Doug Creamer: Be careful what you pray
I hope this recent freeze did not hurt the fruit crop. I love blueberries, peaches, and strawberries and hope this recent blast of cold air hasn’t hurt this summer’s harvest. The plants in my yard look OK. I did cover some things in my yard, but I am not sure that if that helped. Anyway, it looks like plants survived in my yard and my neighborhood. I hope that means that things are good in the farmers’ fields, too.
I am sure the farmers were doing everything they could to keep their crops from freezing. I heard some weather expert say that it is not unusual to drop below freezing in the middle of April, but the recent warm weather has so many plants out and blooming already. I was sure we were going to see some of the azaleas and dogwoods get hurt. We pulled most of my wife’s container plants into the garage, which ended up being a much bigger task than I realized.
Hopefully that will be the last frost and freeze for this year. I am ready to get started on my vegetable garden. I know I was praying for the farmers and hoping everything would work out for the best. I am not sure if things locally were hurt or not, I guess I will find out when I go to get some fresh fruits this summer.
I am glad that God hears our prayers and answers them. Trouble is, we have to be careful what we pray because God might just answer exactly what we ask. In my own case, I asked God to give me a chance to do some public speaking. Before too long, a friend asked if I would be willing to speak to a group of her co-workers. I agreed and decided that I would spend some time last weekend preparing my speech.
I was gathering my thoughts when an email popped up on my computer from my pastor. He wanted me to call him. He and his wife were under the weather and he wondered if I could speak for him on Sunday. Naturally, I wanted to help the pastor. All of a sudden I had two speaking engagements. Obviously, I had to focus my attention Saturday on getting ready for our service on Sunday. Then I could get myself ready for the other speech.
In my sermon on Sunday, I talked with the congregation about knowing how to be led by the Spirit in sharing the gospel. There is a time to sow seeds and there is a time to reap the harvest. Every heart is in a different place so we have to be sensitive to God’s leading as we choose to share our faith with non-believers.
Even when someone is laying on their deathbed in the hospital, we have to be careful how we approach them. We need the spirit to guide us. We know it is God who does the work of salvation, but he chooses to use us. So we have to choose our words carefully so we don’t chase them away from God as they are drawing close.
I asked the members of our congregation if they were praying for someone to get saved. It seems we all know people who are lost and in need of a savior. So we took time out of the service to pray for people we know who need salvation. I believe God hears our prayers.
We talked about the fact that sometimes God will use someone else to bring the people we are praying for to salvation. So we took time to pray for those people to be led by the Spirit as they shared God’s love with those who were on our hearts.
Then I asked if anyone thought that maybe we might be the answer to someone else’s prayer. Maybe God wants to use us to share the gospel with someone else’s son, daughter, etc. There are so many opportunities around us; we have to be careful to be led by the Spirit. Others have worked hard to get the soil ready and the seed planted, we might be blessed with the task of harvesting the soul for the kingdom.
I want to encourage you to pray and ask God to use you, to send you, as the answer to someone else’s prayer. Pray that God will give you the opportunity to share His love with someone who is lost. Wouldn’t it be exciting to see a soul get born again? It’s a daring prayer to pray because I believe that God will answer that prayer.
Doug Creamer’s two books are at the Literary Bookpost: The Bluebird Café and Revenge at the Bluebird Café. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org