I can’t but help enjoy the rain. I know that my area is threatened with flash flooding resulting from last year’s Slate fire but in spite of that the rain restores me. The rain reminds me of God’s might and majesty. Last night the toads sang announcing the arrival of the monsoon rains like royal trumpets of old. I am so ever thankful for the beauties of God’s creation all around me. I am always surprised by something: a skink battling a garter snake, a short-horned lizard basking in sunshine on my back step, or even the naughty prairie dogs doing parkour to get into my rose bush. How can others fail to see God’s wonder? Lord, please keep surprising me. Keep my eyes open to see. Keep me curious.
Exhortation and Prayers of the Church in Time of Drought
P: Brothers and sisters in Christ, in the beginning the Lord our God formed the earth and the heavens and all that exists. God separated the waters and formed the clouds. God marked the limits of the rivers and seas and placed the rain and snow in their storehouses. Throughout our lives, God has watered the earth and let the sun shine to bring forth harvests of abundance for the living. And God has blessed us with infinite love through this abundance.
The Bible tells us that in times of need, we should turn to the Lord who sustains us with the fruits of creation, bringing our petitions and concerns, asking forgiveness for our sins, and placing our needs trustfully and faithfully into God’s hands. As Jeremiah of old led the people of Israel in prayer to God during a time of drought, so let us now draw near to God with our prayers for our parched lands and loved ones in distress.
A: The Lord is gracious.
C: The Lord’s understanding is beyond measure.
A: The Lord heals the brokenhearted.
C: The Lord binds up all our wounds. (Psalm 147:1,5)
P: Gracious Lord, loving God, look down with mercy upon your people as we draw near to you. Fill our hearts with faith. Forgive our sins. Lead us to righteousness and peace. And hear our prayers of concern for our lands, for our people in distress, for our industries that suffer, for all who are affected by the lengthy dryness of this season We look to you for help. Be our aide and our guide; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A: The people of Israel cried out in thirst.
C: They cried aloud to the Lord most high.
A: The Lord came and commanded Moses.
C: The Lord commanded, and water came forth from the rock. (Exodus 17:1-7)
P: Lord of the sun and of the rains, your faithful people thirst again in your sight. Our crops languish in the sun. Even your little creatures are stressed in the heat. As you answered the prayers of Israel of old, quench the thirst of your people, our lands, our crops, and all creatures. Bring forth the rains that sustain and foster growth in the seasons and cycles that you marked with your creative hand. In you alone we trust; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A: God covers the heavens with clouds.
C: God prepares rain for the earth.
A: God makes the grass to grow on the hills
C: God gives to the animals their food.
A: The Lord’s delight is not in the strength of the horse or the speed of the runner.
C: The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear God, in those who hope in God’s steadfast love. (Psalm 147:8-11)
P: God of hope, God of healing and blessing, God of refreshment and peace, shower down upon us with your infinite love and righteousness. Send your Holy Spirit to fill us with faith. Lead us to green pastures and make us to lie down by still waters, refreshing our souls and giving us peace; for you live and reign with your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
P: The peace of the Lord be with you always.
C: And also with you.
The peace of the Lord is shared.1
The other day I prayed for joy. This is it: monsoons.
The Blessed Rain
Dear heart, dost thou complainby Frank Lebby Stanton
When the kind God sends rain?
Think of the thirsting crops
That drink the beady drops—
Think of the flowers, unfolding all their sweets—
The city’s burning streets,
The famished flocks upon the mountain tops—
The windless casements where the sick in vain
Cry for the cool, sweet rain!
Think—and thank God
For every drop that quivers on a clod!
- Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel http://www.liturgybytlw.com/OccChs/Drought.html