Weather systems are extremely complicated. Most of the time the weather is the consequence of the normal working of these systems, without any spiritual intervention.

Climate changes over time, as a consequence of even more complicated interactions between the earth, the sun and the atmosphere.

However, God can intervene in the weather for particular purposes. The spiritual powers of evil can also interfere with the weather, but I presume they have to band together to have much impact. That probably does not have very often.

Authority over the Weather

Before we can fully understand praying for the weather, we need to answer the question: who controls the atmosphere.

God gave humans authority over the earth. Unfortunately, humans gave their authority over the earth to the spiritual powers of evil.

The owners of land do not have authority over the atmosphere above the land they own.

The land does influence the atmosphere above it. For example, land can cause the atmosphere to heat or cool. Hills can provide shelter from wind, or cause rain to fall.

The land influences the atmosphere, but the owners of the land do not have authority over the atmosphere above it. This means that the owners of land do not have authority over the weather that transpire above their land. If they have given authority over their land to the spiritual powers of evil, then they do not get authority over the weather above it, either.

The weather in a region is determined by three influences.

God does not have to get permission from the humans who control the land in an area before he can influence the weather, because they do not have control over the atmosphere above it. God gave authority over the earth/land to humans, but he did not give up authority to intervene in the weather on earth. God can influence the weather without getting permission from the people who control the earth.

Likewise, the spiritual powers of evil do not have to get permission from the people with authority over the land to influence the weather. Their main challenge is their limited power.

The authority situation with regard to the weather is different from what applies to other things on earth.

The weather has a significant effect on the earth. Rain helps seeds and plants to grow. Drought stops them from growing. If people are praying for changes to the weather that will affect the earth, then the authority of the people controlling the land might become more important.


God gave humans authority of the earth. This authority translates into authority over land. We have authority to control and shape the land. However, God has not given authority over the atmosphere and the weather. We are not able to control the weather. This means that God does not need our authority to intervene in the weather and change weather patterns.

The scriptures explain that God has a strong influence on the weather.

He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside (Job 5:10).
Praise the LORD from the earth, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding (Psalm 148:7-8).
He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills (Psalm 147:8).
The LORD our God gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest (Jer 5:24).
God has a powerful influence on the weather. So, if the climate changes, the first thing we should do is ask what God is doing. If the climate is deteriorating, it might because God has been aggrieved and has withdrawn his blessing. So instead of assuming that climate change is caused by humans, we should seek God and find out what he is saying about the situation.


If large numbers of evil spirits work together, they can influence the weather. This probably does not happen very often, but when they get their act together, it can be nasty. An example is when Jesus was crossing the lake in a boat. When they were in the middle of the lake, a terrible storm struck. This was not an ordinary storm. Mark describes it as a "great storm of wind" (Mark 4:37). Matthew says a great shaking (seismos) occurred in the sea. (Matt 8:24). The men in the boat were experienced sailors, but they were filled with terror because they realised they could be destroyed.

This was not just another storm. Most storms are caused by a strong wind. This was caused by something stirring the sea. The forces of darkness understood that Jesus was a risk to them. Now he had started his ministry the risk was becoming clear. He was casting out demons, and they were powerless. He was healing the people they had inflicted with sickness. They knew that they had to deal with him, before he really got going. So they stirred up the sea and the wind in an effort to kill Jesus.

When the disciples woke Jesus, he understood what was happening. He rebuked wind in the same way as he rebuked evil spirits that he was casting out. He spoke to the said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still" (Mark 4:39)! Speaking to an "act of nature" is a pointless waste of time, but Jesus knew the storm was demonic. He seemed to be speaking to the wind and the waves, but he was actually speaking to the evil spirits who were at work in both.

The disciples just saw a storm. Jesus realised that in the spiritual realms, a host of evil spirits had stirred up the wind and the sea in an effort to destroy him. There were other boats on the Sea of Galilee that night (Mk 4:36), but the spirits focussed the attack on his boat. Jesus understood his authority, so he rebuked the evil spirits. I presume that when he spoke, a host of powerful angels forced the evil spirits off the lake. That is why the wind and the waves instantly calmed.

Unlike a natural storm, this storm came without warning and ended suddenly. Much is made of the unpredictability of storms on the Galilee, but Jesus disciples knew how to read the weather signs (Luke 12:54) and would not have gone out if a storm was brewing. This storm ended as quickly as it started, because its source was demonic.

The storm that nearly destroyed the ship on which Paul was travelling to Rome was probably an attempt by the powers of evil to destroy him and his ministry. Paul got a revelation from God and declared to the sailor that no one would die. This declaration of faith undermined the power of the evil spirits stirring the storm.

When droughts and storms arise, it could be because we have opened ourselves up to the spiritual powers of evil. They love to kill and destroy. They sometimes use the weather to wreak destruction on earth. If that is the case, we should seek the deliverance of God. In these circumstances, prayer against the works of the powers of evil is essential for the victory of God’s people.


