Is it OK to pray for good weather??

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  • #27681
    Profile photo of Lesley
    mainegirl
    Participant

    Hi everyone!

    I have been pondering this question for a while now and would love any ideas or inspiration from you all….

    There are many occasions in life where we hope, and even pray for, good weather. Whether its for an important event such as a wedding or for a vacation or visiting friends, I have often felt impelled to ask God for good weather. But I often feel guilty praying in this manner, as if it is inappropriate to try to control something such as the forecast for my personal (slightly selfish) benefit.
    Lately, when I’ve been tempted to pray directly for good weather, I instead pray for harmony in all things, including harmonious weather conditions.

    I wonder, does anyone else struggle with this question, or have any thoughts to share?

    Thanks much!

    Lesley

    #27682
    Profile photo of Amy
    A.m.y
    Participant

    I think it’s tempting to pray for good weather, but like you, I think it’s better to pray for harmony or God’s governance…. Sometimes we might want picnic weather, but what we need is rain. God’s capable of righting it all in a way that we as individuals can’t….

    #27683
    Profile photo of Sarah
    Sarah
    Participant

    Praying for specific weather conditions does seem like human will. I had an experience that taught me specifically not to pray for certain conditions that I deemed favorable. I was scheduled to give 2 talks in bookstores in March in Ohio. I awoke to a gloomy, cold, windy, dreary day. My first thought was that no one in their right mind would go outside on a day like this unless they absolutely had to. But I continued to pray and acknowledge that there was truly only one Mind, a divine Mind, that was in absolute control of all activity. When I arrived at the bookstore for the morning talk, it was packed! We had a wonderful event. By the time I went to do the afternoon event, the sun had come out, and the 2nd bookstore was completely empty. (I did get to give the talk to the staff :D .) Everyone was outside enjoying the sunshine. Taught me not to specify what constitutes good weather.
    A friend of mine went on a cruise in an area known for rough seas. He said the seas were calm during his entire time there. He told me that he didn’t think that God calmed the seas just because he was on the ship. Rather, he thought of it as God telling him when to go!
    Mrs. Eddy had a good bit to say to her students about handling weather conditions. There are examples in MBE Christian Healer, p. 269 and 284, and the amplified edition of 12 Years with MBE, p. 273.
    Hope this helps.
    Joyfully,
    Sarah Hyatt
    Member, Board of Lectureship

    #27684
    Profile photo of AmyD
    AmyD
    Moderator

    …when I was about to debut my band at an outdoor venue, and rain was predicted for that day. The folks who hired me said that if it rained, the show would be canceled. Well! This was my debut, and after tons of hours writing music and copying out parts, not to mention all the rehearsals for a 10-piece band, I sure didn’t want my show to be canceled!
    I prayed to know that harmony was the fact, and that nothing could prevent good from unfolding and going forward. I didn’t pray specifically about the weather, but I really dug in and stuck to this prayer, the night before the show, until I got a sense of peace.
    Interesting how harmony manifested itself the next day. In the morning, the weather looked threatening, but since it wasn’t raining, we all trekked over to the gig. When we got there, the sound engineer told us that since the weather looked a bit iffy, we could set up under an overhang (I didn’t even know there WAS an overhang!), so to me that was the first sign of harmony revealing itself. So we set up in this nice spot, which was actually better than being out in the open air, because the acoustics were better, and then, the minute we started to play, the sun came out – I swear! :D Well, this was very good too, because that way the audience didn’t have to sit in the rain while we played! Needless to say, I was very, very grateful.
    jazzrascal

    #27685
    Profile photo of Kate
    Kate-Marr
    Participant

    hi!

    Mary B Eddy said somewhere that she prayed and the weather turned sunny.. bit more to it than that but yea its possible.

    #27686
    Profile photo of Susie
    Susie
    Participant

    This is an interesting question, Lesley – thanks for asking.

    I know when I was kite surfing, it was tempting to want good wind all the time… but the fact is that it does naturally come up and down. Sometimes the wind was great all day, sometimes I spent a day sitting on the beach waiting for wind.

    So, my whole experience became more about listening to God to know where I should be and when (as Sarah mentioned) and also spiritualizing my sense of what was going on. For example, I love the definition of wind (p.597):

    WIND. That which indicates the might of omnipotence and the movements of God’s spiritual government encompassing all things. Destruction; anger; mortal passions.

    Spiritualizing my sense of wind made me feel more confident about my experience out on the water.

    I think this is a great topic to get someone from the Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity to comment on… especially regarding that situation Kate mentioned. I think it was more than just a situation where the weather became sunny. I think a really dark, menacing storm headed for Mrs. Eddy’s home broke when she communed with God. Mike, are you out there to clarify this?

