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Praying for rain in dry places

“Drought conditions continue to expand across Alabama with little rain in sight,” a recent AL.com headline states.

The article goes on to say. “According to the weather service the Alabama Forestry Commission has a fire danger alert in place, and permits for outdoor burning will be restricted.  In the past week the forestry commission has had to deal with 182 wildfires that have burned over 2,600 acres, according to the weather service.”

A WSFA-TV news story last weekend reported, “More than 570,000 people in the state are currently experiencing drought conditions. Almost 2-million people are currently living in abnormally dry areas. Fields are turning brown and creek beds are drying up. If it gets worse, it could put some farmers in a race against time to harvest, before their crops dry up.”

The grass in our yard crunches when we walk on it.  Our shrubbery’s shriveling.  It’s struggling to survive.  The drought, coupled with record-breaking high temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s for months, have parched the south Alabama soil.

If you believe the old sayings, then let’s all wash our cars and we should get rain.

I posted a picture on Facebook showing someone walking down a dry street holding a red umbrella.  The message on the picture read, “Prayer is asking for rain.  Faith is carrying an umbrella.”  I keep an umbrella in my car.  I think I’ll start keeping it nearby at work, home, church, wherever I go.

I’ve talked to people who are praying for rain.  I thought of the Old Testament prophet Elijah who prayed for rain because it had not rained for three and a half years.  He told King Ahab to get ready for a downpour for he could hear the sound of an abundance of rain.

Now he wasn’t speaking as a meteorologist, but as a man of faith.  Elijah went up to the top of Mt. Carmel and began to pray.  He would pray and then send his servant to look toward the sea.  After the seventh time, the servant saw a little cloud the size of a man’s hand.  Then, more clouds filled the sky and there was a great rain (1 Kings 18:41-45).

Have you ever experienced a drought in your soul?  At times, my soul seems parched and dry.  That’s the way David felt when he wrote, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips shall praise you.”  (Psalm 61:1-3 NKJ).

Best-selling author Ann Voskamp writes, “When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, (and) let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us?” 

Let’s pray for rain for our land and in our lives!

Jan White is a national award-winning religion columnist. She can be reached at jan@janwhitewriter.com