Cyprus prays for rain

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Written by Chris Perver  
Monday, 26 November 2007 15:13

Leaders of the Orthodox Church in Cyprus have called for a day of prayer to be held on December 2nd, as the country faces its worst spell of drought in 100 years. Reservoirs on the island are around eight percent full, and are likely to run dry within a month unless it rains. If the drought continues, emergency measures will have to be taken. 

Quote: "Prayers for rain are rare, and the last occurred in 1998, when there was a comparably critical water shortage. "We are sure that if we all pray with deep faith the Almighty will heed our prayers; 'Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full'," Church leader Archbishop Chrysostomos said in a circular on Monday, quoting from the Gospel of John.

Just a few weeks ago, US Governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue led a service to pray for rain, as the southern United States continues to experience severe drought. Around 250 people attended the event, which was held at the capitol building, and included members of other religions. Three church congregations in Snellville, Georgia gathered together to hold a similar prayer service, and called on others in the community to follow suit.

Quote: "The Revs. Richard Hunter of Snellville United Methodist Church, Rusty Newman of First Baptist Church Snellville and Mike Garrett of Westminster Presbyterian Church will co-host a community-wide prayer service from noon to 12:30 p.m. Monday. The service will be held at First Baptist Church at 2400 E. Main St. "We think it's necessary to come together to pray for God's guidance and to ask for him to bless us with rain," Hunter said. "We put the word out all over the community."

The Scriptures often mention drought as a specific judgement against the nations that turn away from God. During the Millennial Reign of Christ, it is prophesied that if any of the families of earth refuse to go up to worship the Lord in Jerusalem, that nation shall have no rain (Zechariah 14:11). Then we have the example of Elijah the prophet, who prayed earnestly that it might not rain on Israel for 3.5 years (James 5:17), as a punishment for the sins of King Ahab (1st Kings 17:1). And he prayed again, and the Lord sent rain in abundance (1st Kings 18:40-46). In Solomon's prayer to God at the dedication of the Temple, he also mentioned drought as being a special judgement from God for the sins of the people.

1st Kings 8:35-36
When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them: Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.

I guess that is what is missing. Sonny Perdue prayed for rain and invited people of other religions to do the same. Some rain came, but not enough to end the drought. The Greek Orthodox Church are holding a prayer service to call on the Lord to send rain, but I don't see any mention of sin or the need to repent. In the story of Daniel, there is no mention made of any particular sins that he had committed, yet Daniel often confesses his sin and the sin of his nation to God (Daniel 9:20). As a nation, our sins are all too apparent. If these nations are seeking blessing from God, they ought to do what Solomon said, and get on their faces and repent of their wickedness. Maybe then God would hear their prayers. During the tribulation period, it will not be so. Although many today would deny God even exists, deep down inside, everybody knows there is a God. The Scriptures state in the book of Revelation that mankind in its rebelliousness will blaspheme God who has power over these plagues, and will neither repent of their deeds nor give Him glory (Revelation 16:9). Don't wait until it's too late. Repent of your sins now, and believe the Gospel. Jesus Christ stands ready to forgive all who will call upon Him for salvation.

Source Reuters, AJC

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