Bad Hymns / Gospel Songs – Have A Little Talk With Jesus

Can’t be anything wrong with this song, I mean Elvis Presley sang it.  {sarcasm}


Have A Little Talk With Jesus

I once was lost in sin but Jesus took me in
Well then a little light from heaven healed my soul
Well, he bathed my heart in love, and wrote my name above
Well just a little talk with my Jesus gonna make it right

We’ll just have a little talk with Jesus
Were gonna tell him all about our troubles
He will hear our fainted cry
He will answer by and by
Oh well, when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
And you will know a little fire is burnin’
You will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right

You may have doubts and fears
Your eye be filled with tears
Oh well my Jesus is a friend who watches day and night
Well he wrote my name above, and he bathed my heart in love
Oh well just a little talk with my Jesus gonna make it right

Let us have a little talk with my Jesus
Please let us tell him all about our troubles
He will hear our faintest cry
He will answer by and by
Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
You’ll know just a little fire is burnin’
And have a little talk with my Jesus gonna make it right

Well you may have doubts and fears
Your eye be filled with tears
Oh well now my Jesus is a friend who watches day and night
Well you go to him in prayer
He answers my every prayer
Oh well just a little talk with my Jesus gonna make it right
Now let us have a little talk with my Jesus
Tell him all about our troubles
He will hear our faintest cry
And I know hes gonna answer by and by
Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
You’ll know a little fire is burnin’
And have a little talk with my Jesus gonna make it right
Make it right

There is so much wrong with this song but here is something most people don’t notice.

“when you feel a little prayer wheel turning”

Do you know what that is talking about?

“You’ll know a little fire is burnin'”

I’m amazed that people don’t wonder about those phrases.

The concept of the prayer wheel is a physical manifestation of the phrase “turning the wheel of Dharma,” which describes the way in which the Buddha taught….

Fire Prayer Wheel –  This wheel is turned by the heat of a candle or electric light. The light emitted from the prayer wheel then purifies the negative karmas of the living beings it touches.

Prayer Wheel

Think there is a problem here !?!


36 thoughts on “Bad Hymns / Gospel Songs – Have A Little Talk With Jesus

  1. Can’t remember if I have heard of a prayer wheel or not, but the phrase itself doesn’t even sound right.

    Elvis sang it? Good enough reason not to.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    I wonder why people don’t check out a phrase or find out what something means. Now granted our grandparents would have had a harder time researching something but even my grandparents who had little money had an encyclopedia set. Me, I tend to question or at least check into new phrases or words.

    Berean Wife

  2. I agree about checking out the theology of songs. I had supposed the “prayer wheel” comment was about an actual wheel used in prayer and wondered if it was Catholic. I’ve heard the lyrics changed to “when you feel a prayer returning.” Wonder if that was the original line and it got changed to “prayer wheel turning?” If you know a little fire is burning could refer to a fire of devotion in our heart.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mr. Watkins,

    All the versions of “Have A Little Talk with Jesus” songs I found have the phrase:

    “Oh well, when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
    And you will know a little fire is burnin'”

    Although I’m sure some could have tried to change the song at times there was no obvious version with “a prayer returning”.

    The link online, Prayer Wheel, shows pictures of the prayer wheels with a flame burning beneath to get the wheel to turn. That way they could “pray” without actually expending any effort. 🙁

    I find it very interesting to reevaluate what we’ve always heard and see if it is true according to Scripture.

    Berean Wife

  3. look deeper this song written by african american pastor and the era of the song has more reference to slaves of the south and non-at all to buddist,,,check out the man’s family interpretation before jumping the gun…this is how books get burned and people get pursecuted…talk about misjudged.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    You can defend the song all you want but the point is that it is not Scriptural. Give me a verse from the Bible that mentions “prayer wheels”. Prayer wheels, with a flame below to make them turn, is a Buddhist concept. I included a link in the post so you could read about it. If slaves in the south were using prayer wheels that still does not make it right. We Protestants wouldn’t say a little rosary turning would we? It doesn’t matter whether the author is Caucasian, Native American, or African American there is no reason to use unscriptural concepts in singing and worshiping the Lord especially those that refer to pagan religions. This author was not some illiterate who used terms haphazardly. He was college educated in music and theology.

