Alabama Gov. Bob Riley tells his constituents to pray to God for rain.

Faced with an ongoing drought Governor Bob Riley decided his best course of action would be to encourage his fellow Alabamians to engage in a pointless ritual:

With the state’s weather forecasters not delivering much-needed rain, Gov. Bob Riley on Thursday turned to a higher power. The governor issued a proclamation calling for a week of prayer for rain, beginning Saturday.

Riley encouraged Alabamians to pray “individually and in their houses of worship.”

“Throughout our history, Alabamians have turned in prayer to God to humbly ask for his blessings and to hold us steady during times of difficulty,” Riley said. “This drought is without question a time of great difficulty.”

Ah yes, the old “pray to God in hopes he’ll stop being such a bastard and gives us a little relief” tactic that has worked so well in the past. Oh wait, it hasn’t worked at all.

Just the same the folks in Alabama may want to think twice before beseeching God to quench their thirst. Back on July 24 of 2006 the town of Lubbock Texas was in a serious drought and they decided to pray for rain as well:

“Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we’re asking him for his mercy and his help,” Mayor David Miller told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

The City Council and the Lubbock County commissioners are expected to adopt resolutions this week asking local residents to both pray and fast for rain this Sunday.

God didn’t get around to answering that prayer until just recently and the resulting floods have already killed 11 people:

It’s the wettest year on record in Austin, with more than 30 inches of rain since January, and Dallas-Fort Worth, Waco and Wichita Falls have received near-record amounts. The rainfall has more than compensated for a drought that gripped much of Texas in 2005-06, the National Weather Service said.

So perhaps the good people of Alabama might want to think twice before getting down on their knees. This God fellow has a well developed sense of irony it seems.