Australia Creation Prayer

A Mighty Downpour in Australia

This weeks column on Christian Today– bringing you the good news that the MSM leave out! 
Pitt Town
Signs of growth in Pitt Town, north west of Sydney

It is a propensity of human nature to be much more interested in the bad news than the good. Hence news media seemed to almost delight in the shock of Australia ‘burning’. There were many phenomenal pictures, hysterical headlines and apocalyptic analyses.

In recent days, though, there has been some welcome good news and yet, to a large extent, this is buried away in mid-page columns, if reported at all. I guess ‘Australia being blessed by rain’, is not as dramatic as ‘Australia burning in hell’. Many fires are still ongoing but there have been some remarkable stories and pictures of the effect of the much prayed for rain.

I thought I would share with the readers of Christian Today some of this good news.  After all, we are those who are interested in good news. Isn’t it interesting how the miserable ‘end is nigh’ doomsayers are now the ‘progressive secularists’? We have a better story.

Russell Crowe for example tweeted this remarkable picture of his own burnt property. It is an extraordinary image of renewal.

Screenshot 2020-01-22 10.18.31

The town of Gloucester in New South Wales not so long ago ran out of water, after four years of drought. In the past seven days, there has been over 100mm of water. The effect has been dramatic. What appeared to be dead and barren has sprung to life with what one farmer called ‘rapid growth’.

Today I was out visiting Pitt Town Anglican church in north-western Sydney. The last time it was dry and brown. Today there was clear evidence of green growth. The rains had worked their transforming power – what was latent in the ground had become patent.

It is in this context that all those verses about drought and the Lord sending rain become much more meaningful. Here are just a few

In Acts 14:17, Paul tells us that the rain and the resultant growth is the testimony of God: “Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

Jeremiah tells us in Jeremiah 14:22 that only the Lord brings rain.

Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?

Do the skies themselves send down showers?

No, it is you, LORD our God.

Therefore our hope is in you,

for you are the one who does all this.”

And Job adds – Job 37:5-6 – that God gives mighty downpours. “God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;

he does great things beyond our understanding.

He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’

and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’

I exulted in that as I drove back from Canberra in a thunderous downpour yesterday.

The experts solemnly assured us that we could not expect rain until at least late March and April. But for many areas the rain has arrived. Not all areas, so keep praying. Of course, the idea that prayer has anything to do with this is widely mocked – especially by those who think that it is they who have the power to control the wind and the waves. But that is not how the Bible sees it. As James, the brother of Jesus, reminds us, the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. So keep praying; don’t give up just because the headlines have disappeared.

James 5:17-18 tells us: “Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.”

But there is another side to this, a greater need. As I survey the church scene in the UK, the US and Australia I feel that there is a famine – a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. There is a spiritual dryness and barrenness. It’s time for us to heed the words of the prophet Hosea and plead for the Lord to send spiritual showers. Imagine the dramatic growth and renewal as dead churches come to life, and sleepy Christians are awakened!

Hosea 10:12 –

Sow righteousness for yourselves,

reap the fruit of unfailing love,

and break up your unplowed ground;

for it is time to seek the LORD,

until he comes

and showers his righteousness on you.

How will that come about? Through the proclamation of the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 55:10 –

As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Ultimately that spiritual dryness will only be overcome when we have a renewed sense of the presence of Christ in our midst. As Psalm 72:6 tells us: “May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth.”

And to adapt Graeme Kendrick: ‘rain, Jesus, rain!’

(Today I was in an Anglican church in Katoomba – they had been praying for 100mm of rain – yesterday it was announced that the area had received 100mm of rain!)

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  1. Thanks for your article today. We need repenting and turning to God here in Australia like never before. Let’s pray for that – in our churches and out of our churches. Ian, Sydney.

  2. The assertion that prayers brought the rain is mocked because there is absolutely no means whatsoever by which the claims to answered prayers can be proven, which renders such claims completely meaningless.

    After the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009, Danny Nalliah (an evangelical Christian pastor) declared that he had had a prophetic dream in November of 2008 which indicated that the fires were a result of the decriminalisation of abortion by the state of Victoria in 2008.

    This sort of idiotic claim could be made by this Christian pastor simply because when it comes to the ascribing of natural disasters to a vengeful god the means by which the truthfulness of the claim can be determined are precisely the same as those used by yourself & others who declare that the recent rains were produced by answers to Christian prayers.

    1. And yet I was in a church on Sunday in a fire/drought ravaged area where a month ago they were urged to pray for rain and told that although there was no forecast for rain until late March/April, they needed to see 100mm in order for the fires to be quenched. They prayed and they have had 100mm! You of course mock and see that as entirely coincidental – but thats because of your closed mind and closed world view. Like a conspiracy theorist you can explain away everything in the terms of your conspiracy! Some of us are a bit more open minded!

      1. How and why does rain fall when there have been no prayers to a god asking for it?

        In exactly the same manner as it falls after people have apparently prayed to a god for rain.

        Rain is a natural phenomenon or do you deny that?

        If – instead of praying for rain – there had been prayers to a god asking for all fires to cease burning immediately and then all the fires simply ceased burning, I’d be extremely impressed and would have cause to rethink my current position on the existence of the supernatural.

        Instead all I have is a declaration from someone who earns a living as a Christian pastor declaring that rain had fallen at a particular rate and at a particular time and place because prayers had been made to his god asking for it and that god had responded.

      2. John – you would not have been impressed…you would have found another way to justify your unbelief. You have a remarkable capacity to twist truth – there was no declaration that rain had fallen at a particular rate, time and place because my particular god had responded. there is so much that is dishonest and dumb in that statement. We believe that God uses natural means in answer to prayer…it is rare that there is something overtly supernatural….

      3. As you wrote David – “And yet I was in a church on Sunday in a fire/drought ravaged area where a month ago they were urged to pray for rain and told that although there was no forecast for rain until late March/April, they needed to see 100mm in order for the fires to be quenched. They prayed and they have had 100mm!”

        Hence my statement that rain had fallen at a particular time, in a particular place and a particular rate.

        “Particular time” – in response to prayers…….”Particular place” – in that area which you state was fire & drought ravaged….”Particular rate” – you declare they needed 100mm and then state that after prayer they had 100mm………….& you declare that this is the Christian god responding through natural means to prayer.

        Pretty simple.

      4. What a great example of the ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t approach”. I simply pointed out that we were asked to pray and we prayed that the Lord would send what was needed – there was no specification in terms of time or anything else. But it’s strange – we pray and the answer we want is not given and you say ‘no answer – there is no God!”. We pray and the specific request is answered positively and you say “natural processes – there is no God!”…

  3. We need spiritual rain here in New Zealand too (though we usually have plenty of the other kind).

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