t His. His compassion on them is greater than mine and it makes me weep.

  31. 81
    Joyce Watson says:

    Praying for those in Joplin, Missouri, in Alabama, and now my home state of Oklahoma. It has been a year for storms.
    They have been searching for a little boy here near Sara, OK. pray for him and his family. Several houses damaged, people hurt and missing individuals.
    Thankful that God protect my family during this time.

  32. 82
    Leanne says:


    What a terrible tragedy this is. My town was hit hard by the April 27th tornado, and it is so so devestating to see pictures in the news and the papers of places that we used to frequent. The outpouring of help, love, and support has been unbelieveable. I pray that Joplin will rise and rebuild with the same. Thinking and praying for your family and the newest addition to your family. Much love for Tennessee.

  33. 83
    Leanne says:


    What a terrible tragedy this is. My town was hit hard by the April 27th tornado, and it is so so devestating to see pictures in the news and the papers of places that we used to frequent. The outpouring of help, love, and support has been unbelieveable. I pray that Joplin will rise and rebuild with the same. Thinking and praying for your family and the newest addition to your family. Much love from Tennessee.

  34. 84
    Kerri says:

    My heart is aching for the many lives that are forever affected by this tragedy. As i’ve prayed for them this week God keeps bringing the Psalm that Mama Beth shared with us just last week: “For You, Lord, have NEVER forsaken those who seek You.” psalm 9:106

    In the midst of such pain and loss, the only strength that can bring comfort is found in the Holy Spirit…so grateful He will stay near always, and NEVER forsake His children! Lord, please help them persevere when they feel so helpless and allow them to find complete solace in Your words of truth!

  35. 85
    Lauren says:

    Can’t fathom the destruction… shows us that life really is moment to moment. The good thing is that there is a God.. THE GOD… in control of it all. We may not understand why things happen, but our God is so awesome! Prayers for Missouri from Kentucky. Special prayers for your sis-in-law =)

  36. 86

    Praying like crazy for the people of Joplin. Sadly we know exactly what they are going through. If I may be so bold as to pitch a donation suggestion: the most effective major relief work in our area was done by the Southern Baptist feeding units. They are amazing. In fact, they are the ones who actually prepared all of the Red Cross packaged hot meals. I don’t have Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief info but shouldn’t be hard to find. As for other items, think a few weeks ahead. They will be inundated with food and clothing. Try yard tools, wheelbarrows, rubbermaid containers to store belongings. These are in hot demand here.

  37. 87
    Rhonda Smith says:

    Thank you Amanda for saying what we are all feeling. My heart is breaking for Joplin and for all of the people that are in the path of all the tornadoes. My prayers are with them.

  38. 88
    Charlotte says:

    I live in Carthage, Mo, about 10 miles from Joplin. It has been horrible but God has protected my family. However, the custodian at the county courthouse where I work has been missing since the tornado. He was at a theater one block from the St Johns Hospital that was destroyed. Pray that Randy is safe. and for comfort for his elderly parents.

    • 88.1
      Charlotte says:

      Unfortunately, we found out this morning that Randy did not survive. Pray for his parents.

      • Redeemed says:

        I was born and raised in Carthage. I’m so incredibly sorry to hear this! I have a picture on my background of the Jasper County Courthouse…it has been a comfort to me when I get homesick for my hometown! Praying for his family.

  39. 89
    Lorraine Slind says:

    Lord, we BELIEVE together, gather Your children who lost mom an dad in the storm. For mom and dad who are searching for their heritage from the Lord. Pour Your Spirit over the city of Joplin. We pray the U.S will begin to believe in, an Love Israel – so that You may Bless them. We feel the rumble of The Return. We worship YOU LORD.

  40. 90

    I feel your heart with mine. I am hurting for the people, families, animals, and children over there. I know no one there, yet my heart still hurts for the pain they are all going through. Where will they go and how will they survive? I am so thankful for a God that is so much greater than we can even fathom. We might not have the answers, but He has His reasons, and His ways are greater than our ways.
    We give all the praise to our Living and Loving Father.
    Thank you Jesus for breaking our heart with the things that breaks your heart!

