When You Don’t Feel Like Praying for Rain Again

rainSmoke covers the Montana Rockies. Every thunderstorm that passes through seems to touch off new blazes, which now surround my town on three sides so that the wind can’t easily clear out the smoke. Last night, flakes of ash were drifting out of the sky.

So you could say that, like Elijah, we’re praying for rain.

In the last few days, I’ve prayed for the safety of the firefighters putting their lives on the line to contain the flames. I’ve also asked for your prayer.

But last night, when I realized it had been a whole day since I prayed, something in me quailed.

Ugh. I don’t feel like praying tonight. Not again.

And that’s exactly how I knew that I needed to keep praying.

All the usual caveats concerning prayer apply. An object of prayer must be noble and praiseworthy; it must be Biblically compatible; it must be within God’s will; it must not be an empty attempt to manipulate God by treating words like magic.

But even within those guidelines, it would seem that there is more to prayer. Elijah already knew that rain in Israel was God’s will and desire (1 Kings 18:1). He wasn’t like us, who usually set the longings of our heart before him without any idea whether they align even remotely with what he’s doing. Elijah knew that he was God’s go-to guy for rain, the divinely appointed gatekeeper of the skies. He even told Ahab he heard the rain coming (cue action movie music). Yet it took seven times for the “cloud the size of a man’s hand” to show up.

There are days when we love hearing about God’s desire for persistence in prayer. It’s better than a “no”, after all.

But there are other days when praying again feels about as appealing as the Monday after New Years’, or another round of cardio after you’ve already been sweating for forty minutes. You feel a heaviness, an exhaustion. And have you ever noticed how distractions like to pop up? (One Christian writer I know says that this is only partially us; it’s also spiritual warfare intended to keep you from praying.) After years of all this, you might catch yourself developing straight-up resentment at being asked to pray again.

Those are the moments we need to pray the most.

It’s a much-debated mystery just how much of the accomplishment of God’s kingdom has been left up to us in prayer. But whatever else we believe is going on, he is testing our patience, our perseverance, and our belief in his goodness. That’ valuable. It’s worth the repetitions.

He’s worth the repetitions.

And yesterday as I wrote this, in defiance of the forecast, it started raining outside.

Praise him from whom all blessings flow.

19 thoughts on “When You Don’t Feel Like Praying for Rain Again

  1. My daughter has suffered from a behavioral disorder for the past 7 and a half years. The doctors can’t identify it—I’ve received diagnoses ranging from possible ADHD to high-functioning autism. To the casual observer she seems “normal,” but as her parent, I am privy to all the troubling issues she deals with.

    There are many days when I’ve wondered if I just need to accept that healing isn’t coming and stop asking. But I keep asking, 1) because God encourages persistence in prayer and 2) because I care about her soul and her future. I know it is the Lord’s will that none should perish, but that all should have eternal life. So I keep praying and working and trusting. My desire is utmost for the well-being of her precious soul, and it is worth praying diligently for, even when it feels hopeless.

    Yes, keep working the field and praying for rain.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. u know what..few years before there was almost dryness in Nepal even during monsoon during the times when people blamed GOD…this time HE did send rain…but that brought a deluge for some…yet i feel GOD is close to those who fear him to rescue them just as Noah was rescued from flood and Lot was rescued from fiery destruction….i sense that obedience, hospitality, surrender and prayer was key to safety as they remembered GOD during both dry and wet periods like Eliza had done…what shocking is Elizah is running at times of both dryness and wetness…if only we knew how to run according to GOD’s intervention and running steps would drastically change our lives

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My son, Marcus, is 30. He got baptized when he was 10. He has gotten into more trouble with the law than I care to admit. He was almost killed, but God. I am still praying for him to give his life to Christ. I believe one day he will because I know that my seed-especially my firstborn according to the Word is blessed. No matter what I see-I walk by faith not by sight. Whether in my life time or not, I believe in the faithfulness of God. I praise Him for the saving of this my firstborn son. Yes, I confess I do get discouraged, but I press on. I must do my part believing God will do His part. I wait patiently for Him to move. I must wait on the Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmm..it got me realizing that prayer is like exercise. We need to do it every day repetitively in order for God to hear us. There are times when I don’t pray about one certain thing all the time and it won’t be answered. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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