Support the Café
Search our site

Pray for Texas rain?

Pray for Texas rain?

The Dallas Morning News “Texas Faith Blog” wonders: “Should we pray for rain?”

William McKenzine writes:

With the drought creating havoc across Texas, including leading to brutal fires in Central Texas, it’s not uncommon to hear people either jokingly or seriously assert that they are going to pray for rain. Should Texans or, for that matter, others afflicted by drought pray for rain? If so, how would you pray? And what would you expect? If not, why wouldn’t you pray for rain?

He then posted a number of short pieces from religious types around the area.

Katie Sherrod was the lone Episcopalian, and submitted this essay that gracefully represents an Episcopal viewpoint.

KATIE SHERROD, Independent writer/producer and progressive Episcopalian activist, Fort Worth

There’s an old Texas saying — “Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.”

Cynics might say the same thing about praying for rain. They would be wrong. A prayer is about much more than the single thing being prayed for.

The Book of Common Prayer offers this prayer for rain on page 828:

43. For Rain

O God, heavenly Father, who by your Son Jesus Christ

hast promised to all those who seek your kingdom and its

righteousness all things necessary to sustain their life: Send

us, we entreat you, in this time of need, such moderate rain

and showers, that we may receive the fruits of the earth, to

our comfort and to your honor; through Jesus Christ our

Lord. Amen.

It is much used in Episcopal churches these days, indeed, wherever Episcopalians gather.

When I was a little girl in drought-stricken West Texas, I thought “Let us pray for rain” was a regular part of the liturgy. When one sees humans and animals, indeed all living things suffering in the heat and the drought, who would not be moved to prayer? For those who believe, it is a way to take action, a way to seek help for those suffering.

But praying is just one part of what it means to be God’s hands, feet and mouth in the world.

Praying does not mean other actions shouldn’t be taken as well, from such simple acts as putting water outside for birds and other creatures to more complex actions such as water conservation, which in urban settings might mean replacing water-hungry lawns with xeriscaping or setting up rain-capturing systems. It means finding ways to help the volunteer fire fighters who are coping with the massive wildfires across the state, and — not to be Captain Obvious here- it means taking responsibility for being careful not to start new fires by doing careless things such as throwing cigarette butts out of car windows or burning trash.

It means being aware we are our sisters’ and brothers’ keeper and how we treat the world around us affects more people than just us.

So yes, I pray for rain. At the very least, I am comforted by being still enough to sense the numinous. I am inspired and renewed in my desire to do what I can to help the situation in my immediate vicinity. And more than once, I’ve been rained on.

Dislike (0)
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

3 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paul Martin

As the Good Book says, God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Tom Sramek, Jr.

Morris: We should pray for rain in any case, lest we allow our prayers to be contingent on whether people agree with us politically or not.

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Kraut1701

I'll pray for rain in Texas as soon as Gov. Perry acknowledges the truth on climate change, which is causing the historic drought in the first place.

Morris Post

Like (0)
Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café