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Praying for rain in Texas
Crews battle a wildfire threatning a home in Strawn, Texas, earlier this week.
April 22nd, 2011
04:39 PM ET

Praying for rain in Texas

By Emily Smith and Josh Rubin, CNN

Austin, Texas (CNN) - Texas’ water problems seem to have reached almost biblical proportions with a record drought, statewide wildfires and shrinking aquifers plaguing the Lone Star State.

On Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked for federal aid in containing the raging fires that have already claimed two lives. On Thursday, Perry turned to an even higher power by declaring the upcoming holiday weekend “Days of Prayer for Rain.”

The proclamation reads:

WHEREAS, throughout our history, both as a state and as individuals, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer; it seems right and fitting that the people of Texas should join together in prayer to humbly seek an end to this devastating drought and these dangerous wildfires;

I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal and robust way of life.

Praying for rain is not a new phenomenon. Religions the world over have sent prayers for precipitation to their respective gods.

But does praying for rain work? In 2007, after a drier-than-usual summer, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue successfully prayed for rain. While Georgia did get some relief from its record drought, unfortunately there wasn’t enough of a deluge to stave off water rationing and restrictions. At least not that year anyway -– December 2009 saw record rainfall totals across the state, prompting some less-religious constituents to question the length of time it took God to answer their governor’s prayers.

This weekend in Texas, some parts are expected to remain dry and windy, but cooler temperatures and higher humidity in others parts are giving emergency crews some relief. CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said thunderstorms are expected in the region this weekend, but they may not be of much help –- rainfall is expected to be low, and the lightning could spark further wildfires.

Time will tell if the prayers of Gov. Perry and the people of Texas will be answered.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Environment • Politics • Prayer • Texas

soundoff (405 Responses)
  1. what

    There needs to be a qualification questionaire for all politicians. The 1st question should be do you believe in praying to the God of Rain, or any other Gods for help?

    April 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  2. amust

    O ALLAH, shower rain of mercy on our state of Texas, and save us from Tornadoes, hail, storm and fire, and Hell fire., Amen.

    http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/islam/article77007.ece
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20110422/pl_usnw/DC88071

    April 22, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  3. Robert

    Texas gets it's due.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  4. what

    I think I have found proof of the existence of God and miracles because it's truly a miracle that this fool got elected.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  5. holier-than-thouest

    Well, I do certainly believe. I have God along with me everywhere and everything I do in life. You non-believers are selfish, mean, hateful people and you will BURN BURN BURN in everlasting hellfire and I'll be sipping iced tea with God in heaven.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • runswithbeer

      Heaven is in Texas as any good Texan knows. We've already have been tempered in fire.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Stev-o12

      your response is mean and hateful. It must be great for a little person to know the will of God or is that blasphemy??

      April 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • shlababy

      Didn't you know? They don't serve iced tea in heaven.

      April 23, 2011 at 3:04 am |
  6. runswithbeer

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; " The Governor of the State of Texas has used his position as Governor to OFFICIALLY PROSELYTIZE his religious beliefs. Pure and simple. give him half a chance and Fearing God WILL BE a REQUIREMENT to live in Texas.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  7. j0nx

    PLEASE take some of ours. 5 days a week it's either raining or heavy cloud here in the DC area for going on 2 solid months now. ENOUGH already! We are seriously lucky to see the sun 2 or 3 times a week.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  8. Thank You

    To the non-believers, it wouldn't matter if it did rain and relieve the drought. They would chalk it up as something else and not believe b/c their hearts are hard.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Blaqb0x

      That's because there's nothing miraculous about rain. In a state as large as Texas, I'm sure it will rain somewhere with in state boundaries. It's a near certainty, it will rain even if you pray for it not to rain. It's equivalent to praying for the sun to come up every morning.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  9. Stev-o12

    These fires are strange since Texas is one of the most crazed religious states. I wonder if people prayed all day/night there would never be any disasters.
    A little less prayer a little more action. Low taxes equals less readiness.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  10. beginner

    While I was praying my thumb got stuck up my nose. Is it too small a request to ask the Allmighty God to help get my finger out of my nose? I know that there are bigger problems in the world but I've heard that it's ok since I was a little baby to pray to the Allmighty for things. There are bigger problems in the world, by hey, my problem of my finger being stuck up my nose is a big problem to ME ME ME ME ME ME.....

