Praying for rain in all the dry places of life

Published 2:28 am Saturday, November 19, 2016

All 67 counties in Alabama are now under a drought emergency declaration, placing the entire state under a “no-burn” order, according to Gov. Bentley’s office.  This prohibits all outdoor burning. reports that “a total of 1,431 wildfires have occurred in Alabama since Oct. 1, destroying approximately 5,409 acres of land.”  The governor stressed the need for everyone to conserve water.

Meteorologist James Spann has noted, “The last measurable rain in Birmingham was on Sept. 18 with 0.32 inches. The last time we had more than one inch in a 24-hour period came on July 30, when the total was 1.33 inches. No rain has been measured so far in November.

We have gone, counting today (November 14), 57 consecutive days without measurable rain. We blew past the record of 52 dry days in a row (set in 1924) last week.”

Last week I posted on Facebook, “ Let’s all wash our cars and we should get rain…..better yet pray.” To which a friend from Birmingham replied, “ It is so dry in Birmingham that they won’t let us wash our cars or water our yards.” Drought conditions in north Alabama are described as extreme. Most southern counties are experiencing moderate drought conditions.

With my Facebook post, I included a picture of someone walking down a 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. Think I’ll start keeping it nearby at work, home, church, wherever I go.

I’ve talked to people who are praying for rain. Some churches have had special prayer 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 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»  (Psalm 61:1-3).

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, 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 on our land and in our lives!


-Jan White is an award-winning columnist. She can be reached at