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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Faith, then prayer

I received word before Christmas that a special friend of mine had been exposed to COVID. I prayed and prayed that she would not get it. When the phone rang the other day and I heard my friend’s voice, I just knew that she had it. But she reassured me that she did not. She had called to tell me that a very special couple in her life had tested positive for COVID.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

The couple in question both seemed to have bad cases. The husband had all the common symptoms you hear about and felt lousy. The wife was in the hospital and her health was declining. She was doing so poorly that they decided that she needed to go on a ventilator. My friend was beside herself because she feared the worst. She asked me to pray.

After talking about their situation for a few minutes I decided it would be good if we prayed together. My friend liked the idea. Then I heard her say that if this woman is put on a ventilator it will be hopeless. I said, “Wait a minute, we can’t start praying if we think it is hopeless.” My friend painted a bleak picture of this person’s condition.

I told her that we can’t pray if we believe it is hopeless. We have to believe that God is bigger than COVID. We have to believe that God can change impossible circumstances. My friend knows that God can work wonders when the odds are against Him. It only took a moment to stir her faith and then we prayed in unity.

When we finished praying my friend was encouraged. She asked if I would do her a favor. I have a hard time saying no. Then she asked if I would call the husband and pray with him. I tried to wiggle out of it. I never know what to say to a person who is struggling or suffering a loss, but my friend pressed the issue, and I agreed.

I waited before I called. We know each other, but I haven’t seen him in quite a few years. When I reached him we talked about his own case of COVID. Then I told him that our mutual friend requested that I call and pray with him about his wife’s condition.

His response surprised me. He said he was rejoicing. I asked him to explain. He said that they were just about to put his wife on the ventilator when suddenly she began to improve. They gave it a few minutes and she improved some more. He called to check on his wife about that time and they said that she didn’t need a ventilator. They were going to give her some oxygen and some other treatments. Then they let him talk with his wife. She reported that the pain had departed. She was very weak, but her spirits had improved.

When I called my friend to report the dramatic improvement, she was amazed. It’s been a few days since all this happened, but this couple is slowly beginning to improve. There have been some hills and valleys along the way, but the general trend is better. I wish I could report a miraculous recovery, but due to the severity of the case, we are glad to report improvement. We all know that prayer changes circumstances.

I am reminded of what an old pastor of mine used to tell us. You can’t begin prayer filled with doubt. We have to believe that God is bigger and greater than the way things appear. I have two good friends whose hearts stopped beating for over 10 minutes, but through prayer and the hard work of the EMS staff, they survived. Both of these people, through many prayers by many folks, have returned to full and normal lives. As I said, nothing is impossible with God.

I want to encourage you to remember that doctors have a say in our health, but they do not have the final say. No matter the circumstances that you face in any area of your life, God is bigger and can change the outcome. You have to stir your faith in a God who is bigger than the circumstance. A huge mountain is simply a bump in the road for God. I believe God hears our prayers, and I expect He will answer us because He loves His children. It often requires persistence, but if we mix it with hope and faith, I believe we will experience God’s goodness and favor.

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