  41. 91
    Mona says:

    I can’t add anything to how you worded that prayer, except to say that I’m agreeing together with you for Joplin and many other southern towns devastated by recent storms. (Matthew 18:19)

  42. 92
    Kathleen says:


  43. 93
    lorrie says:

    There are physical tornadoes and spiritual tornadoes ripping through lives that are unsuspecting. I really loved the Southern Baptist church that I attended. It boasted an affiliation to Beth Moore as it came out as an affliated Dallas based church. Nothing has affected me more or has depressed me more than the statement of a pastor telling me that I couldn’t attend because my husband was not attending and to just stay home and be a good wife and mother.(This after being married for 30 years and raising 7 children) Never mind the senior pastor owing up to a sickness on the part of this particular pastor in dealing with women well after a good time had passed but the lack with which this particular pastor treated women as also being God’s children. I am truly sorry for the prejudice view which some SBC churches inflict upon women and hope that in the future more men will listen to Beth’s teaching. Some tornadoes destroy physical property and some destroy spiritual lives. One is temporal and one is eternal. May God give you the strength to fight for the one that lasts.God bless, Lorrie

  44. 94
    Delores says:

    My thoughts & prayers go out to the people of Joplin.

  45. 95
    Mary Kelly says:

    Amanda, thank you for your heartfelt blog.
    Memphis is praying for Joplin (a place I always wanted to visited.) Here in Memphis, we have tornadoes every year, but the flooding was most most unexpected. It is a new challenge for us. And like Joplin, the outpouring of love and humanity from brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the country has been beyond belief. Although our Loving Lord created all things, He did not create this situation in Joplin. And just know, He is is holding Joplin–he is holding you– in the Palms of His Hands during the rough times head. Visualize it and believe it.

    Mary Kelly,
    Memphis, Tennessee

  46. 96
    kim says:

    I join you in prayer.

    Thank you all for your love and compassion.

    God is able to rebuild, heal, and deliver, even in this. May we all call on Jesus.

  47. 97
    June Brown, West Yorkshire, UK. says:

    Very sad to know Joplin and its people so devastated but thank God for the open hearts of all those who have joined in prayer for them and the many offering practical help in their time of need. I pray that our Heavenly Father grants endless energy and committment to all those in the services who are on the ground now working to save who and what they can and restore some order from the chaos. I pray that everyone involved reaches out to Him and that He touches each broken heart with His compassion. I pray each and every suffering family be comforted by His love.I pray He stills the storm by His mighty hand and that all may know His peace today. In the precious name of Jesus I ask this for you all in USA.

  48. 98
    Mary says:

    Amanda – I’m praying too! And I’ve been totally moved by the fact that most all of the survivors I’ve seen interviewed on the news praise our Lord for sparing them. So many lost everything but their life, and still, they praise Him. My unbelieving husband and so many others will hear their testimony. May we all learn to praise Him always!

  49. 99
    Patty says:

    I sat in my kitchen and cried as I watched the news about Joplin on Monday – there have been so many storms and devastation this year. I have been and I am still praying for so many who have lost so much. Only God knows His plans and we have to trust Him, but I still have a broken heart for the ones who have been hurt by these storms.
    Thanks so much for the redwood story – we do need each other, it seems more than ever before. We have also had some pretty strong storms in NC – but nothing to compare to the rest of the country.

  50. 100
    carla says:

    My heart is fragile over all of the weather disasters that have hit the south and the midwest. I have family 30 miles west of Ringgold, Ga. I drove through there on my way to Atlanta from Iowa last Thursday. It leaves you breathless, then to read about a football team mourning teammates lost and a graduating class minus an honor student. This community will hurt for a long time. We go to Joplin on our way to NW Arkansas frequently, I can not even imagine the heartbreak. It will be hard to see that on the way home. I feel so helpless yet so closer to God because I know the only way through all this is prayer. I hope and pray your family is ok in Missouri, I can only imagine and empathize with your husband. I will continue to keep all these folks south and midwest in prayer.

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