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. planethou

    Will they be praying to same God that sent the drought in the first place, trying to get it to change its mind?

    April 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Judges 6:39-40

      And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.

      And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.


      April 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Artist

      Heavensent, who wrote the new testiment, their relationship to christ and when did they write the books?

      April 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Sharon

      So HeavenSent why don't you pray tonight with your Christian buddies and then we will believe this drbble of scripture you quoted. If doesn't rain tonight then we will know you are full of it.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Artist

      p.s. I owuld be shocked if you actually could answer the questions.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  2. alnuth

    I prayed for rain today. I personally am proud of Perry (in this particular instance) for encouraging people to pray.

    April 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Lisa

      So am I and I am glad I'm not the only one... while I am praying for rain, I plan on praying for mercy on those who are ignorant of just how great God's grace and mercy are for us – and who fail to see how radiant and wonderful his glory is.... sad, sad, sad to see how many people don't even realize just how much love and wonder there is in my King!

      April 22, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Exodus 22:27 For that [is] his covering only, it [is] his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I [am] gracious.


      April 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  3. Jake

    But according to Governor Perry Texas doesn't need Federal help, they can do it all by themselves. Why should we the taxpayers in other states go out of our way to help Texas? Because like Katrina, it's the right thing to do, that's why. It's the right thing to do even if conservatives are selfish and think everything must have merit to spend tax payer money on. After all does Texas really "deserve" to be helped? Why? It doesn't matter if they deserve it or not, sometimes you do things not because you're trying to do things right (e.g. economic reasons), but simply because you want to do the right thing. God's reminding Texas that right now...and all "red states" for that matter.

    April 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • alnuth

      Your post is very arrogant. It seems like you condem all people who are conservatives and don't share your beliefs. Texans (and other conservative states) are all AMERICANS, and we help each other out.

      April 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  4. Liberal-in-Texas

    "On Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked for federal aid" .... I thought he was against a big, federal government....

    PS: god is a myth

    April 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • brad

      Perry hasn't really ever been against taking federal money that I've noticed. He may try to talk that way to make sound bites from time to time though.

      April 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  5. Lou

    Texas should ask their god why he let Texas burn in the first place.

    April 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  6. creature

    By God's will they built HAARP,He may make it work,He may not.so,pray to God!! there has to a God,a day of jugement,otherwise our interesting life on this earth would senseless!think twice!

    April 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  7. truth-seek

    Pray in one hand and crap in the other and see which one fills up the fastest. I can't believe that a grown man who is an elected official would ask for god's help. The human race is really stupid. Why doesn't he instead do something contructive like try to get something done about global warming?

    April 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • truth-seek

      Please, please, please god, help us. Please!!! Silly.

      April 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • ryan

      Global warming is a myth. I'm all about taking care of the environment but global warming is a way for the govenment to control and scare it's people.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Global warming is crap. Just ask anyone living up North. They had record snowfalls. Speaking of snowfalls. Texas had snow too this past winter.

      Solution. Build a pipeline from the North so they can send all their snow down to the dry states that need H2O. By the time the snow gets to the southern states it will be flowing water that they desperately need.


      April 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • humanbean

      Climate change would be crap to a bible beating simpleton like you Heavensent who believes in hocus pocus fairy tales instead of factual science. You would have been one of those simpletons who were all for putting Galileo under house arrest for daring to state that the earth was not the center of the universe. Simpletons like you allow for people to be drowned because of accusations of witchcraft, and allow for innocent people to be burned at the stake for supposed heresy.

      I have one question for you oh mighty, all knowing smart one. If it rains in the desert, does that mean that it's no longer a desert?

      Amen to you too deluded one

      April 22, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • SB

      Ryan and Heaven Sent (a.k.a. the town idiots). Don't worry about global warming. In fact don't worry about anything that science has to say on climate at all. Don't worry about the hundreds of satellites that help us predict weather patterns. Don't worry about the global network of land-based sensors. Don't worry about ocean studies, or currents, or instruments that observe the transfer of energy around the world. And ESPECIALLY don't worry that we know for a fact that the mean average temperature of the earth is steadily rising. Why am I asking you not to worry about this, you ask? Because you're stupid. And we should accommodate stupid people with the right to believe anything that they want.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  8. Gingeet

    The best he can do is pray? Geez... what a leader... Ahem...

