If we compare all the disasters of former times, we see that they come less frequently now since God gave Christians to the world. For when men began to pray for God’s mercy, the evil of this world became restrained. When the summer clouds give no rain, and everyone feels the anxiety, you (pagans) party by day, and remain eager as ever for your banquets, baths, bars and brothels . . . While we - weary from fasting, and depriving ourselves of every desire, denied of life’s pleasures, rolling in sackcloth and ashes – assail heaven with our desparate pleas, and touch God himself.

Tertullian, The Apology, ANF 3, 48 (updated)