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. Janet

    I know that we've had quite a bit of rain in my neck of the woods these past few days. If I was able to make the rainclouds jump over a few states and provide the rain to Texas, I would. Hopefully, they'll have some relief from the rain soon.

    April 23, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Janet wrote: "If I was able to make the rainclouds jump over a few states and provide the rain to Texas, I would. "

      Perhaps you should pray a little harder...

      April 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  2. jcp

    Call on HAARP!!

    April 23, 2011 at 12:43 am |
  3. Who next gop

    Maybe they can burn all those school books they had changed

    April 23, 2011 at 12:37 am |
  4. RickPerryIsIncompetent...AreTheMajorityOfTexans?

    Didn't Gov. Perry suggest that Texas secede from the Union and now he wants taxpayer help from the other 49 states in Texas' time of need!

    When will Texans pray for their souls that are so selfish that they inflict Bushes and Perrys on the rest of us who save their thankless asses and feel spit upon by their arrogant idiocy.

    Do Texans CARE about anyone else besides themselves? If so, why do they put so many selfish representatives in political office?

    The Nation subsidized Texas' pollution, oversized vehicles, oversized houses, overwatered lawns and oversized egos. Why don't they just admit they've made a big mistake for many, many years. The "Texas Way" is a disaster for the rest of the country. Keep your politics, religious hypocrisy, and bigotry bottled up within Perry's a$$ where it belongs.

    Support your firefighters with your own tax money! Support rationality, compassion and mutual support by putting an end to the bigoted, Christian-right, darwinian-economic politics for which Texas is famous!

    April 23, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  5. Charlie Brown aka Carlos Cafe

    The only people who are going to benefit from this are all those Christian pastors. I am sure Mike Murdoch is drooling right now

    April 23, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  6. Reality

    Is the term "fire breaks" not known in Texas?

    April 23, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  7. Charlz

    That "governor" should be removed from office immediately for violating his duties as a government employee.
    What? Can't handle the weather in Texass? Go to the meteorologists and not the priests, dum-ass! You can't make a legal decree supporting religion!
    Would someone please remove that pimple from our nation's ass?
    Isn't there a way to remove an insane Governor? Anyone?

    April 22, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  8. Charlie Brown aka Carlos Cafe

    No one likes arrogant bullies, and the comments here reflect that

    April 22, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  9. Michael

    Praying for rain is kinda like wishing in one hand a pooping in the other and seeing which one fills up first. Here's a better idea for this so-called "governor" to consider: Take a look at the research done by your alma mater, Texas A&M, on global warming and the effect it will have on Texas (higher temps and greater stress on water through decreased rainfall and increased evaporation).....then stop poopooing the efforts to mitigate the effect humans are having on climate change. If you are serious about the whole "God thing," then consider that through all these fires He might be trying to tell you something about the cost of sticking your head in the sand.

    April 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
  10. Stephanie

    You guys may laugh but prayers do work:


    April 22, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  11. JJ

    B-bbbbut, we're a Red State! Everything is supposed to be hunky-dory since we're more moral and "Christian" than everyone else!

    April 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  12. Reachingstars

    Those that think praying for rain is nonsensical – you've never lived in Texas. My mom used to keep a "rain rock" wrapped up in a closet and only brought it out when it started to get extremely dry. I've been thinking about doing it the last couple of days – apparently I'm not the only one. BRING ON THE RAIN!

    April 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  13. Dale

    I've been praying for Texas to burn and it looks like God answered MY prayers!

    April 22, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • Travis

      Are u kidding me? Grow up Dale, you prob don't know how to tie your shoes. Even saying stuff like that makes you sound like a heartless person.. You will never gain ne thing for your comments but be looked at as an idiot that someone will eventually put you down where you belong. POS

      April 23, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • shlababy

      LOL Dale

      April 23, 2011 at 2:53 am |
  14. fsmgroupie

    and when the floods come the same stupid people will be on their knees begging for the rain to stop- do you think your god has a big learing grin on his face when he pulls these stunts? wake up –get off your knees and go help fight the fires.

