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Home church backup prayer during Cyclone Yasi

By Dr. Robert and Maureen McQuillan

Our Sunday February 6, 2011, our ANS feature article told of Dr. Roy Rasalam’s trusting God for protection for himself and his family during the ravishing devastation of Cyclone Yasi’s 290 kilometers (181 miles) per hour winds that struck Queensland, Australia.

Paddling after the storm

This family had based their trust in God on scripture, prayer and his faithfulness. Their Wednesday night/Thursday experience will never be forgotten by them.

We have since learned that, as they huddled together, they were not alone in their praying to and praising God. They had meaningful backup from their “old church” back in faraway Victoria.

Christian Life Assembly’s pastors, Lucky and Dami Kanagasabai, sent us this report from Glen Waverley, Melbourne:

“We kept the night watch praying for Roy and Marilyn throughout the Wednesday night of the tropical Category 5 storm. All our intercessors had already been alerted earlier in the day to pray for them, as soon as news of the impending cyclone was released. So the Rasalam’s were strongly backed in prayer during that awful time of great danger.

“Prior to their moving to Townsville in January, Roy and his family were members of our church. There was also had another family that had moved to Cairns and our concern was for their safety as we still considered them as ‘part of our church family.’

Damage caused by the storm

“Indeed we prayed for deflection, diversion, and downgrading of the cyclone, with no deaths. And, amazingly, the cyclone didn’t hit at high tide as expected when the impact would have been the greatest. Its full force was diverted, wind speed dropped and soon after impact it was downgraded from Category 5 to 3! Further downgrades soon followed! We praise God for his answering of Roy and Marilyn’s prayers. And that we were able to back them in prayer as part of God’s extended family.

“Our own state of Victoria was then heavily hit by ensuing aftermath storms on the Friday night when we were having our church camp at Phillip Island some three hours’ drive south from Melbourne. Also trusting God, many of our church people drove through the huge deluge to get down there.

“Then the weather report late on Friday night said the storm was heading towards Phillip Island. Believing prayer brings miraculous results we prayed for blue skies and no rain. And as we later learned the Rasalams had done, we too claimed the power of the blood of Jesus and took authority in his name!”

The message went on to say, “Amazingly, at around 3 am, the weather report said there was a change. The storm had shifted! We had our prayers wonderfully answered and we got our blue skies and no rain. In fact we even played cricket on Saturday!

“How great is our God! We could echo the words of the Hillsong chorus Still: ‘…when the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with you above the storm, Father you are king over the flood, I will be still, know you are God.’

“Prayer in Jesus’ name is our long range missile against not only the schemes of the devil but against every that life and nature throws at us! We had a great camp.”

How comforting it is to know that others are caring about us and praying for us, especially in our darkest hour and through our most terrifying storms. Even if we don’t know their names or they haven’t told us they’re doing so.

One of the great church catch-cries of recent years is Connect! As this report indicates, prayer is an amazing way of connecting with friends in need. And doing so brings its own reward as happened for Christian Life Assembly. Worldwide several nations are going through cyclones of various kinds at present. We need to pray for them and of course Australia, historically known as the Great Southland of the Holy Spirit. May a Holy Spirit storm of cleansing, comfort and righteousness flow through this nation and spread beyond!

We thank the ASSIST broader family for its connecting through ongoing prayers.

Dr. Robert McQuillan is recognized as an inspiring encourager, wordsmith, associate counselor, businesspeople encouragement sessions speaker and Bible teacher on the prophetic edge. He and his wife, Maureen, a gifted communicator with uncanny insight of knowing “where people are at” are regular guest speakers. Their ministry, Life Focus Ministries, is based in Geelong, Australia. They can be contacted by e-mail at: or check out

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