- (Photo: AP Images / NHK TV)
Prominent evangelical pastor John Piper described the scenes of the tsunami in Japan as "apocalyptic."
"The power of moving water is greater than most of us can imagine. Nothing stands before it," he said in a blog post Saturday.
Videos and images of the devastation caused by the earthquake that struck off the east coast of Japan and of the tsunami that followed on Friday have left the world in shock.
Tweets and comments have been posted in mass numbers, some calling for prayers, and some calling the disaster another sign of the end times.
For Piper, the catastrophic events have forced him to his knees in prayer.
"Father in heaven, you are the absolute Sovereign over the shaking of the earth, the rising of the sea, and the raging of the waves. We tremble at your power and bow before your unsearchable judgments and inscrutable ways," he said in a prayer for Japan.
"O God, we humble ourselves under your holy majesty and repent. In a moment – in the twinkling of an eye – we too could be swept away. We are not more deserving of firm ground than our fellowmen in Japan. We too are flesh."
"[I]n this dark hour we turn against our sins, not against you," he prayed.
Piper, pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, further petitioned God for mercy and compassion.
"Grant us, your sinful creatures, to return to you, that you may have compassion. For surely you will abundantly pardon. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus, your beloved Son, will be saved."
He continued. "May every heart-breaking loss – millions upon millions of losses – be healed by the wounded hands of the risen Christ. You are not unacquainted with your creatures' pain.
"O let them not judge you with feeble sense, but trust you for your grace. And so behind this providence, soon find a smiling face."
More than 600 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the magnitude-8.9 earthquake – one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history – and 23-foot tsunami that quickly engulfed towns on the northeast coast. Thousands are reportedly missing, with entire trains unaccounted for.
An explosion on Saturday at a nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture forced tens of thousands to evacuate the area as radiation leaked. The Japanese government has insisted that the radiation has decreased and that there is no danger of a meltdown.
But some remain concerned, especially after the cooling systems of three nuclear reactors failed, according to The Associated Press. Officials have been pumping seawater to cool the reactor.