    April 22, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  15. Jeremy

    God hates texas . com 😛

    April 22, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Todd

      Well, that makes as much sense as anything else, actually.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Travis

      Im pretty sure you have no idea what GOD is... Actually do something productive rather than post stupid comments on here. Texas needs rain really bad, if you don't care well then shut your mouth. Simple as that! WOW, another person added to the category.

      April 23, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • SB

      Travis, let me give you an idea how relevant your definition of God is. There are over 500 recognized religions and spiritual belief systems in the world. Most profess a deity. If we include the individual denominations among major religions then we're talking tens of thousands of variations on the idea of God. Every single one of them professes that they are right and the others are wrong. Even closely related Christian denominations have fought bloody wars over whose idea of God is the right one. That makes your idea of God not only pretentious and arrogant, but utterly meaningless.

      April 23, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  16. Scott

    If you perform a rain dance and it rains doesn't mean that your dance caused the rain. The same goes with "answered" prayers. Confusing correlations with causations represents one of the most common human errors of logic.
    –Ignots Pistachio

    If you pray for rain long enough, it eventually does fall. If you pray for floodwaters to
    abate, they eventually do. The same happens in the absence of prayers.
    –Steve Allen

    When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
    –Emo Philips

    April 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Go Emo.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
  17. huxley

    the lord is coming to get you. You have lived in sin and you are all going to die. KARMA!!!!!!!!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • SB

      The Lord is the boogie man?

      April 23, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  18. Kay

    And when they need something, they pull the prayer card. They never go to God when good things happen, so why should he listen now?

    April 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Amen, Kay. If people want God to be by our nation, we must accept that we need God day in and day out, not just when disaster happens.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Uh, we need to accept that god never does a damn thing. It's pretty hard to do anything when you don't exist, ya know.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • SB

      Kay, you're just making excuses for God. You know that don't you? You'd probably say the something similar if the payer was too big (eg. "Please god restore my city that was destroyed by the tsunami.") or too complex (eg. "Please god restore my leg that was torn off by the shark on the corner of 4th and Campbell during the tsunami.") for God to reasonably fulfill. What's odd is that God, though professed to be omnipotent, never seems to do anything that is particularly unreasonable or unrealistic, or beyond our modern understanding of physics and biology. Surely, you've noticed this, yes?

      April 23, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  19. MB26

    If this doesn't work what are they gonna do next?

    Sacrifice a cow? Seriously you might as well start doing a rain dance.

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

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

      April 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • LoneZero

      actually the reason America is going down is cause are officals are not using the money wisely there giving it away or cutting taxes with no revenues coming in to fund services for fire and rescue so these wild fires go on for days unfought or with the limited resources and money to fight the fires, people like are too busy praying instead of trying to make a diffrence and helping your fellow man instead of condemning someone with a diffrent belief then your own.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • MB26


      Yes my non-church butt is bringing down America. Hey you know what I'm doing instead of spending 3 hours in church on Sunday?
      Studying for my finals so I can get a good grades and a high paying job to pay taxes like everyone else.

      But hey I could be sitting in a building for a couple hours hearing how I'm going to hell.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      MB26 – Good for you!!!

      What profits a man to gain the whole world, but loses his soul? What can he/she give in exchange for it? No matter how good of grades you have, if you become the most educated person in the world, you are STILL lost without Christ.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Scott

      @ HeIsGod: I spent my childhood crying with the saints, I’m feeling much better now that I am laughing with the sinners.

      A man without Christ is like a fish without a bicycle

      April 22, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • LogicalTexan

      All faiths? OK, I will be praying to Zeus for rain. Yeah, that's gonna work.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Todd

      HeisGOd is a schmuck. MB26, the proper thing to do is sacrifice a few meatballs. May the Flying Spaghetti embrace us in his benevolent noodleness.


      April 22, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      LogicalTexan wrote: " I will be praying to Zeus for rain. Yeah, that's gonna work. "

      I'm afraid that Zeus is taking the long weekend off... Better pray to Iris, Goddess of rain... Then you're sure to receive your wish.

      April 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  20. upstate nyr

    meanwhile, my shed is surround by water deeper than the grass. This April has been wet, windy and way below normal in temperatures. never a drought here thanks to Lake Ontario

    April 22, 2011 at 10:25 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.