When there is no rain

Anyone watching the news or even slightly aware of the world around them knows that we have been experiencing some strange weather. Drought, famine, wildfires, flash floods, record-breaking heat, hurricane-force winds where they don't belong, earthquakes, and more. Not to mention wars and unrest in the Middle East, economic failure here and in Europe. Our politicians promise to fix things - at least some things. But they can't control the weather. And great men have sought peace in the Middle East for years, to no lasting avail. This week I've been reading 1 Kings, studying Solomon's life and trying to fit things into some kind of timeline. In the process, I came across Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the temple - a seven-year project that would have easily made the list of the seven wonders of the world - if it were still standing. When the building was at last complete, Solomon sacrificed so many sheep and cattle that the number could not be recorded or counted. After his sacrifices, he prayed.

As I read Solomon's prayer, I marveled at how applicable it is to our world and the above mentioned things happening today. He said:

“When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and confess your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.

“When famine or plague comes to the land, or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come, and when a prayer or plea is made by any of your people Israel—each one aware of the afflictions of his own heart, and spreading out his hands toward this temple—then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of all men), so that they will fear you all the time they live in the land you gave our fathers."

For those of us who have faith in the same God to whom Solomon prayed, we would do well to consider such a prayer our own.