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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. Who next gop

    Some of the same people on here from Texas who are throwing around scriptures like to ignore this one

    I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

    1 Timothy 2:1-4 KJV

    April 23, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  2. PsiCop

    Rain comes, and rain goes. Prayer does not matter and has absolutely nothing to do with it. It's nice of the religionistic Texas governor, though, to order ALL his citizens to pray ... even those who aren't religious.

    April 23, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • T4Texas55

      Religionistic huh? Seems that through your inane comment, and your inability to read, and use of words only found in your personal dictionary,you have completely stunned us with your brilliance! Nobody was ordered to pray.He ASKED the people who do pray(not you , of course) to pray for rain.What's the big deal?

      April 23, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Religionism: Noun... definition: excessive or affected religious zeal.

      I'd say that many deluded folks fit that definition...

      April 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  3. ms sharon

    "If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, then I will hear from heaven and heal their land" Way to go ....GOV. PERRY!

    April 23, 2011 at 9:29 am |
  4. J'randal

    There are a number of post here that are just so anti-Christ – The End of the Age of Grace?

    Just as in Noah's day, the waging tongue, the cold hardened heart, mocking the proclamation of the Ark builder (the Church in spirit & truth).

    The world as this generation has known it is not meant to last – It’s the culmination of the battle of the knowledge of sin and it’s devastating effect on the human race.

    Grace has extended His hand of Salvation – Take hold of the tender mercies of God.

    His wrath was poured out on Jesus concerning man’s sinful nature to provide a Way Home.

    His will is going to be accomplished, this generation will not pass away before His return.
    The Rapture of His Bride is imminent – His warning has been proclaimed over the USA, & the World.

    The Spirit and the Bride say come Lord Jesus; The invitation is for Today as long as it’s called Today.

    Don’t miss the greatest gift ever offered; Not understood with the mind, It’s a heart issue.

    Many posters here Today need a new heart found only in Christ Jesus – John 3:3-8 John 12-17

    April 23, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  5. Darth Cheney

    How about praying for government that acknowledges and tries to solve problems rather than burying their heads in the sand and praying for miracles?

    April 23, 2011 at 8:44 am |
  6. clarke

    I wish I could send you some of are rain – we don't need anymore. Texas is a beautiful state, I will keep you in my prayers for rain, rain, and more rain.

    April 23, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  7. Reality

    Is the term "firebreaks" not known in Texas?

    April 23, 2011 at 7:45 am |
    • T4Texas55

      what kind of "firebreak" can you construct, when the fire is being driven by 35-40 MPH winds? They have tried em, and the embers blow right over and reignite behind them. Just get good people killed that way!

      April 23, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Shawn

      T4Texas55 writes....what kind of "firebreak" can you construct, when the fire is being driven by 35-40 MPH winds?

      Don't you think god is stoking those fires for a reason?....god hates Texas!

      April 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  8. bluemax77

    Thump that bible...!!

    April 23, 2011 at 7:31 am |
  9. Tim

    Hahahaha the "Global Warming" nutjobs here crack me up! You do realize that it was less than 1 million years ago when the CO2 levels in the atmosphere were thousands of times greater than they are now? That less that 2000 years ago they were around this point? The Earth goes through cycles and cooling (i.e Ice Age) and warming are natural cycles. In fact, as soon as one reaches its climax, the geography switches so much at the poles that the Earth then starts the inverse. Seriously, think this through and not listen to Al "I invented the internet" Gore. Furthermore, whats wrong wih declaring a statewide day or weekend of prayor? Presidents in the past have relied heavily on this (i.e after Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Katrina, or any disaster for that mater) Shoot, even your beloved Barak Obama had a day of prayor for Muslims on White House grounds. Prayor does have effects, just look at evidence of people playing in hospitals and then they miraculously become better? Their cancer has all but disappeared.

    April 23, 2011 at 6:47 am |
    • Sarcasm

      Of Course! Why didn't we atheists realize all along that it was the PRAYERS that were healing people, not the scientific advancements of medicine which we put so much of our faith in. Man oh man, are we dumb. Shoot, I guess the next time I get the flu I'll just pray it away, and save my money on those phony doctors. Thanks a Bunch Tim!

      April 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  10. heather

    heavensent- tubes to ship melted snow? they have those, they call them rivers.

    the gov was asking for prayer for something at least insurance companies call an act of god. not to do his job for him, like balancing the budget. e was trying to say that if you pray to zeus or the fsm, please pray to them now. which is pretty high minded of someone like him. (old white gov man of a overwhelmingly christain state). i like cnn could have done a much better job of communicating how much of the state was burning. a map would have been nice. and a link to the texas forest service would show constant update info on how the fires were being handled- with military helicopters and airtankers. yes they have heard of a back burn. a map would also show the size of texas covered in dead grass, the impossiblity of just cleaning it up and the possiblity of most of the state burning down. these comments show a serious lack of knowledge about the situation. it's only april

    April 23, 2011 at 5:57 am |
  11. really!!!

    final thought: I guess some of you never prayed for it to: stop snowing, to stop raining, to cool off, to warm up, for healing, for the pain to stop, for a job, for our military..... praying is not a bad thing? this isn't some Texas mind control conspiracy theory thing! goodness...relax

    April 23, 2011 at 5:50 am |
    • Oldandcranky

      I'm so relaxed I'm limp. But then I don't live in Texas anymore. Thank you Lord.