Prayer can change the weather.

Elijah prayed for a drought in Israel as a sign that the people had deserted God.

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word: (1 Kings 17:1).
Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops (James 5:17-18).
I am not sure whether God stopped the rain in response to Elijah’s prayer, or if his prayer released the spiritual powers of evil to bring a drought, but his prayer definitely changed the weather.

Moses prophesied a storm over Egypt.

Tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now… When Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, the LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt (Ex 9:18,23).
Samuel prophesied thunder and rain during the harvest.
Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call on the LORD to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king. Then Samuel called on the LORD, and that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the LORD and of Samuel (1 Sam 12:17-18).
In these examples, God changed the weather in response to the prayers of his prophets, during a season when the people had rejected God. They were warning judgements.
I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labour of your hands (Haggai 1:11).
The opposite is also possible. Prayer can bring good weather when the season of judgement is complete.
When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance. (1 Kings 8:35-36).

Status of the Nation

The influence of the spiritual powers of evil changes depending on the spiritual state of the nation. If a big percentage of the population of a nation serves Jesus, the spiritual powers of evil will be squeezed out, and their influence will decline. They will find it difficult to cause harm by changing weather systems. If the faith declines and evil is rampant, the spiritual powers of evil have greater freedom to work in the nation. The result will be more weather catastrophes in terms of drought and storm. I have explained how this works in Prophetic Events.

This is also described in Deuteronomy 28. The link is more direct for a covenanted nation, but for ordinary nations where many people follow Jesus, blessings will flow.

The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands (Deut 28:12).
The Lord will bless farming.

On the other hand, if Jesus is rejected throughout a nation, the spiritual powers of evil will have greater access, so troubles will flow.

The LORD will strike you... with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed (Deut 28:22-24).
When the people of a nation reject God, the blessings on agriculture disappear.

Dealing with Drought

During a drought, farmers should pray and ask God why it has come. There are a variety of possible answers to this question. Their response to the drought should depend on the answer.

Sharing in Troubles

If we are living in a nation that has rejected God, we will not escape the consequences that come upon it. If drought or storms become more prevalent, that will affect people who are faithful Jesus living within the nation, too. Although he will give guidance about how to deal with the tough situation, and strengthen us to cope with tough times, but he will not always protect us from everything that is happening.

Your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matt 5:45).
I remember a different version from my childhood, but the message is the same.
God sends the rain on the just and the unjust fella. But more upon the just than the unjust, because the unjust stole the unjust umbrella.
We share in the consequences that are experienced by our nation. (The church is partly responsible for the state of an evil nation, because it has shared the gospel inadequately). Christians cannot remain separate from the troubles that unfaithfulness bring on their nation.

So, praying for rain during a drought that has come on a nation, because it has deserted God might not be effective. Praying for wisdom to deal with the situation might get a more powerful response.

Pray about when to cut the hay or when to begin the harvest. Of course, a farmer only has limited control over timing, because when hay is ready, it needs to be cut. Crops have to be harvested when they are ripe. Farmers may need to pray about the type of crops that they should be growing given any change in the climate.

God might lead his people to move from one place to another for protection during a season of drought. Ruth and Naomi moved back from Moab to Israel during a famine. Jacob and his family moved to Egypt for security during a time of drought. Joseph took Jesus to Egypt as a child to keep him safe from persecution in Israel.

God Protects his People

God has promised to protect his people from the troubles that come against the people that they live amongst.

You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat (Is 25:4).
Sometimes, God protects his people by controlling the direction of the storm and rain during a time of drought. He can control the direction that the weather moves.
He made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm (Job 28:26)
God can determine the path of a storm. He can send rain in one place and allow another place to remain dry.
I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up (Amos 4:7).
God has promised to protect his people during a time of trouble if they call on his name.


We need a balanced approach to prayer for protection in times of trouble. God has promised to protect the lives of his people. However, he usually does not take us out of the world we live in when the situation is turning sour. Whatever the reason for the troubles that have come to the region where we live, we will usually have to go through the troubles that our neighbours are going through. If they have brought trouble on our region by rejecting God and pursuing evil, we will share some of the consequences.

In this situation, we should ask God to bless us, so that we can bless our neighbours in trouble around us. We should ask God to show us how to prepare. We should not just prepare for ourselves, but prepare to bless others who have not prepared.

We should ask God how we should live. He will show us ways to cope with the troubles that have come to our region. Others will probably copy what we are doing when they see the wisdom of God. And we should never stop sharing the gospel.

God has not promised to lead us away from the valley of the shadow of death. Rather he promises to go through that valley with us and keep us strong (Psalm 23:4). We cannot bless the people in our region by escaping from it during a time of trouble. God usually wants us to stay and prepare to survive and live strongly through the hard season. The enemy can rob us of our wealth and in the worst case, he can kill our bodies, but he cannot destroy the life that we have in Jesus.