    Berean Wife

  4. The concentration in not on the word wheel, but on prayer, as the wheels turn in one’s mind, so must the prayers start in one’s heart, and when one starts praying sincerely, the fires will start and just a little talk with him will make it right.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mr. Mullins,

    If you follow the link to prayer wheel then you will see pictures of prayer wheels and read how Buddhist use a prayer wheel. If you are familiar with the Bible you will find that the Lord repeatedly warns His people to never take up the ways of the heathen and pagan nations. Prayer wheels are part of a false religion. No matter how we try to explain it away. Prayer wheels turned by a fire is not to be mixed with worship of the One and Only True Lord and God.

    Berean Wife

    Anonymous Reply:

    “False religion?” You make me laugh. Buddhism is not strictly a religion, it’s more of a philosophy. Also, Buddhists are not “pagans.” In fact, Buddhists can also be good Christians (Father Thomas Merton, anyone?!).
    And you know what, I bet Jesus would have lovingly welcomed the idea of a prayer wheel and Buddhists, had he the opportunity to meet these particular individuals in his day. Jesus loves us all.

    Karen Reply:

    We cannot mix Christianity and “paganism” it just will not work. Yes Jesus does love all but if you look at His ministry He DID NOT mingle false doctrine with the true word of God and we has believers shouldn’t either. I have changed my entire outlook of things ~ we do not participate in any holidays ~ if you do your research you will find they had pagan beginnings and we are not to do has the pagans. If this offends at this point I am not sorry ~ I had rather tell you the truth than see deception sweep this nation. God bless

    Berean Wife Reply:


    We should always compare everything we do to the Scriptures. Many traditions and holidays in the US are based on paganism. However, you might be surprised how much that is tradition in the church is actually based on false teaching also. Never do things out of habit or tradition without considering the source and the full impact. Example: Saying the Pledge of Allegiance in the church. See my July ’11 posts about that.

    Berean Wife

  5. I have been all over the world, literally. I was recently in the Himalayas and met, spoke with and ministered to many Buddhist. (Many had never heard of Jesus. Unbelievable and alarming) Prayer wheels and prayer “flags” (‘prayers’ are written on the flags and are ‘released’ as they flap in the wind) are everywhere. I have never seen the CONCEPT of a prayer wheel anywhere but there, and by those of that belief. I must confess the first time I saw one and saw it turning under thermal power from rising heat from the candle beneath it, this hymn came to mind, and I was pretty intrigued and then disconcerted. After returning home, I have tried find other sources (including African) for this prayer wheel phrase and have been unsuccessful. It is now hard to imagine any other source, so I truly wonder why the author chose to make it a significant part of his “Jesus” song, especially with nothing in scripture mentioning a prayer wheel or even its concept. I further wonder how or when did he come in contact with a prayer wheel and why he thought Christians would be familiar. Thanks.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    Thank you for your comment. I am amazed at how many have argued for the validity of a “prayer wheel” expression in our worship of the One True God. All I can imagine is that the author was like many, most notably in other countries, who have combined Christianity with their other religions and developed a mishmash of worship practices. Satan is pleased when he convinces us to add in pagan and false religious practices to our worship. Nothing can deceive a person more than thinking they are worshiping the One True God yet they are worshiping a god of their own making in their own methods.

    Berean Wife

  6. If Jesus had the opportunity to interact with and meet Buddhists, he would’ve loved them as much as he did his followers. And I know that the late Father Thomas Merton would agree with me on that one.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    It appears that you have no understanding of what Jesus actually did and said.

    What about?

    John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    John 1:17 (ESV) For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

    John 11:25-26 (ESV)
    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
    26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

    There is no other way for eternal life but through Jesus.

    You also don’t seem to understand what a religion is.


    Religion is a cultural system that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature.

    Religious belief usually relates to the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities and divine involvement in the universe and human life. Alternatively, it may also relate to values and practices transmitted by a spiritual leader. {My note: That would be Buddha.}

    Why don’t you start out by reading the New Testament and seek to see what it is that Jesus actually did and said? You might be surprised at what you’ve heard and what is actually in the Bible.

    Berean Wife

  7. I remember singing this song when we attended our previous church and something in my spirit put up red flags and thank you ~ this is a confirmation! God bless

    Berean Wife Reply:


    You are welcome. We should always investigate those red flags that pop up unexpectedly.

