Last November I traveled to central Oregon to preach at Eastside Church, a Foursquare congregation led by a pastor named Brian Carmack. While I was there for a weekend of ministry, the Lord gave me Isaiah 44:3 as a promise to share with the church. It says: "For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants."
I shared this prophetic word with the congregation during one of our meetings. I felt the Lord was promising to bring growth and an outpouring of His refreshing presence. But I had no idea He would use the weather to confirm the message.
On my second day in Prineville there was an unexpected snow storm, which brought snowpack to the mountains. This was more significant than I realized at the time, because the entire region of central Oregon was experiencing a severe drought. After the initial snowfall, unexpected rains also came.
I flew home after that Sunday, but more precipitation came to that region of Oregon. In fact, so much rain and snow fell in the area that the reservoir in Prineville eventually reached maximum capacity.
"Crook County was the most drought-stricken county this side of the Mississippi River a few years ago," Pastor Brian informed me. "We have been in the highest classification for drought. It was severe."
Local reservoirs had reached a 23-year low. Some were drained to the point of only being 10% full. Yet today, the reservoir in Prineville is at maximum capacity, and it is as high as it has ever been in five years. Smith says: "Our snowpack in mid-April hit more than 200% of normal. Many felt that it would take years before seeing them even get close to 100%. This was a total miracle!"
I'm so encouraged to know that the Lord is visiting this part of the country. Oregon is infamous for being a spiritual wasteland. Recent polls show it has one of the highest percentages of people who consider themselves unchurched or "unaffiliated" with any religion. In a 2018 Gallup Poll, nearly half—48% of the Oregonians surveyed—said religion is not important to them.
To make the situation bleaker, Portland—Oregon's largest city—is slowly losing its population because residents are fed up with high crime, open drug use, homelessness, high taxes and woke social policies that discourage any police action against criminals. In 2020, 2021 and 2022, the population of Portland decreased because residents who had been loyal citizens decided to get out of the city before crime and other urban ills got worse.
Yet three hours from Portland, Christians in Prineville are praying and witnessing a miracle. They know that if God can fill up an empty reservoir in a span of a few weeks, He can pour out His Holy Spirit on a dry region and bring a wave of salvation and healing.
I believe what happened to the reservoir in Prineville is a sign of what God intends to do all over this country. Like Portland, the United States is in a desperate situation. Current spiritual trends aren't good. But we have the promise that if we will pray, God will heal our land. He will send the rain—not because we deserve it but simply because He is so merciful.
Joel 2:23 says: "So rejoice, O sons of Zion, and be glad in the Lord your God; for He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, the early and latter rain as before."
Please lay hold of this promise for the United States, and for your own city and region. Pray for the latter rain. Pray for a global outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to fill our churches once again with new converts, and to fill our streets with peace and racial harmony. And ask Him to transform the spiritual deserts of our nation into watered gardens.
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years and now serves as senior contributing editor. He directs the Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org), an international ministry that protects women and girls from gender-based violence. His latest books are "Follow Me" and "Let's Go Deeper"(Charisma House).
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organization that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression. Author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, he has just released his newest book, Set My Heart on Fire, from Charisma House. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeeGrady or go to his website, themordecaiproject.org.
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