“Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.”
God gives a strange command in the verse above when He says, “Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain…” Why would you need to ask for rain when you have already had two rainy seasons? The latter rain was the second rain season that gets the crops ready to harvest. The first rain was the rain before they planted the harvest, but the latter rain was the rain that kept the harvest growing. What God was teaching these people is that they should never grow comfortable with His blessings, but that they should ask for rain while the blessings of rain were falling.
A very valuable truth for the believer can be found in this verse. Too many times, the believer waits until the need before they start to ask God for an answer. God is trying to get the believer to ask Him for the next blessing while they are receiving the present blessing. God is teaching several things to the believer with this command.
First, God is saying to ask Him to continue to give you what you need while He is giving it to you. I call this preventative praying. Why wait until the need to pray for something? Wouldn’t it be better to pray for what you need while God is supplying it? In other words, God is saying to ask Him to meet your financial needs for tomorrow while He is supplying them today. He is saying to ask Him to bless your marriage and family tomorrow while He is blessing it today. God is telling the pastor or the church to ask Him to bless the ministry tomorrow while He is blessing it today. God is saying, don’t wait till tomorrow to ask for tomorrow’s blessings, but ask for tomorrow’s needs today. The best prayer life is the prayer life that asks for the needs of tomorrow while enjoying God’s blessings today. Latter rain praying looks ahead for the next need instead of praying only when the crisis arises.
Second, God is saying not to take His blessings for granted. Latter rain praying understands that God’s blessings won’t always fall. Instead of waiting for the need to become a crisis to pray, pray before the need becomes a crisis. You could save yourself from much stress if you learned to pray in the latter rain. I would much rather plant the seed for God’s answered prayers in the time of blessings than to wait until you find yourself in dire straits to get a prayer answered. Don’t get me wrong; God can answer the emergency prayer, but why live in the crisis moment when God tells you to practice latter rain praying?
Third, latter rain praying is saying to God, “Please, don’t stop.” Too many people have taken for granted what they had and lost it because they stopped praying for God to continue to give it. My friend, when God is blessing your church, ask Him never to take His hand away from your church. When God is blessing your ministry, ask Him to keep His hand on your ministry. It should be a passionate prayer to God to continue to keep His hand of blessings on you while you have those blessings falling.
Latter rain praying keeps you humble, it keeps your eyes on God, and it will keep the blessings falling. The greatest thing about latter rain praying is it keeps you depending on God. My friend, don’t wait for the blessings to stop to start praying for God’s intervention; pray while the blessings are falling for God to continue those blessings.