    Berean Wife

  8. Why do you have to twist everything. This is is a black spiriual. It is talking about the wheel Ezekiel saw and the fire is talking about the Holy Spirit.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    Have you read your Bible lately? Especially Ezekiel?

    How is:

    Now when you feel a little prayer wheel turning
    You’ll know just a little fire is burnin’
    And have a little talk with my Jesus gonna make it right

    In any way related to:

    Ezek 1:15-21 (ESV)

    15 Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.
    16 As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel.
    17 When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went.
    18 And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around.
    19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose.
    20 Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
    21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

    That is no prayer wheel being described!

    It doesn’t matter who sang a song, if it is not correct according to Scripture is is wrong, whether sung by black slaves, the Pope, Spurgeon, Billy Graham or even green martians. The Bible is our guide for the truth, not false imaginations.

    It is a known fact that Buddists have a practice of using prayer wheels. Christians do not.

    So in actuality you are twisting Scripture to make it fit a popular but inaccurate song.

    Berean Wife

  9. Your right, prayer wheels were not in the Bible! But we had one in my home church when I was little. The Pastor would notify Sis. Bertha who would call Sis. Maybell, who would call Bro. Comer, who would tell Momma Tice to tell her clan … purty soon the wheel was rollin’ and a fire was burning! Get it? No Buddists! Stop looking for Buddists! We’re talking to JESUS not Buddah.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    What you are referring to is a prayer chain not a prayer wheel. But the context of the song isn’t referring to that otherwise it would not say feelings. No matter what we are called to holiness. That means that as Christians we should not do anything questionable nor should we use terms and words that reference recognizable practices of false religions.

    Berean Wife

  10. You are absolutely correct, and shame on some Christians who have come here to argue that there is nothing wrong with singing that! I can only presume that they are shocked to learn this, and are seeking now to defend their own deed done in ignorance.

    I have heard this hymn argued against before, but it was always from the standpoint of, “We don’t pray to JESUS, we pray to the Father. Jesus taught that himself.” And I guess that is a good point as well. I think it is safe to say that I believe the hymnals we were using had changed the whole “prayer wheel” phrase.

    There are a whole host of other hymns out there that we sing WITHOUT understanding, and that is specifically taught against in God’s Word. Consider:

    “List’ning every moment for the Spirit’s call” in Standing on The Promises.

    Many phrases in one verse of Jesus Is Coming Soon that allude to Matthew 24 … where Jesus was NOT talking about the end of all time, but rather 70 AD. There won’t be any signs that occur with the end of all time, it will come “as a thief in the night”. The hymn says, “When these signs come to pass, nearing the end at last, it will come very fast…”

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Mr. Eagan,

    I have found that often people get the most defensive over issues that they really aren’t that confident about themselves. Almost like they have to become belligerent in order to prove it to everyone else and even to themselves.

    Ends times songs fall into a whole ‘nother category. One’s eschatology will effect how one views many songs, even the last verse of Amazing Grace which many churches do not sing.

    All hymns should be examined closely to see if they actually line up with what Scripture teaches. There was a time when most hymns were written by pastors and for good reason. Today every “professing” believer thinks they can write a hymn or praise song yet they themselves have little to no theology and poor doctrine. There are quite a few songs that I have found I cannot sing because they are wrong doctrinally or because it would be a lie for me to sing promises I know I cannot keep.

    Berean Wife

    NORMA Reply:

    Jesus said if you’ve seen Me you’ve seen the Father…the Father and I are 1… Answer: Yes, Jesus Christ is our Lord and our God.
    a. The one true God of the Bible has almost 100 names, each one telling us a little more about who God is. But, now that Jesus has been resurrected and has ascended to heaven, Jesus himself is the only visible image of Almighty God.
    b. Jesus is not part of God, Jesus is the visible manifestation (image) of the one omnipresent true God of the Bible.
    c. God is Spirit, eternal, and omnipresent, in other words He is everywhere, there is no where at all where He is not, and He is invisible.
    d. God has revealed himself in 3 co-equal persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    e. Jesus is the visible image of God, all humans or angels can see of God. So Jesus is God come in the flesh.

