Rain prayers answered

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

It seems a higher power has answered Selma’s prayer for rain.

After Gov. Bob Riley declared June 30-July 7 as “Days of Prayer for Rain” in Alabama, precipitation miraculously found its way to the Queen City last week.

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“Throughout our history, Alabamians have turned in prayer to God to humbly ask for His blessings and to hold us steady during times of difficulty. This drought is without question a time of great difficulty for our farmers and for communities across the state,” Riley said in a press-released statement.

Long before Riley declared “Days of Prayer for Rain,” area church congregations prayed for rainfall.

The Rev. Linda Tarver of Union United Methodist Church in Sardis said her congregation has prayed for rain since indications of a drought surfaced.

“We pray for rain during morning services and at Wednesday night bible study,” Tarver said Friday.

Tarver added that the church continues to pray for rain although “Days of Prayer for Rain” ended Saturday.

Although rain fell on Selma and Dallas County last week, the area remains under a drought emergency.

The Rev. Micah Gandy of Elkdale Baptist Church in Selma said his congregation also prays for rain during services. Rain requests have also been printed in the church’s prayer sheets.

“If it doesn’t rain, somebody in the church is going to pray for rain because it’s so important to us and our farmers,” Gandy said.

Jerry Newby, president and CEO of the Alabama Farmers Federation, said “Days of Prayer for Rain” has brought a sense of optimism to the state’s agriculture industry.

“Alabama farmers have been through tough times before. But, through God’s grace, they have learned to withstand whatever circumstances they faced. The farmers have been praying for rain for weeks and they covet the prayers of their fellow Alabamians,” Newby said.

Don Wambles, director of the Alabama Farmers Market Authority, commended the governor for recognizing the seriousness of the drought and his willingness to call Alabamians to pray.

“There are many references in the Bible to God’s assurance of answering prayer but maybe the most fitting for our current situation is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14. ‘If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.’

We need God’s forgiveness and our land needs His healing.

This verse of scripture tells us how to achieve that,” Wambles said.