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How to Pray for Help

When Iím in trouble; when Iím stressed, emotionally drained or scared, I turn to the book of Psalms in the Bible. Psalm 86 is Davidís prayer for help. He is in a place where he knows that he is helpless. No amount of persuading or fighting will get him out of his problem.

The Psalm begins with David asking that the Lord hear him and to answer him because of his poor and needy condition. Poor does not necessarily mean that he was without possessions but rather that David knew that he was unable to rescue himself. He recognized that even though he was a warrior and others may have thought him capable, he couldnít do this on his own.

He asks God to save him, have mercy on him, and to bring him joy. He is confident in asking because he is devoted to the Lord. He puts his trust in God and lifts up his soul to Him. God takes care of His own.

David praises the Lord, speaking of His forgiveness and goodness, abounding love to all who call to Him. He knows that God is fully able to do what he asks because He is the One and Only God and there is no other god like Him.

Then David asked that the Lord teach him His way and give him an undivided heart so that he can be more faithful. He vowed to praise God with his whole heart and glorify His name because Godís love is great. David continues to list Godís qualities, such as His compassion and graciousness, being slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness.

Then David asked for a sign that his enemies would see everyone would know that only the One True God helped him.

When my life gets out of control and Iím feeling helpless, I get down to serious praying and God answers me. What I fail to remember is that God is always powerful and I am always poor and needy.

Wouldnít it be better to turn to God immediately instead of trying to get out of trouble on my own? Why is it that I charge ahead, not taking time to consult the One with the power? Not only at every sign of trouble, but for every decision and at the beginning of every day, I could ask for His help.

So, Iíll begin again:
I will remember what God has done and list the great and marvelous wonders that are His alone.

As David did, I will pray for an undivided heart so that I can be more faithful and praise Him wholeheartedly.
A double minded person is unstable in all he or she undertakes. James 1:8
I will remember that He wants to help me because I am His, created in His image.

And when He answers me and helps me through my trouble Ė yet another time Ė I will give the credit to the One it is due. I am helpless. He is powerful. He is faithful. To God be the glory!


What can you do?

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Almighty God. The Creator of heaven and earth.
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