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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. Cojack

    A rain dance would be just as effective..........................

    April 23, 2011 at 3:09 am |
  2. Cojack

    A rain dance would be just as effective...........................

    April 23, 2011 at 3:06 am |
  3. rightwingtxn

    @Um
    I take it you were home schooled by rednecks.
    Take crap= talk crap.
    And if you are jealous of my wealth then get a real job. I cant help that i have good benefits, a very nice salary and retirement. Maybe if you would get off your ass you could have all of that as well.

    April 23, 2011 at 2:57 am |
    • Charlie Brown aka Carlos Cafe

      What happened? Your wealth couldn't buy an apostrophe?

      And why is it that you people think you're the only ones who work hard and that everyone else who wants fairness in our society is lazy? Is it the "exceptional" crap that you've been fed? Do you think you're that special? You're not! What you have you owe to this country, to its educational system, to its form of government, etc. etc. You idiots like to think you did it on your own but somewhere down the line you got a "handout" from the system. Your ilk likes to romanticize about the old days when you could head west, clear some brush and build a shack. Try doing that today, if you make it, then you can claim you deserve everything you got

      April 23, 2011 at 4:09 am |
  4. Stephanie

    ROFL. I am amazed at how stupid some people can be. Too bad some happen to hold such a high position in office. What a disservice to society.

    April 23, 2011 at 2:41 am |
  5. rightwingtxn

    There is alot of ignorant thinking among liberals on here. It appears that stupidity is rampant. Maybe we should form our own nation. Reading these post sure make they rest of you sound like idiots.

    April 23, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Um

      Bye!!!!!!!!

      April 23, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • Maybe

      Yeah, the Great Republic of Texas lasted less than 10 years last time!

      April 23, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • Um

      PS: before you preach stupidity, a couple of lessons:
      alot=a lot
      they rest= the rest

      Just like a neocon with his head up his ass. Take crap about others while you didn't get out of 8th grade yourself. Ooops, did I sink to your level? Too bad, Fight is on, ignorant ass. We "ignorant liberals" are sick and tired of you evil fools living only for yourselves and the fantasy world you've created that benefits only the people in the power of wealth. Hilarious that most of you are rednecks who get welfare and other public benefits but are the first to scourge (look it up) the liberal thinking. Be ready for a fight, losers.

      April 23, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • Maybe

      It'd be the Holy Theocracy of Texas this time, right?

      Good. We'll all be watching from the sidelines, splitting our sides laughing as the Baptists vs. the Catholics vs. the Methodists vs. the Mormons vs. the Charismatics vs. the Muslims vs. the Lutherans times 50+ other denominations all fight to see whose fantasy and superst.itions will rule the place.

      April 23, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • okkebas

      Will that nation of yours include Houston with it's gay democratic female mayor and some of the other big cities that voted for Bill White in the last election? You know the cities that created most of the jobs and revenue for Texas.

      April 23, 2011 at 4:18 am |
  6. Fist of Reason

    He should be arrested. He is not "high priest" of Texas. He is a criminal.

    April 23, 2011 at 2:19 am |
  7. Roger47

    Does he hope to benefit from the prayers of all the Catholics who are there illegally as well? The Muslims who live there?

    April 23, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  8. Um

    As an Austinite (the liberal, free thinking, live and let live–even you conservatives we all don't agree with bastion of the state), I am queasy just reading this. My word, PRAY? Oh yeah, because all the prayer in the world has saved Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Islamics etc etc etc from anything historically. This is Mother Nature giving us another F-U reminder that SHE runs things, and as long as we keep allowing humans to do tragically stupid things, she has to react accordingly. We HAD rain last night. It did nada to change a thing.

    If our world continues to flippantly act like we have a damn thing to to with controlling nature, we will see these outcomes. Man lights fire, fire burns millions of acres. No "god" will change that. Rick Perry is a nimrod, and this is just a way for him to try to look like a good guy and appease the idiots that think prayer does a thing outside of making humans think they can have any control. Pathetic. Focus on other things, Perry...like how you want to dismiss literally thousands of teachers when our schools are failing. Nice attempt at distraction.