  11. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this song…it was written by Actor-singer-composer Cleavant Derricks. He began his career writing Gospel music in Nashville, Tennessee. His songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as Bonnie Porter and Dale Evans.
    Along with his father – a Baptist Minister and gospel composer – Cleavant wrote a gospel album, Satisfaction Guaranteed, which was nominated for a Grammy. I imagine you would find something to be critical about in the Holy Word of God.. I suggest you pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    Are you defending the song on the basis of its own merits and its words as compared to Scripture?

    Or are you defending the song on the basis of who wrote it?

    Being a preacher or the son of a preacher does not give a song Biblical validity.

    Having a career in Gospel music does not give a song writer Biblical validity.

    Being nominated for a Grammy by no means gives a song writer any Biblical validity. If you use that reasoning the church should be singing Lady Gaga songs because her songs have won Grammy’s.

    You are using the world’s standards to judge a song about the Savior of the World instead of using the Bible.

    See where in the Bible you can find a basis for “prayer wheels turning”, especially knowing it is a Buddhist practice. We aren’t to take pagan practice into the church.

    Berean Wife



    Berean Wife Reply:


    I have no issue with “Then Came the Morning”. It has nothing that wasn’t derived directly from the Bible. That is not what can be said about “Have a Little Talk with Jesus”. “Have a Little Talk with Jesus” adds to God’s Word concepts and practices that are not in the Bible. False teachers add to God’s Word. When we encourage others to add practices and ideas to the gospel and the Bible, we are false teachers. Not only that but the song teaches a pagan practice which will lead others to worshiping false gods and idolatry. Buddhist use this practice today and can be seen doing so. What does it teach others about the Holiness of God when we bring worship of Him down to pagan idolatry claiming it is a Christian practice based on this song.

    Be a Berean and examine the Scriptures. (Acts 17:11)

    Berean Wife

  13. I see your point its little shuttles that can make a person unknowingly practice pagan rituals. From such thing run from them.
    you will become polluted from the world.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    I’m glad you see the point.

    What is even more important is that the Lord is more offended by seemingly minor sin than we can ever be in our fallen state. What we see as a sin is mild compared to God’s view of sin considering His Holiness. We tend to waller in the pollution of the world thinking we aren’t as polluted as some people. Yet the Lord God cannot abide any sin. Without the righteousness from Christ we could not come to the Lord.

    Berean Wife

  14. I woke up this morning thinking about this song and wondering about it’s lyrics. I did not see it from the same viewpoint as you all have but looked at it from a different angle. The song talks about how “a little talk with Jesus makes me whole.” This is unscriptal in itself. We are not made whole until we obey the gospel, Repent and be baptized for the remission of our sins. I appreciate your insight into this song. It brings to my attention that much of religion is based on false idealism.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    You do bring up an interesting point. It is amazing how many old gospel songs have that same mentality. You have a very good response. I hope you get the opportunity to share that with others.

    Berean Wife

  15. I found this interesting, my sister is doing a study at her church where they select a song and see if there are any biblical mentions in there selection, I was wondering if you could help out with where she could find anything in the bible about this song having biblical or no biblical findings.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    If you will have your sister read through the comments on this post she will be able to find some more info concerning this song.

    Berean Wife

  16. BW,
    I know your site replies are a couple years old pertaining to this song, but my home church just recently during our prayer service started singing this “little diddy”. It was brought in by a couple in their 70’s, who were raised in the “holiness church”. I was only searching in order to listen to the lyrics, and then “Berean” caught my attention because of the Book of Acts mentioning them, so I clicked in. I just want to comment and thank you for these insightful comments and replies. I, too, tend to lean toward scripture inspired songs/pslams.

    As a side-note, I noticed you also made a comment about issues in practicing traditional religious holidays. I was convicted of that, too, many years ago, since I was raised in the Catholic institution (I try not to refer to it as a church anymore, since it is full of man-made traditions that causes bondage and is really a cult with their Mary-worship, etc).

    Berean Wife Reply:


    I’m glad that I could offer some information concerning this song. So many sing songs which have no basis in Scripture. I want to encourage everyone to use discernment and consider wisely everything they do.

    I imagine that having been raised Catholic you have had many, many traditions of men to overcome. Holiday’s seem to be a focal point of traditions which often obscure the truth of what should be the focus.

    Berean Wife

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