Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. (Acts 14:15-17)
Rain Filled Prayers
Paul and Barnabas had entered the city of Lystra when a cripple attracted the attention of the apostles. Paul cried out to him to be healed and he immediately leaped up and began walking. The people of the city saw what Paul had done and began worshipping the two missionaries as gods calling them Zeus and Hermes. They began making preparations to sacrifice oxen and offer garlands in response to the healing before Paul and Barnabas stopped them. The apostles declared they were only men and they should worship the true God who was alive and maker of the heaven, the earth, the sea and all things that are in them. One of the witnesses he left for men is the evidence of the cycle of earth including rain from heaven and fruitful seasons. From this men rejoice as food comes from the abundance of the green earth.
Science has brought man to a Nebuchadnezzar-like pride that diminishes dependence on God. Long ago when the king of Babylon stood on the ramparts of his mighty kingdom, he bragged about all the things he had done and how proud he was of his own might and power. The Lord God had warned the king through Daniel and brought him low when his heart lifted him up so that he could learn there was only one God who was to be worshipped. Everything is in the hand of the Lord God. The world exists because of the word of the Lord. It will remain intact until the will of God brings to a close the existence of man. With all of the technology of man creating a utopian world of dependence on himself, man is not as anxious to rely on the power of God to live. For the most part (in America) families no longer farm for food. There is a ready supply in large warehouses and stores that require cash money to buy. Gone are the days of gardens and large tracts of land needing the hard work of toiling the fertile earth. Many enjoy small gardens but the family does not rely on working the ground to survive. If the garden fails they go to the store and buy the food.
The plight of man can best be described by how often he prays for rain. There is nothing more basic to the need of man than nourishing the ground with water. We are not (for the most part) a praying people for rain. Sometimes we get frustrated because it is raining. It messes our hair up, soils our clothes, and makes travel difficult. We complain because it rains. Can you imagine how serious this can become if we had our way. We want perfect weather so that we can do what we do without trouble. It is a good thing we do not control the weather because we would all be dead in a year. Rain is a part of God’s reproductive pattern of nurturing the earth and we do not pray for it as often as we should. One reason is because we live comfortably without it. Our grass may turn brown but we still eat. If we lived as our forefathers lived – depending on rain to survive – we would be a lot more religious when it comes to prayer. We usually leave out of our prayers what we do not need.
Rain is a beautiful reminder of the love and mercy of God. Paul told the people of Lystra that God gives us rain from heaven to give us fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. We should be thankful every day it rains because without this rain there would be nothing to be glad and joyful about. Thank you God for the amazing creation of water falling from the heavens. Bless us as you see fit and bless us with a gentle reminder that you are the Creator and Sustainer of all thing. Thank you for rain.