ATLANTA—Bowing his head outside the Georgia Capitol on Tuesday, Gov. Sonny Perdue cut a newly repentant figure as he publicly prayed for rain to end the region’s historic drought.
“Oh father, we acknowledge our wastefulness,” Perdue said. “But we’re doing better. And I thought it was time to acknowledge that to the creator, the provider of water and land, and to tell him that we will do better.”
Hundreds of Georgians—ministers and lawmakers, landscapers and office workers—gathered in downtown Atlanta for the prayer vigil. Some held bibles and crucifixes. Many swayed and linked arms as a choir sang “What a Mighty God We Serve” and “Amazing Grace.”
As Perdue described it, “We have come together, very simply, for one reason and one reason only: To very reverently and respectfully pray up a storm.”
“It’s got to be worth a shot,” said David Mais, 34, an Atlanta resident who is worried his carpet cleaning business could suffer from the drought. “I do think we need to do a lot more, but hopefully prayer will unite us.”
As metropolitan Atlanta’s water supplies drain to record lows, many across the Southeast have criticized Perdue and other Georgia officials for failing to introduce more stringent conservation measures.
The rest of this story from the LA Times is here. It’s clear to me that God answers our prayers if we are earnest in seeking His help. But God doesn’t reward poor stewardship, which reminds me of a story I wrote last year about a group that traveled far and wide to Hollywood to pray for lower gas prices:
The Rev. Beatrice Williams drove 110 miles to Hollywood on Wednesday to beg the Lord for lower gasoline prices.
“There is victory when we stand together,” Williams said, after joining eight others in prayer. “We will overcome, and we will overcome this if there are enough people who believe that God cares.”
Standing beneath the Gothic Revival tower of Hollywood United Methodist Church - and across from a Chevron station charging $3.43 a gallon for unleaded - the group asked God to comfort those paying more while driving less.
“We give you praise and honor and glory. You are king of all kings. You know our needs,” Bishop Donald Downing, pastor of Heart to Heart Christian Center in Fort Washington, Md., prayed as cars zipped through the intersection of Highland and Franklin avenues, occasionally honking.
“These high gas prices, Lord, bring them down, oh Father.”
These prayer warriors were hoping to induce the same miracle the effort’s organizer, Pray Live, claims it brought about in Washington, D.C. After about 50 attended a gathering in late April, national fuel prices dropped a few cents.
Gasoline experts have been offering advice for months on how drivers can reduce fuel prices: empty the trunk, combine errands, keep tires properly inflated, maintain a steady speed.
“People seek - what is the word I’m looking for? - relief in many ways,” said Jeff Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California. “We would recommend they continue to try to cut their use of gas to try to lower the prices. Reduced demand will lower their prices.”
What about asking for help from above?
“I’ll leave that question up to the theologians,” Spring said.
I think Lance Warner, a 22-year-old history student at Georgia State University, hits the nail on the head in the Times article.
“You can’t make up for years of water mismanagement with a prayer session. It’s lunacy!”