“If human beings are the ‘priesthood of creation,’
then we have a
duty to pray for the whole earth,
not just our fellow human beings.
`- The Rt Revd Martin Wharton, Bishop of Newcastle
April 22nd. It came and went just like any other day. Did you remember that April 22nd has special significance? It was Earth day! While I am very excited that we have one whole day designated to showing our appreciation and love for this world, I cannot help but wonder about the other 364 days I spend either taking this world for granted or abusing it.
By National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7540927
Now, do not worry. I am not going to launch into a scathing critique of our American values or rail against our consumeristic culture. I am not even going to tell you to recycle! I want to pose one, single question: when was the last time you prayed for this earth? Not just the souls of the 7 billion people that live on this earth, but the actual land we live on, rivers we swim in, and air we breathe in.
One of the first things that God entrusts Adam and Eve with in the Garden of Eden is… you guessed it, THE EARTH! So instead of challenging you to recycle or go green, I want to challenge you to pray. And pray big, bold prayers. And if you do not know where to start, let me help you.
Photo credit: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu
Everyone has heard of it. The Golden State. Home of Hollywood and surfing. The place I have called home for the past 3 years. It is also the place that is entering its fourth year of a record-breaking drought. This dry period was made worse by high temperatures, with 2014 setting a record high. Even if this year sees average rainfall, it will not be enough to eliminate the severe water deficit. This has tremendous effects on the households, businesses, and agriculture workers all throughout the state.
In 2014 growers lost about 6.6 million acre-feet of surface water because of the drought (PPIC). The large cuts in crop acreage were unavoidable, leading to the loss of $2.2 billion in revenues and 17,100 seasonal, part-time, and full-time jobs. Wildlife and fish are also being hit hard, and scientists are worried about the disappearance of different species altogether.
All of this will have huge implications on the agriculture market in California and beyond. Prices are expected to rise as farms are hit hard by this water shortage. While there are many plans and policies in place, I think it is time we turn to the last place anyone thinks to turn: prayer.
Join with me in praying for California, for the end of the drought. Ask that the Lord will open up the heavens and pour out rain on the land. Ask that God will move mightily in the lives of those closely affected both economically and occupationally. Ask that He will replenish the land, and restore farms to their pre-drought working capacity. It says in Job 5:10, we worship a God who “gives rain on the earth and sends water on the fields.” Let us call on Him today.