    April 23, 2011 at 1:51 am |
  9. John Richardson

    And when god doesn't put out the fire, Perry wil ...

    (1) acknowledge the prayer doesn't work.
    (2) admit that you are talking to the wall when you are pretending to talk to "god" (ie there is no god, at least of the sort Perry wants people to pray to).
    (3) recognize that even if there is a god and prayer can work, the god that there is feels s/he owes Texas no favors.
    (4) do none of the above and maintain his conviction that there is a god, prayer works and Texas is special in god's eyes while maintaining a stony silence about what went wrong in this case.

    Sad to say, the true answer will almost surely be (4).

    April 23, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • petra

      "talking to the wall"
      That made me laugh. All those Jews that still haven't got the joke. LOL

      April 23, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  10. Tally Whacker

    That must be Jesus lighting things on fire down there, they're such "good Christians".
    And the hell of their own insanity will burn their brains until they die.

    April 23, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  11. Preacher

    "The fool hath said in his heart; there's no God."

    April 23, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • Tally Whacker

      Matthew 5:22 right back atcha, sleazeball!

      The fool says there is a god without proof, thinking he knows when he does not. Fool.

      April 23, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Rick

      Oooh, a quote from a real BOOK. Pretty darn impressive

      April 23, 2011 at 2:08 am |
  12. Todd

    Texas, guess what? We DC people don't pray for squat. Ask us how much of OUR city is burning.

    If you really want to court gods favor, mix the flames with holy gasoline. And annoint it with gun powder.

    April 23, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • rightwingtxn

      You in dc are whats wrong with this once great nation.

      April 23, 2011 at 2:26 am |
  13. AmeriCAN

    I agree with is prayer thing, but Rick Perry is a moron. First, the federal government offered texas some good amounts of money(very generous) BUT perry refused, and threatened secession. Now all of these states economies are getting better while teachers are getting laid off, our freaking district can't afford paper so we get class copys and use our own papers as answer sheets. and i go to one of the 6 top middle schools in texas so we are not some ghetto school or anything. This is an outrage. We can't do anything! cant pay for roads, cant pay for rail, cant pay or police enforcement, cant pay for medical stuff,etc. I hate this state, its a nightmare.

    April 23, 2011 at 1:23 am |
  14. Arrest one - just one - instead of none...

    How much treason do we have to see in the South before we start arresting these people? I mean REALLY!

    April 23, 2011 at 1:20 am |
  15. Getting religion

    I pray that God removes these retarded religious people from the Earth as soon as possible! AMEN!

    April 23, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  16. Semiahmoo

    And some people that don't pray end up being bitter and unhappy. Prayer always has a benefit.

    April 23, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • Todd

      Tell that to the kids molested by catholic priests, or those ex gay shmucks that claim you can pray the gay away.

      April 23, 2011 at 1:30 am |
    • SB

      And some people who do pray do as well, so where's the correlation?

      April 23, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  17. Deep in the ass of Texas

    Governor Rick Perry should be arrested for malfeasance immediately.
    He has violated the First Amendment pretty clearly.
    A clear violation that is also a pathetic example of what sort of people voted for him in Texassssssss.

    April 23, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  18. GodisNonsense

    Everything that needs to be said of Texas has already been said in the comments here. This is how a good portion of your Nation views you from the outside. Perry wants to secede. I say every other state stand back and watch what the invisible dictator in the sky does with the fire. Texas, all you need is prayer right?

    April 23, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  19. kara thrace

    that is stupid do something productive instead of praying

    April 23, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Callmeishmael

      Of course it's stupid. It's Texas, after all. We're talking about a state that wants to take evolution out of its science textbooks and Thomas Jefferson out of the history textbooks for being too much of a "radical." Here's an idea, Texans, try throwing some science books into the fire. After all, they ARE the work of the devil!

      April 23, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  20. Janet

    from the drought, I mean.

    April 23, 2011 at 12:51 am |
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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.