By CASSIE MCKEE, Four Points News
Pastors from Austin-area churches organized a city-wide day of prayer and fasting on Thursday that culminated with a service at Hyde Park Baptist Church that evening to pray for rain in Central Texas.
Will Davis Jr., pastor of Austin Christian Fellowship based in Four Points, said the idea came about a month ago during a pastor’s prayer meeting.
“In that moment of prayer, on this platform, God spoke to one of the pastors and said, ‘You need to pray for rain and you need to tell the city council what you’re doing,’” Davis told attendees at the evening prayer service.
The group’s first organized “prayer for rain” meet-up was at the Austin City Council meeting on May 15 where they stood in the city council chambers and prayed Lake Travis would return to its 681-foot level, at which point the lake is considered full.
The May 22 service filled Hyde Park Baptist Church with more than 700 people from congregations around Austin.
During the service, Rick Randall, pastor of Austin Cornerstone Church and chaplain for the Austin Police Department, read a resolution on behalf of Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. The resolution named May 22 as an official day of prayer and fasting for the city.
“We don’t need permission to pray but we think it’s no small thing when the city of Austin says we think it’s a good idea for you to pray,” Randall said.
According to the Lower Colorado River Authority, Lakes Travis and Buchanan, the region’s water supply reservoirs, are a little more than a third full and falling. The LCRA could begin curtailing water to cities and other customers throughout the service area by midsummer.
The current drought rivals the worst in history. Lakes Travis and Buchanan currently stand at about 35 percent of capacity. If combined storage of the two reservoirs falls below 600,000 acre-feet, 30 percent of capacity, LCRA will implement a state-approved plan to curtail water to cities, industry and other firm customers by 20 percent. Lake Travis was full just five years ago.
Eight different pastors from different Austin-area churches each led prayers at the service including A.W. Mays from Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Austin.
The pastors, including Trey Kent from Northwest Fellowship, are part of a group called the Pastors Strategic Council.
Pastor Davis said the prayer service was not a one-time occurrence.
“We ask you to fill Lake Travis to 681’ as a testimony that you heard the prayers of your people,” Davis prayed. “We’re going to commit to pray every day until you do. This isn’t a one-time deal for us. If it rains tomorrow, we’re not going to stop praying.”