Story behind the song – “Fire and Rain”

by Mike Burn on August 6, 2005

Fire and Rain

Have you not seen, have you not heard?
The Lord is pouring his Spirit out
Have you not seen, have you not heard?
The Lord is pouring his Spirit out today

Come Lord Jesus, more of you we cry
Open heaven, answer with your fire

Fire on the church, rain on the nation
Fire on the church, rain on the nation

Let the fire burn in our hearts, O Lord
Let the rain pour down on thirsty souls (repeat)

Mike Burn
© 1996 Daybreak Music

Story behind the song
Remember the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel? Of course you do (1 Kings 18, I hear you cry), but briefly:

Elijah challenged the prophets to a duel – two altars were to be built, and they would call on their respective gods, and the one that answered by fire, well, he would be God.

Despite the frantic efforts of the prophets of Baal, their sacrifice remained untouched. Elijah’s sacrifice however, despite being soaked in water, was consumed after he called out to God to “answer by fire”. Shortly afterwards, the drought that had been in the nation for over 3 years was ended.

The prophetic vision behind the song is in the phrase “Fire on the church, rain on the nation”, which takes the parallel from the story that we should cry out for the fire of God to fall on his church, that the rain the Spirit might fall on the nations.

These are not new, nor original concepts – there have been prophetic words and songs concerning the powerful images of fire and of rain, the world over, but I was struck by the linking of the two images in this passage of scripture. I was also very struck by the idea that we should pray for the refreshing rain of the Spirit to fall not on the church, but on the nations.
Sometimes, perhaps, we can become introverted, and even self-indulgent, in seeking the refreshing spiritual rain for ourselves, rather than for those outside of the church. I know for myself, it comes far more naturally to ask for God’s rain rather than his fire, but the challenge is there for us – will we let him refine and purify us, painful though that may be, for the sake of the gospel to reach to the ends of the earth, and for the rains of revival to fall on our own nation?

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