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The Day the Rains Came

 Joanna Cherry

In the fall of '92, I spoke at a conference called "Planet in Change" in Johannesburg, South Africa. After the conference, the speakers were given a tour of South Africa: first stop, Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves on earth.
        Our first morning, a group of us loaded into an open jeep and took off. The driver knew all the spots to sight game--and what game!--lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, animals I had longed all my life to see in the wild, running free.
        But a shadow began to intrude upon our joy. In South Africa it was spring, the time of young leaves bursting out and the birthing of new life. But--sorrowful the sight!--the game reserve was as bleak and barren as a bombed-out city. The trees stood like skeletons, without a trace of budding green. Our guide explained that a terrible drought had been upon the land for months and months, and had reached such proportions that their spring--that time of year that symbolizes more than any other, hope eternal--was not happening. Now, the animals who needed water most were beginning to die.
        The dead landscape haunted me. I determined to see if I could do something about it. I invited my new friend Ingrid to join me in a prayer for rain. She eagerly consented. We met in our cabin to do this. I spoke aloud, with all the passion of my heart, words something like this:

"We call all of the nature spirits and devas of this entire area: the spirits of the land, the air, the fire and the waters. We call the wind and cloud devas. "We know that humanity has been ignorant. We have damaged the natural world in many ways, polluting, tearing down the rain forests, stripping the land, with little regard for the wondrous gifts and vital importance of nature. But we want you to know that things are changing; we are waking up! We are beginning to bring our relationship with nature back into balance. We ask your understanding, and forgiveness, and patience as we move step by step into wisdom.
        "But right now, this land is parched, the trees cannot bring forth leaves, and the animals are dying. We ask NOW that you wind and cloud devas, and all you nature spirits, bring rain, BRING RAIN TOMORROW! We thank you in advance, thank you, thank you, thank you! So be it."

We left the next morning, sharing with the staff that we had prayed for rain. I could see that they expected nothing from it because truly, the day had begun exactly as had all the others, gray and overcast but with no hint of coming rain.
        I continued with my fellow speakers on tour, and stayed another couple of weeks to give workshops in Johannesburg and Cape Town, enjoying this lovely country.
        The first leg of my flight home, Cape Town to Johannesburg, gave me an hour layover before catching the plane to London. To my delight, at the airport to greet me was Ingrid, her face lit up like a Christmas tree!
        She stopped me in my tracks. "Did you hear what happened?!" she exclaimed.
        Curiosity leaping up, I replied "No, I didn't."
        "The very day we called for the rain to come, the day we left the reserve, they had their best rain in four years!"
        "How wonderful!" We were laughing and happy as two little kids. And Ingrid wrote a few months later to say that the rains had continued, and the countryside was a robust and happy green once more.

I pondered this on the long flights back to northern California. My area around Mount Shasta had felt six years of drought almost as deeply as the rest of the state. While our drought was not as extreme as South Africa's, it was certainly severe. I had worked on it some, but I had never given it a prayer so passionate and determined as the one I had spoken in Kruger Park.
        I formed a determination in my mind and heart: I would gather together a "Drought-Busting Committee" and we would go after our own drought. I had realized that nothing could withstand the power of passionate prayer.
        When I arrived home, I did not have time to form this committee. It had begun to rain. Our drought was over.

Now on this beloved Earth, we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate what the power of passionate prayer can do. We are in a period of great upheaval, a transition to a whole new way of life. There could be no better time to gather together in large or small groups, or by yourself, to bring peace to our changing times. The power of even one passionate voice is so powerful and important! And the prayer of groups multiplies this power many times over. Here is one possible prayer:

"Beloved Mother Father God, beloved Earth Mother, and all the spirits of nature, we ask your help in creating a peaceful transition for Earth. We ask the divine being of everyone who lives here to join together and create peaceful progress. We now call upon the healing love, light and power of God within each to dissolve every past thought form, belief, prejudice, hatred, fear, ignorance, and limitation of any kind which would keep the beloved people of our world in disharmony within themselves and with each other. These are being dissolved NOW, to the degree of readiness and willingness of each.
        We invite every person here to become aware of their true heart's desire, through awareness of their inner divinity, to be continually at peace and in love with Self and other. We invite every heart to be filled with the love, light and wisdom that is the truth of being.
        We ask the devic spirits of Earth to cleanse the land of all past difficulties, and fill it with divine love and joy. We call for any needed changes within the body of Earth to take place as gently and peacefully as possible.
        We bless every leader, and see through any appearance of ignorance to the truth within: a wise and loving being with the courage to act for peace.
        We bless our entire planet, and see it coming through all challenges in shining splendor, a people and a land in peace, prosperity, equality, respect and understanding, wisdom and love. We see each person rising into the full god-goddesshood of their being, all limitations falling away like veils, and masters stepping forth! Thank you, God. And so be it."

Copyright Joanna Cherry, 2007

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