    #27687
    Profile photo of Mike
    MikeDavis
    Participant

    Praying about the weather was a big thing with Mrs. Eddy, and one can find quite a lot of interesting and helpful information about it in the archival collection in The Mary Baker Eddy Library. As I’ve read the relevant documents, I get the sense that Mrs. Eddy had basically two approaches to praying about the weather. One was to not to try to personally mentally control or manipulate the weather to suit one’s own desires, but to pray to become conscious of God’s perfect government of the weather. But on the other hand, if obviously destructive weather conditions were persisting, she seems to have advocated specific Christian Science treatment to destroy the bad weather. For example, there are cases where a part of the country would be having a drought and Mrs. Eddy would counsel to pray specifically for rain and to prayerfully deny that drought could be any part of God’s creation.
    There are a number of accounts of Mrs. Eddy’s prayers dispelling destructive storms that were headed toward Mrs. Eddy’s home in Concord, NH. These can be found in several published biographies of Mrs. Eddy, as well as in the archival collection. I will include one of these in a separate post. For more information on Mrs. Eddy’s instructions about praying about the weather, please feel free to visit the Research Room at The Mary Baker Eddy Library. Or, you can call us at 617-450-7218 or email us at [EMAIL="rese...@mbelibrary.org"]rese...@mbelibrary.org[/EMAIL].

    #27688
    Profile photo of Mike
    MikeDavis
    Participant

    I’m posting here an excerpt from a biography of Mrs. Eddy. The biographer, Robert Thomas, is basing his account on a reminiscence by Clara Shannon, a member of Mrs. Eddy’s household at Pleasant View:
    “Shannon remembered another time when she saw dark clouds moving in the direction of Pleasant View. Mrs. Eddy had instructed her that whenever she saw a storm approaching, she was to let Mrs. Eddy know immediately. When Shannon informed her, Mrs. Eddy went to the back veranda; by that time the ominous clouds had moved over the house. Mrs. Eddy quickly went to the front vestibule and looked out, whereupon she returned to the veranda … Shannon ran downstairs, threw open the front door, and looked up into the dark sky, where she saw an uncanny sight. In the heavy black clouds that hung over the house, it looked as if a black sea had parted, with the clouds beginning to separate and move in opposite directions.
    “When Shannon rushed back upstairs and told Mrs. Eddy what she had just seen, Mrs. Eddy replied, ‘Clouds? What clouds?’ Puzzled, Shannon looked again and saw the clouds dissolving, and Mrs. Eddy quietly said that no clouds could ever obscure God’s face, nothing could ever come between them and the light of God’s Truth. … As Shannon listened to these words, she saw that Mrs. Eddy’s face was in rapture; she realized that Mrs. Eddy was not seeing clouds but ‘realizing the Truth.’” (Robert David Thomas, With Bleeding Footsteps: Mary Baker Eddy’s Path to Religious Leadership, page 182.)

    #27689
    Profile photo of Amy
    A.m.y
    Participant

    I love what you’ve shared here, Mike. How fortunate we are to have your participation on the site!

    Your post reminded me of how Jesus stilled the storm and I hadn’t thought of that when I wrote my earlier post.

    #27690
    Profile photo of Lesley
    mainegirl
    Participant

    Hmmm…that is so interesting that Mrs. Eddy wanted to know immediately if any storms were coming her way! I have always thought of storms as a somewhat natural part of weather patterns, though we sometimes see the destruction they are capable of in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.

    But this story makes me wonder if there a line between what kind of weather we can or should pray about… For example, why is it okay to pray about an approaching thunderstorm, but not about a cold, rainy day? Both could negatively affect any plans I might have made for that day.

    Maybe the issue is not so much the form the bad weather takes, but the false thought behind it that God is “hidden from view” or that things are temporarily out of His control.

    Makes you wonder if we were all working to see more of the reality of God’s omnipresence if storms and bad weather would exist?

    #27691
    Profile photo of Mike
    MikeDavis
    Participant

    But this story makes me wonder if there a line between what kind of weather we can or should pray about… For example, why is it okay to pray about an approaching thunderstorm, but not about a cold, rainy day? Both could negatively affect any plans I might have made for that day.

    mainegirl,
    As I read the material about Mrs. Eddy in the archives, it seems obvious to me that she was extremely sensitive to the “mental atmosphere” around her, and there is abundant evidence that there was a lot of the malice of mortal mind being directed her way. I suspect that when very threatening storms approached her home she may well have sensed that there was more behind the situation than that of a mere passing storm that would do little damage. And I’ve never seen any evidence that she advocated praying about the weather to change it for personal convenience or preference. In a larger sense, however, she seems to have generally advocated healing adverse weather conditions that cause destruction or harm, or that interfere with the normal harmonious flow of human life.

