By Lauren Urtel JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)--As Florida faces extreme drought and wildfires Florida Baptist Convention leaders are calling state churches to pray for rain June 1. During the day, themed "A Cry for Mercy," Florida Baptists are asked to petition God for rain, as well as mercy on the upcoming hurricane season and for God's guidance for the nation. "It is always appropriate to pray, but at times prayer takes on a new dimension -- desperation," said John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention. "The desperation is, if God doesn't respond, things will only get worse. Pastors and members need to call upon the Lord for rain. This is a critical issue." Florida is experiencing a drought much like the one of 2007, which resulted in 88 fires blazing across the state. "God answered prayer last year," said Rick Shepherd, director of the Florida Baptist Convention's prayer and spiritual awakening department. "Five days after our day of prayer, God used Tropical Storm Barry to pour 4-to-12 inches of rain from the Keys to North Florida and South Georgia, dousing the fires and quenching the thirsty ground. Praise to our God. "This year we need to pause and thank God, then ask His mercy once again." --30-- Lauren Urtel is communications specialist for the Florida Baptist Convention. For downloadable resources including the booklet Praying About the Weather, visit www.flbaptist.org/images/PDFS/Prayer/PrayingAbouttheWeather1.pdf or www.iTell365.com. For more information, call 1-800-226-8584, ext. 3098.