Shuck and Jive

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Praying for Rain

Read an article in today's Johnson City Press, in which Christian singer, Michael W. Smith, urged people to fast and pray for rain. The article pointed to a prayer in time of drought posted Friday by the United Methodist Church and written by Taylor Burton-Edwards. According to the article:
Burton-Edwards described prayers of this nature as appeals for help and understanding in times of crises: “What do we do here, God? We don’t know. It’s too big for us to figure out."
Also in the Press this morning, another fine article about our 225th anniversary celebration this weekend. I just can't seem to keep from getting my picture in the paper. Wouldn't want any of you to think I was bashful or anything....


  1. God is responsible for droughts? If enough people can leave a message on God's answering machine in the sky, he will get back to us and maybe "send us rain"? Oh geez. The United Methodist Church is definitely in need of a paradigm shift.

  2. Thanks Seeker,

    I pointed to this article without comment on my part as I was hoping to get responses.

    Prayer, what is it, what does it do, is one of the big questions regarding the paradigm shift isn't it?

    How do we in worship (privately or publicly) name the concerns and pleasures of life without resorting to turning prayer or God into God's answering machine?

  3. We are doing our part to get some real rain here: we washed both our cars today!

    As for the power of prayer, I've read some recent studies that found some value in prayer for people who are ill or suffering. The articles did not indicate, however, if the person being prayed for knew s/he was being prayed for. I suspect knowledge of that sort does impact a person - whether it can be attributed to the power of God or the power of suggestion notwithstanding.

    I read Pastor Bob's story today, and saw how strongly it impacted him to know that strangers cared enough about him to pray for him. Whether one calls it prayer, positive thought, wishful thinking, whatever, I don't see how it can ever hurt, and I don't see how we can ever have too much of it when it is meant with the best of intentions.

  4. Thanks Snad,

    I personally find prayer a very important work in regards to caring for one another.

    Whatever we may think of "God" I think we have a need to communicate in some way with whatever it is we understand to be the Divine.

    It of course can get silly and superstitious but I cannot dismiss its value.

    I think of praying to someone, whether it be Jesus or God or some other figure of our imagination, we can discover our higher nature.

    So, in worship, we do invoke a Someone yet (at least for me) I know that is merely a vehicle, and a limited one at that, to seek that which is good, peaceful, and loving in my own life.

    I also think we do need some form of prayer or meditation to name the struggles and the joys of life. Prayer to another Being is not perfect, but I am still not ready to give up the practice.