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. Duck the Bold

    Why didn't he ask Texans to pray for money when the legislature was trying to close the budget deficit?

    April 22, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  2. Mark

    How quaint... Bible thumpers think a sky wizard makes it rain. Next they'll be saying the earth is only 6,000 years old... wait... what? They already believe that? Wow.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • HeIsGod


      I sure feel so sorry for people like you. How can you convince us that prayer doesn't work when many of the righteous in Christ has had many of our prayers answered. And even the ones that were not answered, Father knows best for His children. If you want to hear from God, get right with Him.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • SB

      HelsGod, you always win when you play both sides, and this is what religious apologists try to do. Maybe if you examine the fallacy you're employing you'll recognize that post hoc rationalization and selective reasoning play a greater role than God in the "success" of prayer.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  3. Cate'

    If Texans want rain take this advice church: If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land. If God does not send rain, maybe He is tired of being ignored, hated, and used. If Yeshua (Jesus) calmed a stormy sea, as the Bible said He did, is He not the most qualified God to end Texas' drought?

    April 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  4. T-party

    I am agnostic hope you all have a safe Happy Easter. Hope everyone has time to relax and spend time with their families. I live in Texas and yes we need rain. Prayer,Indian rain dance what ever works is okay with me.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  5. prabi

    why don't texas use chinese technologies to get rain?

    April 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  6. DEE

    To all the unbelievers, prayer works. Christ tells us if we have the faith of a mustard seed we can move a mountain. Only prayer must be in complete faith and believing that God will hear it and answer the prayers, He does, but sometimes waits for the people to show they trust in Him and are willing to place Him first and foremost. God knows our hearts and our motives for prayer and in this situation He already knows the pain those in Texas are suffering from. I will put God the father the almighty, He who died on the Cross over two thousand years ago, up against any other god or belief or non believer,. For I know he will answer those who ask. Ask, seek and knock for it will be given unto you,. This is not the lazy way out, but a way to be a true testament to the wonderous miracles God can and will do, It could be a downpour or a drizzle, but he will end their suffering and drench the fires that burn. In Christ Jesus name it shall be done. People of Texas pray believe and claim the relief you need and God will hear and he will answer. Amen

    April 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • MB26

      Yea pretty words but I don't see any rain.
      Hey you known what maybe more useful than praying?
      Coming up with a real plan to fight the fires.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Amen, DEE!

      April 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      MB26 – It's people like you that keeps the blessing of God from coming forward to our nation. You people bring curses and the reason America is going down.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Hey... Dee... was that your average grade at school?

      Karl Marx was wrong!! Religion isn't the opiate of the masses; it's more like LSD...

      April 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  7. Huh?

    Some kid in the world starving to death every minute and these morons want God to help them? Lol too much, suck it up, ai'nt coming boys

    April 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  8. LoneZero

    maybe if Perry didn't give tax cuts/breaks for the rich and gave away all that money to those that helpled him get elected and used all that extra revenue he would have had to use in funding to bring in water from other states and for funding local fire and rescue departments. Well you get what you vote for, vote for incompetence governed by incompetence.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  9. george in texas

    the governor wants all religions to pray. wouldn't that cause conflict as god of one mideast religion hates another's?

    April 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  10. Dennis

    Why has Rob McKenna forsaken Texas?

    April 22, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  11. SB

    "But does praying for rain work?"

    Oh please.

    "In 2007.. Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue successfully prayed for rain."

    Only if you believe the laws of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics are affected by chanting.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm |

    Unleash the chemtrails.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  13. Will Rassmussen

    Hey, gov., want it to rain? How'zabout you and your cronies leaving the state. That will sure make it rain...and a better state to boot.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  14. Estevan

    The sad thing is that either way the "flock" will think that it's all part of god's plan and see it as "evidence".

    Let's say it rains (as tends to happen on this water filled earth): god answered our prayers!

    Let's say it doesn't rain in the near future (as it can happen in an arid zone): god is punishing us for our sinful ways!

    Let's say it doesn't rain in the near future but rains at a later date: god wanted to show his might and displeasure but ultimately protects the faithful!

    You'll see. It's amazing how much rationalization believers will go through to reinforce their own beliefs. Whether it rains or not is NOT affected by any amount of praying NOR is any amount of rain evidence for a god.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  15. skyking

    poop in one hand.....pray in the other......see which one fills up the fastest.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  16. Oltan

    Why don't hire a shaman, they are better at this

    April 22, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  17. palos

    Resar para q llueva

    April 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  18. marianna68

    They can have our rain in Saint Louis. Rotation spotted near where I live.....gotta love Spring..NOT.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  19. >

    Prayer: How to do nothing and still think you're helping.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Obviously, if you are not living right in the sight of God, YOUR prayers will go answered. God will not hear the prayer of a sinner who keeps living in sin. As for the children of the Most High God, the prayers of the righteous availeth much.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • GomezTX

      Prayer: The BEST Wireless connection. ALL prayers needed.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:27 pm |

    surely rain will start pouring tomorrow night 🙂

    April 22, 2011 at 9:10 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.