Summer. August. Texas. Stir those together and you get blistering days, muggy mornings, and sizzling evenings like a heat lamp over cheap pizza. But Wednesday morning, something amazing occurred.
The forecast showed no rain at all. None. So I prayed something crazy. I told the Lord I knew He could make it rain in a Texas August with zero chance of rain. If He was willing, He could do it. I asked Him to make it rain.
The next day thunder clouds rolled in, and Wednesday morning it rained—more than an inch. Happy trees. Happy grass. Happy house foundation. Happy lakes. Happy water companies. Happy me. But for more than the water.
I thought of the parched lives we lead and how the land of Israel offers encouragement.
Rain on a Dry and Weary Land
A Texas August isn’t the only spot on the globe where God’s people have endured a dry and weary land. Before David became king of Israel, his hometown of Bethlehem hugged the outskirts of the Judean Wilderness, a parched land David used to describe his spiritual thirst for the Lord.
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1)
Rain on Mount Carmel
For us, rain usually means happy trees and water companies. But for Israel, rain reflected God’s relationship with His people. The New Testament reminds us that Elijah—a person just like us—prayed one day on Mount Carmel and it affected the rain.
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. (James 5:16–18)
Elijah prayed and it rained. Our weary lives need answered prayer like Mount Carmel, like a dry and weary land, and like a Texas August.
Rain on Your Dry and Weary Life
Would it have rained anyway if I didn’t pray? Whether or not the August rain fell as God’s answer to my specific prayer, the fact is, I prayed for rain—and it rained. I asked the Lord for something far-fetched, given a Texas August and a forecast with zero hope for rain.
God works with the natural elements to answer prayer just as He works with supernatural ways. It’s all the same to Him. (Though some might still call rain in a Texas August a miracle.)
Do you pray for rain in August? I don’t mean for the wet stuff from the sky. I mean praying for something from the Lord that seems far-fetched.
- For God to open the floodgates of heaven when the forecast for your life offers little hope.
- When the cracks below your feet betray the fact it hasn’t rained in months or even years.
- When your leaves droop, your grass browns, and the sky overhead turns bronze like miles of sand.
Do you pray in a context of improbability—or even impossibility? I urge you to do so. Why?
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:16)
[God] changes a wilderness into a pool of water
And a dry land into springs of water. (Psalm 107:35)
Watering Your Hope
The rain that fell Wednesday morning did more than water a needy Texas August. It even did more than answer my prayer.
The rain watered my hope for so many other prayers through the years that remain unanswered. It offers hope to the parched places of our lives that still sizzle under the heat lamp of waiting on God.
How? The rain reminds us that God does more than hear prayer. God commits to answering prayer in His time and in His way.
God hasn’t forgotten your prayers.
So pray for rain.
(I took this video while it was raining Wednesday morning.)