RENO, Nev. (AP) — Religious leaders of multiple faiths and farmers in Nevada and Utah turned to prayer this weekend for help easing severe drought conditions gripping the West.
The plea to above comes weeks after the federal government declared parts of 11 parched Western and Central states natural disaster areas.
Faith leaders asked for divine intervention during a special multifaith service Saturday at a Mormon church in the Reno suburb of Sparks. And on Sunday, the Utah Farm Bureau Federation asked the public to join in prayer and fasting for snow and rain for livestock and crops as part of its Harvesting Faith event.
"We can't go to the Legislature to ask for help, (so) we decided to go to the guy upstairs," Ron Gibson, a dairy farmer in Weber County, Utah, told the Deseret News. "One thing you learn as a farmer is most of the things that happen in your life are totally out of your control."
Rajan Zed, who organized the Nevada service, said Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha'i and other faith leaders who participated are confident it'll bring positive results.
"When God sees (all these) leaders sitting together in unity and harmony and praying in diverse traditions and seeking common good for the entire community, God will be naturally moved to provide the devotees relief from drought so that it will not affect their quality of life, livelihood and health," Zed said.
The special events were held two weeks after the federal government designated portions of 11 drought-ridden Western and Central states as primary natural disaster areas, highlighting the financial strain the lack of snow and rain is likely to bring to farmers in those regions.