    #27692
    Profile photo of TAD
    TAD
    Participant

    thats a good point, Mike:

    I’ve never seen any evidence that she advocated praying about the weather to change it for personal convenience or preference. In a larger sense, however, she seems to have generally advocated healing adverse weather conditions that cause destruction or harm, or that interfere with the normal harmonious flow of human life.

    It seems to me it’s like healing praying in general…if our motive is only for personal gain, even if the goal is to get rid of disease, then it’s likely the healing won’t occur. I’m thinking of what Mary Baker Eddy said when she wrote these in Science and Health:

    The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer? If selfishness has given place to kindness, we shall regard our neighbor unselfishly, and bless them that curse us; but we shall never meet this great duty simply by asking that it may be done. There is a cross to be taken up before we can enjoy the fruition of our hope and faith. p9:5

    Experience teaches us that we do not always receive the blessings we ask for in prayer. There is some misapprehension of the source and means of all goodness and blessedness, or we should certainly receive that for which we ask. The Scriptures say: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” That which we desire and for which we ask, it is not always best for us to receive. In this case infinite Love will not grant the request. Do you ask wisdom to be merciful and not to punish sin? Then “ye ask amiss.” p10:22-32

    #27693
    Profile photo of Lesley
    mainegirl
    Participant

    thats a good point, Mike:

    It seems to me it’s like healing praying in general…if our motive is only for personal gain, even if the goal is to get rid of disease, then it’s likely the healing won’t occur. I’m thinking of what Mary Baker Eddy said when she wrote these in Science and Health:

    It seems to me it’s like healing praying in general…if our motive is only for personal gain, even if the goal is to get rid of disease, then it’s likely the healing won’t occur.

    That makes so much sense! Thank you Mike and TadTriple3 for your explanations.

    ~Lesley

    #27694
    Profile photo of TAD
    TAD
    Participant

    I was thinking about this post, and I wanted to make sure if someone read my response out-of-context, or MaineGirl’s response to mine and Mike’s (all in regard to praying for nice weather), that it wouldn’t get misconstrued. So I would like to add some clarity…

    And at risk of sounding like I “changed my mind” … I do think that because God is all-loving and is divine Love, God heals even if our motives, to some degree, are selfish. In praying for weather, or a happy material circumstance, it may not take place, but I also think that depends on whether or not we may be aware of the selfishness in our motives. I know I am sometimes hoping for a pretty day, but I am not always aware that maybe the county I live in needs rain, or that the farmer down the road, has too much rain and also hopes it will stop because it my ruin his crops. Either way God loves us, each one of us! And healing is always possible through Him/Her. So it seems to me, that it would be unwise to limit God … “What cannot God do?”

    If we would like to have nice weather on a day that is special to us, why not!? There’s nothing wrong with that, and we wouldn’t need to beat up ourselves for not knowing if what we’re asking for is selfish or unselfish. I mean, with all sincererity, who doesn’t LOVE[/B] a beautiful day?! In many cases even when our motives are unclear, it is God who straightens us out — God will show us what is possible. And if what we’re asking for isn’t the right for all, it won’t happen. [B]**I think this is close to the point of what GarderofThought and Suisieee so lovingly pointed out earlier.**

    Meanwhile, it is the Christ who will come to our thought to destroy any error there. But as long as we are sincerely acting on our highest sense of right, while working for and expecting only to accomplish good, we never have anything to fear. In the mean time, we can trust our desires to God, and [S]He’ll keep us feeling good and flexible.

    So I say bring on the sunshine (or not)! :D

    #27695
    Profile photo of Lesley
    mainegirl
    Participant

    Thanks Tad for your clarification…

    I was also thinking more about this and wanted to share a weather-related experience. A few weeks ago I was preparing for a visit from my mom and sister. This visit was really special to me and I was planning on taking them on lots of excursions, mostly all involving the outdoors/coast/lake. I noticed a few days before they were going to arrive that the weather forecast was calling for horrible unseasonable weather – rain, wind, cool temps, etc. At first my heart sank because they rarely are able to visit me and all our plans would be disrupted.

    HOWEVER, I felt I really should pray about this and instead of asking God to give me the weather I felt would be ideal (sunny, mid-70s) my prayer went something like this, “God, I’m going to leave the details to you.” Meaning, I wasn’t going to try to micro-manage this situation (not that there’s much I could do to change the forecasters minds anyway) or sulk around worrying about it. I decided to completely let go of my fear or worry that our very special visit could be disrupted in any way. I felt a big burden lift as I shifted to trusting God to handle the details (& weather conditions).

    And you know what, it really worked….the weather during their entire stay was classic beautiful Maine weather — sunny and mid-70s. So needless to say this is my new approach to thinking about weather!

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