Pray for a Hurricane// A History Post

Yes, you read the title correctly. No, it was not a fluke mistake.

There was actually a hurricane that saved Boston as the result of people praying! Today we are going to dive into exactly how this hurricane saved the New England town and why it even came about. So hang on, here we go!

In the 1740’s, the American colonies were caught in the middle of an ongoing struggle between France and Great Britain. Both of the world powers were vehemently fighting to gain control of the North American continent. This struggle became known by the American colonists as ‘King George’s War’.

I am not going to dive into the nitty gritty of King George’s War today. I am just going to give you a run down of events leading up to the hurricane that saved Boston.

In 1745, Great Britain took control of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia — an important French port city. It was one of the busiest ports in the North American continent. In fact it was the third busiest, Boston and Philadelphia being the first two. Not only was it a major port city, but it was also a well fortified French fort that protected the St. Lawrence River, ensuring that they could continue to trade. As you can imagine, King Loui XV was not terribly thrilled that Great Britain had captured Louisbourg. He was determined to take it back no matter the cost. He wouldn’t just rest at re-taking Louisbourg though. No, he was set on retaliating by conquering all of New England as well. His retaliation included a plan to burn Boston to the ground. He sent Duc D’Anville, with one of the largest war fleets ever seen in history up to that point, to go capture New England.

D’Anville said that his mission was to “expel the British from Nova Scotia, consign Boston to flames, ravage New England, and waste the British West Indies.”

During this time, the colonists received word that the French were going to retaliate. The colonists had supported Great Britain’s capture of Louisbourg because the French had a history of treating them unjustly. When the news came though that the French would retaliate, the colonists knew they would be the first ones in D’Anville’s crosshairs. They looked to Great Britain for protection, but none was given. They would be left to face the fury of D’Anville and his fleet on their own.

William Shirley, Massachusetts’ governor, reacted quickly to the news of the coming threat. He declared a day of fasting and prayer, imploring the New England colonists to beseech God to intervene on their behalf. They had no way of protecting themselves against the massive war fleet. They could only pray for God’s mercy.

In Boston, throngs of people gathered in The Old South Meeting House for the sole purpose of praying for God’s deliverance. The citizens fasted and prayed that God would keep them safe and save the city. Thomas Prince, a preacher in Boston, began to pray out loud in the midst of the crowd that had gathered, “Deliver us from our enemy! Send Thy tempest Lord, upon the waters to the eastward! Raise Thy right hand. Scatter the ships of our tormentors and drive them hence. Sink their proud frigates beneath the power of Thy winds!”

Eye witness accounts say that as he finished praying, a dark tempest rose up. The winds were violent and though no-one was in the bell towers, the steady ringing of church bells filled the darkened sky. The bells were ringing in a “wild and uneven sound” due to the sheer force of the wind.

It was the beginning of a massive hurricane that would scatter the entire French fleet!

This hurricane did more than just re-route the war fleet. It sunk many of the ships, washed overboard the crew and soldiers aboard, and sent the fleet scattering as far as the Caribbean. Some have argued that it was a stroke of fate that brought the violent storm up right at the time the people were praying and fasting. Some have even argued that it was not unusual for a fleet of ships to be scattered in such a way, but I couldn’t disagree more.

If there is still any doubt in your mind that this was indeed the Hand of Providence moving, consider this: During the hurricane, a bolt of lightning came down and struck a large ammunition supply aboard one of the ships, killing many of the sailors and soldiers on board and damaging the ship.

That right there is not a stroke of fate. It is not a coincidence that a bolt of lightning just happened to strike the ammo supply. That was The Timeless Anchor moving in mighty ways. (Makes me wonder why things like this aren’t ever taught in the history books.)

You can’t tell me this entire account is all a coincidence. No, it is just one more example that God governs in the affairs of men. It is a testimony to the awesome power of prayer. It is just another instance where we can find The Timeless Anchor working.

What do you think of this incident? Let me know in the comments!! I would love to hear your thoughts!

A. M. Watson

Hebrews 13:8

13 thoughts on “Pray for a Hurricane// A History Post

  1. An almighty, powerful, protective God who hears and answers prayers…. we are so blessed. I’d never heard about this before but there’s no such thing as a coincidence. I’m so glad to serve such an amazing God. The same yesterday, today, and forever!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All I can say is ….WOW!
    How as a History lover have I never ((that I recall) heard this story before???
    This is what I am talking about….GOD…the Timeless Anchor…showing Himself mighty on behalf of those who seek His face! I want to shout “Hallelujah!!” (I will refrain because people are still sleeping in my household ☺)
    We still serve that same God…
    Malachi 3:6, ” For I am the LORD, I change not…”
    One thing I noticed was the call to not only pray, but fast… I don’t think I have ever in my life heard a sermon on fasting with prayer. I wonder how different our world would be if Christians were taught that and lived it??
    Sorry for the long reply, but you made me get my soap box out! 😃
    Looking forward to more of these posts!!! Great job!


    • Side note… I have always known the Bible has taught/ mentioned prayer with fasting…just saying I have never heard it preached…in depth or otherwise.

      Liked by 2 people

    • It really is an incredible example of God’s movement in history. It’s sad, but things like this aren’t taught in school books.
      Just writing this post made me want to shout for joy. And yes, you are right! He is still the same as He was then. Hebrews 13:8 tells us He has never changed and never will.

      I think if more believers would take prayer and fasting seriously, then there would be a drastic change!

      Get on your soap box all you want! Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it. 😊


  3. I don’t think I’ve ever heard this account. That’s just amazing! And it’s such an encouragement to see God answering His peoples’ prayers. He does hear, and He acts mightily on our behalf!

    Thanks so much for posting – it’s great to hear these true stories that never show up in our history books these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Along with other commenters, I have never heard of this historical account. Thank you for sharing this! It is amazing to see God’s hand in birthing this nation.

    I long to see God’s protective hand continue in the US, but I fear the worldly infestation that plagues our people has turned God’s hand away. I am grateful, no matter what happens, here or elsewhere, believers in Christ can have the peace that passes all understanding.

    Thank you for the history lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so thankful that you were able to enjoy it! I never cease to be amazed over how God worked to form our country.
      It is sad to see our nation turn her back on God and the principles that formed our country, but like you said, He still gives peace. ❤

      You are welcome! Thank you for reading!


  5. Pingback: When God’s People Prayed For Healing | Seeking The Timeless Anchor

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