By Chris Surber
To say it’s hot in Haiti is a bit like saying its muddy in the swamp. It’s just plain part a’ the deal. Living a year in Haiti was among the hardest things I’ve ever done, but not only because of the commonplace suffering and hardship my eyes endured. I’m built like an arctic polar bear not a Caribbean lizard!
For me, the heat was almost unbearable. Some days, constant, often heart-wrenching requests to help truly poor people with real needs that I couldn’t always meet, coupled with the highest temperatures were almost too much to take. On the hottest, hardest days I prayed for rain. Strangely, almost miraculously, on so many of those hard hot days the rain would come to our dry mountainside cinder block home and quench my parched spirit.
Haiti is in a drought. It’s common for the evening showers to last only a few minutes and hit the mountainsides spottily – only hitting a small tin-roofed neighborhood here and there. It almost always seemed to hit ours. When I needed the rain, when I thought I couldn’t go any further on the dry hot journey of faith my family was on, my sons and I would enjoy a few shirtless refreshing minutes standing arms raised enjoying the cool rain.
Pray for rain. Pray for God to quench your soul in the trial. Pray for rain. Pray in faith for God to quench your soul with His healing love so that you can keep going on your journey of faith! Pray in faith believing that God can and will answer the petition that is offered consistent with His will and Word. That’s what Elijah did:
“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” (James 5:17-18 ESV)
Elijah was a man with a nature exactly like ours. He was a fellow sufferer and God honored his prayer! He prayed for rain and got it. What are we waiting for to pray for the rain of God to fall in our lives?
Living a year in a Third World country has shaken my life and my faith to its foundations. It has sharpened or changed me in every way. I have seen incredibly poor people trust God and receive miraculous answers to prayer. I have felt the rain on my skin at just the right time as I prayed for God to refresh my spirit and keep my family strong for just a little while longer.
Stop praying half-hearted, indistinct prayers. Pray in faith believing God is not a liar but faithful to His Word. Pray like you mean it. When a man prays he must know that whatever comes is ultimately God’s will “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8 ESV)
Friend, the God who separated the waters on the earth from the waters in the heavens is but a prayer away from sending the rain in your life. Cease with the halfhearted desultory prayers of the double minded. Get into God’s Word and unleash the prayer of faith which is that prayer consistent with the promises of God!
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