    April 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  11. Mark from ATX

    I prayed... it hasn't rained. My faith is shattered. Thank you Gov Perry!

    April 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  12. beginner

    If I'm an agnostic can I still try to use mental telepathy to talk to god just in case he's there? Do christians allow me to pray to their god if I'm not sure whether or not he exists?

    April 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  13. beginner

    Does is matter to God if I actually say the words "God, please don't mess with Texas"? Or should I just say it silently and use mental telepathy to talk to God?

    April 22, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • runswithbeer

      You're not the Government....

      April 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I already wrote this ... hope it goes through ...

      But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

      Matthew 6:6

      Amen.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  14. Toby

    Everyone has an opinion. They are all valid to some degree. However, prayer changes things, especially when prayer is for something needed, like rain. What would you suggest the people of TX do? As for "producing" GW and GH Bush, Florida got their karma for GW with the massive hurricanes after the voting snafu. However, AMERICA, is another story, NOW we have Obama? Chew on the consequences we'll have as a nation for that one! Pray for our LEADER to be removed from office in 2012! Then, pray some more to make sure we elect a "better" leader after that! LOL

    April 22, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Stev-o12

      It is all random, if there is a God- he doesn't get involved in anything on Earth–to say otherwise is to possess a massive ego. To say it can be changed by prayer means God caused every disaster to punish yet releigious and non-religious suffer equally. I and millions will be praying Obama wins in 2012, good thing it will be the ballot that decides cause God keeps it quiet.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  15. Jen

    Please, take our rain!!! We have way too much already!

    April 22, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  16. beginner

    I want to start praying for rain for Texas. Would someone please help me? I'm not sure how to ask the lord for rain for the state of Texas. Would someone please help by putting an example of what I can start saying when I'm praying for this?

    April 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • runswithbeer

      It's not within the power of the Government to tell you either.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

      Hebrews 4:16

      Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.

      Psalms 5:1

      Amen.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  17. Mike

    If it was a liberal state, the republicans would be out there saying God is punishing them due to, abortion, gay marriage and god knows what else. SO WHAT's with Texas, maybe there being punished for being right winged butt heads who have a double standard. Maybe it's being punished by God because the state produced George H and George W.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • coomback

      Mike,
      the Bush's are yankees from the North East, they're not from Tejas, though dubya'd like you to think so...

      April 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Cait

      You do realize that Texas isn't just a giant red mark on the map. This news is released from the Texas capitol-Austin,TX one of the most liberal cities in the country...so before you make your generalizations, do some research. Also, don't condemn a group of people to a plight just because some of them might not agree with your political beliefs. The majority of us wouldn't do that to you. What has become of humanity? So petty, man.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  18. Gary Crowell

    Timing has a lot to do with the success of a rain dance.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  19. Alan Dean Foster

    Overrule the chauvinistic U.S. Forest Service and ask the Russians for some IL-76 waterbombers.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  20. Overmann

    Praying for anything is ridiculous. In the words of George Carlin, "Suppose that what you want isn't in God's Plan. What do you want him to do? Change his plan?" If an all-powerful, caring deity desired to help with the fires, he would have done it already. He wouldn't need to be reminded of your woes, folks. Also, any deity who holds such aid ransom for prayer is immoral and undeserving of worship.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Alex Bruzzone

      A week ago some pastor with his congregation were at a gas pump praying for lower gas prices. That prayer doesn't seem to be having any effect and I doubt this one will.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • John

      I just prayed to God that I will get an "A" on my Calculus exam without studying - he failed me. Thanks God.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

      Matthew 6:6

      Amen.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Scott

      @ John: as long as there are math tests, there will be prayer in schools

      April 22, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.