Doug Creamer column: Our prayers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2022

By Doug Creamer

I like to pray about as much as I like weather. I can hear you laughing! My fascination with weather stretches back to some of my earliest memories. I can remember watching the weather reports on the evening news. I knew all the weather personalities. I always want to know about the next storm, the new cold front, and when will it snow.

But this column is about our prayers. We pray over our food, we pray together when we are at church, and we say our prayers before we go to sleep at night. We ask for God’s blessings and his divine protection. These are good prayers, meaningful prayers, ones that bring us peace and comfort.

Sometimes our prayers don’t feel like enough. We ask God for his help, but it seems unheard. Someone is in the hospital and they seem to be going from bad to worse. Someone is struggling with the demons of drugs and/or alcohol and it feels like they are losing the battle. Depression and anxiety have taken someone into captivity and our prayers for them feel like they are hitting the ceiling.

Our heart aches for the ones who struggle. We believe that prayer works, but why aren’t we seeing the evidence? We rush in to fix things ourselves only to watch situations slip through our fingers. Where do we turn for answers when it feels like prayer isn’t working? How do we maintain our hope when everything feels so hopeless?

The first place we have to begin is in our thoughts. Our minds tell us that things look hopeless. We know better. God is faithful and he will never leave or forsake us. God loves us and those who are in need far greater than we can ever understand. God is well informed about every situation in our lives. Nothing escapes his attention. Those are facts that we have to tell our minds to get them working in the right direction.

We also need to change our thinking about how we pray. There are times when we approach God with our lists. We pray for family and friends and those people who are facing terrible situations, the very ones we are talking about today. Those prayers that don’t seem to get answered were a part of our list that we brought to God.

I think we may need to re-think our approach to God. If you have a computer or smartphone, look up the song, “Talking to Jesus.” Take a few minutes and listen. Let the song sink in. I think there is a difference between praying and talking to Jesus. Both are vital, but I think we often forget the power that can be found in talking to Jesus.

I know there are times when we must get on our knees and intercede. There is a place for absolute brokenness before the father. We should bring our lists to God because the Bible teaches us that God loves us and cares deeply about the desires of our hearts. But there is a difference between those prayers and “Talking to Jesus.”

When you are talking to Jesus, it’s like talking with your best friend about whatever is on your mind. You tell him what you are thinking and feeling, even if those feelings seem wrong. You pour out your heart to him because you know he cares for you. It’s OK to pull out the yucky stuff that is way down inside of you because you have a friend in Jesus. It’s OK to tell him you are dealing with doubt, fear, anxiety, worry and even hopelessness. He won’t judge you and he will appreciate your honesty.

Do you know what is going to happen when you talk to Jesus like that? He will lift your burdens. He will assure you of his presence in your life. He will trade all the bad stuff for his perfect peace. You may not get the answers you want as fast as you want them, but you will know that he is on the job. If he sees every sparrow that falls and knows the number of hairs on your head, He’ll take your burdens. He’s got it!

I want to encourage you to start talking to Jesus. If you have children, let them catch you talking to Jesus so they can learn from your example. In fact, you can teach them how to talk to Jesus. The next time you go to the hospital or you face what feels like impossible odds, start talking to Jesus. He is your best friend and he will walk with you through your circumstances.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.

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