"Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me." (NIV) Psalm 71:12
There are many days when certain thoughts fill my soul, when a glimpse at words or people bring it back to me and my devotion to Jesus. Yes, times when the world around me looks bad or sad, and at those times I find myself praying for those around me and God's love to flow through them. Other times find me relishing in good and pleasing situations, and again, my thoughts go back to Jesus for praise and thanksgiving. All of it involves prayer.
So a few weeks ago, I began reading Max Lucado's "Before Amen". I don't want to take away any of the thunder and highly suggest you read this book to help supplement your prayer life. Yet, one item I want to share with you is part of praying is certainly praying for me, help that I need in order to guide me. When I pray, I have a tendency to pray for those around me, my husband, my children, my mom, brother, nephews, etc. God does answer prayer. This week in particular, I prayed very hard for a difficult situation to end in a positive way. God was there, listening and delivering as He always does. Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow.
I am sure if I took a "peek" into your prayer lives, I would find much of the same. Many times, as we fold our hands in prayer, our thoughts take us to those around us - those that need help, those that are bitter and need love, those that are struggling in health and need healing, etc. It is good and right to pray for those in need. So I beg the question, "Are those around us the only ones in need of help?"
The suggestion Max provides to us in his book is to pray, "Help Me". So I started. I prayed for things that I needed. Help with situations of focus and productivity in my life; help with my physical struggles; help with release from worry; help to sleep better . . . you get the picture. My prayer was for the help I needed with the things around me, the things that effected me. It was at Bible Study last Monday, as we sat down to discuss how Jesus is the Reason for so many things in our lives that I realized that although the "Help Me" prayer was wonderful and helped in many aspects of my life, that digging a bit deeper into ME for help was probably where God wanted me to focus my prayer.
How much deeper? The HELP I truly needed was for restoration of my soul from my sins. Yes, ask for forgiveness for the things that I do and don't do in God's name, THEN ask for HELP to guide me on a better path. Help Where? Let me share . . .
- I can lose my patience at times, when things (and people) don't go as fast as I would like them to and my words can be hurtful. I need HELP for more patience.
- I am tempted to food that I know is not good for me - or my desire for a healthy lifestyle. I need HELP to focus on better choices for my body.
- My thoughts can take me to places and things that are negative and judgemental. I need HELP to gain a positive viewpoint on situations and people.
The list above can be very long. What has made an impact on me is that the help that I need is far past the daily list of things that I struggle with. The help that I need is soul-searching help to be a better Christian woman - a better wife, mother, daughter, coworker, friend, etc. I need God's help in many different ways. I am happy to say that with God's help, ALL things are possible. I find hope as I pray, hope that what I struggle with, the sins that I have, are forgiven through Jesus Christ and I can live a new life in Him.
Please pray with me, "Heavenly Father, may you help me in ALL that I need - not just the struggles I have internally and externally, but more so, help with the sinful life I can lead and help with restoration in you. You are the great "I AM" - I know your help is close to me, ready to be shared when I ask. May I continue to ask in Your Name." Amen