Praying about the weather – yes or no?

Rain. More rain. Here in the UK we’ve just had the wettest January since records started in 1910, and as I sit, I watch it rain even more. Communities are sodden in Somerset; in Devon, the tide has washed away the rail track.

Our water stores are full. The drought of two years ago, with its hosepipe bans (hosepipe – as an American I find that word delightful and quirky) and fears of wildfires, seems a long time ago. As I took the train from London to Oxford last week I saw swollen rivers and sitting water. We’ve been drenched.

After the rain - Holy Island  Causeway

After the rain – Holy Island Causeway

Even the tabloid newspaper, The Sun, has called for a prayer campaign to stop the rain, saying: “Lord, we’ve had enough.” They published a prayer to the patron saint of weather, St Medard, by Revd Sue Evans, Vicar of St Medard, Little Bytham, Linconshire:

Heavenly Father, we are grateful for the gift of water, and in many parts of the world we know people suffer and die for lack of rain.

But dear Lord – we’ve had enough. We ask you please that the rain may stop soon. We pray for all those people and animals suffering from floods.

As St Medard needed protection from the rain, so now do many people from our land.

For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

Do you pray about the weather? Inspired by Agnes Sanford, a pioneer of the healing-prayer ministry, I do. When I edited Leanne Payne’s wonderful spiritual autobiography, Heaven’s Calling, I learned more about Agnes, for Leanne knew her well.

Stirred to pray for the healing of the earth, Agnes moved from New England to California, to live on the San Andreas Fault and pray for its healing. She reveled in nature, marveling at a the genetic makeup of a seashell or speaking lovingly to a rattlesnake that lived in her back garden, but respected her boundaries. When once Leanne visited Agnes and they were praying in the garden, she remembered the rattlesnake story and said, “I am definitely not where you are in regards to your snake.” But Agnes put her at her ease, and they weren’t troubled by the rattlesnake – or the forest fire that was below them (about which Agnes prayed for rain, like Elijah, and it came!). These stories are all in Heaven’s Calling, page 252–57, which I highly recommend.

I’m aware this might be outside your comfort zone! But if God is the Creator, and he made us to communicate with him, why wouldn’t he want us to pray for the healing of his earth?

What do you think?

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