Back in my daughter’s car-seat days, our state had a couple of droughts. We rationed water, prayed for farmers going bankrupt, and noticed our tap water tasted metallic. During the second drought, more than sixty days passed without a drop from the sky. One afternoon as I was driving with my girl, we spotted a grass fire in the median. So I pulled over and called 9-1-1.
Days later when we passed the same patch of what was then scorched earth, my girl wanted to know all about it: Should we be scared? Is it bad to call 9-1-1? What causes fires? Would it happen again? Why does grass burn? Why? Why? Why?
I explained that the grass needed a drink—that all the grass in our state needed a drink, that the plants were thirsty, that the trees craved rain.
“What can we do?” she asked.
“All we can do is pray.”
“I suppose,” I said. “Now’s as good a time as any.”
She insisted that I pray then and there.
“Okay,” I said. So I kept my eyes on the road and talked to our heavenly Father. I told Him about how the grass needed a drink. I reminded Him that the trees were thirsty. And I told Him we were scared we’d run out of water. “Please, God,” I pleaded, “we need rain.”
When I finished, she prayed, too, and her words reminded me of the time Jesus exhorted His followers to be like little children in faith and humility (matthew 18:2–5).
About twenty seconds after we said “Amen,” an inch-wide drop splashed onto my windshield. I glanced over to see if a truck in the next lane was leaking fluid. Then another drop hit. And another.
And it dawned on me. Ohmyword!
“HE SAID ‘YES’!” my daughter screamed from the back seat. “HE SAID ‘YES’!”
Sure enough, that liquid was falling straight from the sky. I dabbed my eyes and kept on driving. We passed others who had pulled off the road, stood on the shoulder, and thrown their arms in the air.
“HE SAID ‘YES’!” my daughter kept screaming.
“Yes, He did,” I whispered. I shook my head as we marveled at the timing.
James told his readers that God hears the prayers of ordinary, even powerless, people. He wrote, “Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years” (james 5:17). Sometimes we get the idea that God answers the prayers only of those with spiritual super-powers while He glosses over the requests of us everyday folks. Does God even hear the prayers of some unknown mom and her little girl driving by a burned median? James answered this very question—Elijah was actually mortal, just like us, and see what his prayers accomplished?