There was a time in our nation's history when rain would have been more than welcomed, it would have been an answer to prayers. Many, many prayers.
In the 1930s, the Plains States incurred the worst drought known in this country. Due to bad farming practices, the soil erosion was unimaginable. The deep-rooted native prairie grasses had been plowed under and there was nothing to hold the soil when the drought and winds came. There was no escaping it; the fine particles permeated every crack and crevice. Thousands of families had to leave their homes and many died due to the dust that clogged their lungs. This area of the country, at this time, was called The Dust Bowl.
There is a story about one such community, in the midst of this drought, that gathered together to pray for rain. One little girl interrupted the praying when she arrived late. She had gone back home to get an umbrella. No one else had thought to bring one.
When I first read that story, it brought tears to my eyes. Partly because it accentuated Jesus' words about 'the faith of a child' and partly because many times I fail to bring my umbrella when I pray for rain. The little girl wasn't thinking about probabilities or realities. She just believed if she prayed for rain, surely she should be prepared for some showers.
I am not insinuating we will receive the answer we are wanting for our prayers every time we pray. God always hears our prayers, but God also knows the future and some times the answer we want would turn out to be a disaster in our lives. As a parent, we realize we can't grant every request our children bring to us, either; some of them would be harmful, some would be dangerous and some would be downright destructive.
However, we do a disservice to our heavenly Father when we come to him with a need, and we don't believe he will really hear us, so we don't consider the possibility that he will answer us. That is like leaving the umbrella at home when we pray for rain.