    April 22, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • ryan

      I'd take that over a leader full of pride any day.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  9. good

    Floods and forest fires are a natural method of mother earth to replenish her nutritional top soil. HE who's creation is this EARTH knows better to take care of it. MAN'S short sightedness makes him believe that he is going through retribution, but in the long run....it is that creative power which has to take care of all living beings, present and future, human or animals, Texans or non texans (Geographical Texas was created by humans). It makes me more humble as a human being, knowing that something more powerful exists and shapes my destiny.

    April 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  10. bam

    the non ignorant would look to the storms coming towards TX so they know when rain is coming.
    400+ years ago PRIESTS who knew about cloud formations would tell their followers rain is coming by an act of god and the ignorant of cloud formations would flock to them and start partaking of faerie tales and give their earnings to them.

    April 22, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  11. HotAirAce

    If I there was the slightest chance that prayer did anything other than make the prayee feel better, I would pray for a superior being who prevented these natural disasters. Well actually, I would pray for the end of religion but that's not going to happen (prayer does not work 'cause there are no gods, and there are just too many sheep) so I won't waste a second on my knees (literally or figuratively) to someone else's manmade tribal sky daddy.

    April 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • good

      What according to one person( or group of persons who are affected ) may look like natural disaster, to others, who are yet to be born eg. animals, human beings etc , may look like gift of life. This is because floods and forest fires are a natural method of mother earth to replenish her top soil to produce food. Older generations have to sacrifice for the generations to come. That is natural law....above state, national, international, cultural boundries. These natural laws are not written in a book. Hence man is made to realize that they exist, and there is somebody in charge who knows better to take care of HIS creation.

      April 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  12. Laura

    Thinking twice about running out all the native Americans?

    April 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Mark Miner

      I guess Native Americans were never run out of your state?

      April 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  13. Frosthawk

    I'm an agnostic Texan who has an interest in meteorology. That being said, damn it Perry. 🙁

    April 22, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  14. Tori

    But the atheists told me there isn't no god.. So my mom and dad said I dont have to pray!

    April 22, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • bam

      double negative makes a positive, better ax u momma and poppa what u said wrong

      April 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      @ Tori – Mommy and daddy will some day be in hell and you will follow along.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • Rick

      HeIsGod: Amazing that people want to spend eternity with the punk that would do that. Enjoy your religious wet dream

      April 23, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • Maybe


      Nice try at impersonating an atheist - well, not really... pretty lame, actually, as expected from your ilk.

      April 23, 2011 at 2:20 am |
  15. Artist

    Whatever happens it was gods plan. To others, crap happens.

    April 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      LOL. At least you have a sense of humor Artist.


      April 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • SB

      That's funny. I've never heard the losing football team thank God for the loss.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  16. Reality

    The southwest portion of Texas is part of the very largeChihuahuan Desert. About 14 million acres of Texas is desert. Much more would be considered arid. No amount of prayer is going to change that.

    April 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • coockoo

      Heheheheeheh you're right.

      April 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  17. Kevin Collins

    Sheesh, especially after this year's Super Bowl-seating fiasco, doesn't Texas have enough public-relations black eyes as it is?

    April 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  18. Artlicious

    Why pray when we have HAARP?

    April 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  19. Name (required)

    I'd be embarrassed if I was a Texan.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • bam

      Separation of Church and state in FULL effect.

      April 22, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • runswithbeer

      Don't ever confuse a real Texan with the current Government of Texas. God loves Texas, she's just makes it hot to keep the Yankees out.

      April 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Cat

      Hilarious, that's just damn funny statement. And I am a Texan, hiding out in Colorado!

      April 22, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • TomnDallas

      Some of us in Texas are ashamed that our governor would declare such a religious day. The conservatives in this state have just about ruined it. Yeah we have better economy but that is because we have the oil companies here. What ever they want, I believe Perry gives to them. So much for separation of state and religion! BS

      April 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Chris in Austin

      At least we know how to use the subjunctive tense, as in "I'd be embarrassed if I WERE a Texan," not "was." And you never will be a Texan, you little twerp. Don't get me wrong: I'm not a Rick Perry fan at all, nor am I religious. But if the man wants to pray, and he thinks it'll help for those Texans who fear God to pray as well, then so be it. No embarrassment necessary.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • SB

      Chris, I didn't know they allowed people as spineless as you to live in Texas.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
  20. Bill


    April 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • JackoB

      But probably last, in more important ways.

      April 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
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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.