Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 08/26/20

Tap in to Help

When we pray Help is on the way! ~Kathy Carlton Willis

STORY: Help Is on the Way

I’ll never forget the night an ambulance barreled down our quiet cul-de-sac at two in the morning. Bright lights whirling around, illuminating bits and pieces of the neighborhood. When the hues of orange and yellow lit up the faces of my neighbor’s family, I detected concern. They witnessed their loved one wheeled out on a gurney, strapped in and curled up on her side. What could the problem be? Maybe she was severely dehydrated from a bout with a stomach virus or perhaps she had a fall down the stairs. All I was left to do was pray, so pray I did.

I'm not sure why I was still up at that time of night. Normally I would have been in bed. An hour prior, a phone call from a friend awakened me. He wanted to tell us about his son’s wedding from the past weekend, and didn’t care what time of night it was! Maybe it was the concerns on my heart or the highly caffeinated diet Code Red I guzzled earlier in the evening that kept me awake long after the call.

All I know is, while sleep is nice, the privilege to pray for someone else is even better. I'm glad I was awake to see the need. Have you ever had an odd set of circumstances cause you to be in the right place at the right time to pray for someone? What a precious gift!

We can use that thick sense of concern or worry for the good of others when we enter in prayer to our Savior. God doesn't want us borrowing trouble from tomorrow by worrying about the unknown. He does use our burdens for someone else as a way to help us pray for them. When we put ourselves in their shoes and empathize with them, we end up praying with greater fervency and urgency.

A friend of mine taught her little boy that whenever he sees the flashing lights and hears the blaring sirens of an ambulance or fire truck, it means “help is on the way.” And in that instance, she leads him in a simple prayer for the unknown person in need.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

STUDY: Hear Me and Help Me!

Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me. Help me, O Lord. (Psalm 30:10 NLT)
  • Some people have a hard time asking God for help because they feel like they don’t deserve it. Of course we don’t deserve it! But we can ask him to have mercy on us and still ask for help. Fathers love to help their children when they need it, even when they might have contributed to the problem!
  • How do you want God to hear you today?
  • Is there something for which you want to ask God for mercy?
  • What does seeing God as your Lord have to do with his being your helper?
Hear my prayer, O Lord! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears. For I am your guest— a traveler passing through, as my ancestors were before me. (Psalm 39:12 NLT)
My eyes are blinded by my tears. Each day I beg for your help, O Lord; I lift my hands to you for mercy. (Psalm 88:9 NLT)
  • When we ask God to hear us and help us, it comes down to spending time in prayer. It doesn’t need to be a special formula or formality, it can be the messy cry of a desperate child.
  • Begging God for help isn’t a one-time deal. How often do you ask for help?
Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the glory of your name. Save us and forgive our sins for the honor of your name. (Psalm 79:9 NLT)
  • What are the factors in asking God for help? See him as the God of your salvation.
  • How would God helping you bring glory to his name?
  • How does God saving and forgiving you bring honor to his name?
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. (Psalm 107:13, 19, 28 NLT)
  • It looks like crying goes hand-in-hand with begging for help!
  • What do you do when you are smack dab in the middle of trouble?
  • What does distress look and feel like? When was the last time God saved you from distress?
Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 119:27 NLT)
  • Another form of help comes in the way of understanding. Have you ever asked God to help you comprehend the Bible?
  • What does it mean to meditate on God’s wonderful deeds? The Message paraphrase words it this way, “so I can ponder your miracle-wonders.”
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! (Psalm 121:2 NLT)
Echoed in:
Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8 NLT)
  • Where does your help come from?
  •  Your help comes not only from your Lord, but from the very Creator of everything. Does it give you peace? How does that make a difference in how desperate you feel?

STEPS: Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

  1. Pray a “help me” prayer. Identify a reason you need help right now (there’s always something) and reach out to God.
  2. Reflect on your tears. When was the last time you cried? It may have been a while or recently. Reflect on the emotions and also if you felt God was near or far away. How can this reflection inform your current reliance on God for help?
  3. Meditate on God as Creator. Why does this role matter in your life?

Copyright © 2020 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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