      April 23, 2011 at 8:22 am |
  12. kathy

    if you live in texas than you would know predicting rain more than 2 days ago means nothing! texas is a BIG state...we need rain all over. what part was this prediction for? what kind of crazy gesture would this request be? our country was founded on freedom of religion! more people believe in some higher power than people who do not....

    April 23, 2011 at 5:24 am |
    • Shawn

      Kathy writes....more people believe in some higher power than people who do not....

      In that case, I believe in a higher power also.... I'm doing my rain dance right now!

      April 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Kathy wrote: "more people believe in some higher power than people who do not."

      Once upon a time more people believed the earth was flat than people who did not.

      I believe in higher powers... from what I see in a large part of this country, stupidity squared is losing out to stupidity to the 3rd power...

      April 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  13. kathy

    why is it that people can be against something that represents love to them? why not pray..better than sitting around complaining! why all the haters for Texas? have u lived here? if u do and hate it...then leave. if u don't...then you should have nothing to say. slow news day? praying for rain made national news??????

    April 23, 2011 at 5:09 am |
    • clarke

      I have been to Texas, it is beautiful and the people are very nice. It is, however too hot for me. People hate things for no other reason than they are just not happy with them selves. I am sorry for you all.

      April 23, 2011 at 8:27 am |
    • JohnR

      Praying may be somewhat less annoying to others than sitting around and complaining, but it is no more useful.

      April 23, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • T4Texas55

      Spoken like a true Texan,...Outsiders will never understand ,it's all about Family, God, and Country, with us! We're independent thinkers,dont like being told what to do,WONT be forced to do anything,and know right from wrong.We treat people like people,and,know how to deal with the "mad dogs"among us.If you dont like that, then dont come to Texas! But whatever you do, dont mess with Texas! And you atheists,...Sad to think there's a place reserved for all of you, right up close to the fire, IN HELL!

      April 23, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Shawn

      T4Texas55

      With Texas on fire, I think you're a little closer to hell than I will ever be.... got any marshmallows?

      April 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      T4Texas55 wrote (among other things) – " We're independent thinkers,dont like being told what to do..."

      Actually, you like being told fairy tales about how to conduct your life, and have absolutely no independent thought but sheepishly follow along with the fraudulent manipulators of your religious insti.tutions.

      April 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Know What

      T4Texas55,

      Texas has just as many nice people as any other state... it has just as many nasty people as any other state. It has some political, economic and social successes and some failings and failures.

      Climb down from your jingoistic high horse - you are not all that special.

      April 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  14. Tony

    A lot of lost people out there. What's sad is they think they're right. There will come a day when every knee will bow and every tounge will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

    April 23, 2011 at 5:04 am |
    • Barry

      I agree with you Tony.

      April 23, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • JohnR

      Damn, Tony, I'd hate to stand before Allah on judgment day after having made a comment like that!

      April 23, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • Water to Whine

      What's sad is that yout need a religion to think that you are right, Tony. Think for yourself!

      April 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  15. Child of a Lesser God

    It will eventually rain where it has not, prayers or no. Prayers just give hopeless a reason to feel like they are doing something about it. Of course, if your home is about to go up in flames, what other options do you have?

    April 23, 2011 at 4:55 am |
  16. Fokjou

    Maybe they should also pray to Allah, Buddha and the Xenu, just to cover their butts?

    April 23, 2011 at 4:08 am |
    • Oldandcranky

      Sounds like a reasonable idea.

      April 23, 2011 at 8:19 am |
  17. SSampson

    Good luck with that... It makes a lot of sense to pray for something when according to your own beliefs 'GOD has a plan and reason for everything'

    So – based on your own beliefs, your GOD actually WANTS Texas to burn...

    The whole thing is insane !!!

    April 23, 2011 at 3:47 am |
  18. Eric

    No need to pray – The weather forecast already predicted rain in several parts of Texas more than 2 days ago.

    Unless they're hoping to "Prove Something" with this ridiculous gesture.

    Something smells.

    April 23, 2011 at 3:45 am |
  19. Mario

    I, RICK PERRY, am an idiot and hypocrite! You ask the Feds for help when you have bad mouth them in the past. You ask God for help when Texas leads this nation in the execution of human beings. Y'all best bring a sack lunch to church because you and the rest of your Texas conservatives and hypocrites are going to have pray-overtime-hard for forgiveness

    April 23, 2011 at 3:41 am |
  20. Adelina

    Many liberal Americans seem to hate Texas. Can't it get independence?

    April 23, 2011 at 3:27 am |
    • Maybe

      Adelina,

      The vast majority of Texans do not wish for independence from the United States. It is only a minority of cranky conservatives who try to suggest it. They are free to express their discontent, and perhaps even serve as a kind of rein on out of control big government, but they themselves do not, and most likely will not, rule.

      April 23, 2011 at 4:38 am |
    • Oldandcranky

      Dear Lord, Please grant Texas Independence and then they won't need Federal Aid, they can get Foreign Aid.

      April 23, 2011 at 8:18 am |
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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.