Pray for help

pray for help

Leviticus 18 has some actions listed that people might have done and would be considered as something that could push their relationship away from God.

You know that whoever does any of these disgusting things will no longer be considered one of God’s people. – Leviticus 18:29 GNT

It is not the evil one who will punish those who commit these sins but God. I suppose if I were to fall into the hands of the evil one, I could pray, and God would help me. But is there a place for me to go when God decides to not call me one of His?

It happened to Jesus and I saw it through the eyes of Psalm 22 today. This is where the gospel of Matthew correlates between what Jesus was seeing, experiencing and saying. There were four of them.

  1. Matthew 27:35 GNT – They crucified him and then divided his clothes among them by throwing dice.

Psalm 22:18 GNT – They gamble for my clothes and divide them among themselves.

2. Matthew 27:39 GNT – People passing by shook their heads and hurled insults at Jesus

Psalm 22:7 GNT – All who see me make fun of me; they stick out their tongues and              shake their heads.

3. Matthew 27:43 GNT – He trusts in God and claims to be God’s Son. Well, then, let us see if God wants to save him now!

Psalm 22:8 GNT – “You relied on the Lord,” they say. “Why doesn’t he save you? If  the Lord likes you, why doesn’t he help you?”

This next one is where I noted the abandonment of Jesus by God.

4. Matthew 27:46 GNT – At about three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me?”

Psalm 22:1 GNT – My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? I have cried desperately for help,     but still it does not come.

How do I pray Psalm 22 with Jesus in mind? How do I meditate on what Jesus experienced and prayed? The Psalm jumps back and forth between the Messiah describing His experience and then praying.

When I feel abandoned —

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I have cried desperately for help,
    but still it does not come.
During the day I call to you, my God,
    but you do not answer;
I call at night,
    but get no rest. – Psalm 22:1-2 GNT

When I want to remember Christ’s presence —

But you are enthroned as the Holy One,
    the one whom Israel praises.
Our ancestors put their trust in you;
    they trusted you, and you saved them.
They called to you and escaped from danger;
    they trusted you and were not disappointed. – Psalm 22:3-5 GNT

What I do know is that I can cry out to God for help.

Lord, don’t stay away from me!
Come quickly to my rescue!
Save me from the sword;
save my life from these dogs.
Rescue me from these lions;
I am helpless[d] before these wild bulls. – Psalm 22:19-21 GNT

This is why I can pray and ask God for help for I have not lost my confidence in God’s ability to rescue. Though He may seem far, He is near. My crises of life should never become a crises of faith.

Discipline

BY GEORGE HERBERT

Throw away thy rod,
Throw away thy wrath:
                  O my God,
Take the gentle path.
For my heart’s desire
Unto thine is bent:
                  I aspire
To a full consent.
Not a word or look
I affect to own,
                  But by book,
And thy book alone.
Though I fail, I weep:
Though I halt in pace,
                  Yet I creep
To the throne of grace.
Then let wrath remove;
Love will do the deed:
                  For with love
Stony hearts will bleed.
Love is swift of foot;
Love’s a man of war,
                  And can shoot,
And can hit from far.
Who can ’scape his bow?
That which wrought on thee,
                  Brought thee low,
Needs must work on me.
Throw away thy rod;
Though man frailties hath,
         Thou art God:
Throw away thy wrath.

 
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Power from God

christ-wisdom-power-god

Hard to hear this but I know it to be true – afflictions, under the direction of God’s providence and the influence of His grace, are often the means of leading me to pray to and acknowledge God. Whatever it was that caused me to push Him away, I am now drawn back.

He saw the slavery of the Israelites and was concerned for them. – Exodus 2:25 GNT

My crying out to God for mercy is at the same level that I am being oppressed or am seeing others oppressed. These afflictions do nothing for my sin or my soul but they are a way of bringing me back to God quickly.

I believe the lepers in Jesus’ day can teach me some things here.

Once Jesus was in a town where there was a man who was suffering from a dreaded skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he threw himself down and begged him, “Sir, if you want to, you can make me clean!”[a]

Jesus reached out and touched him. “I do want to,” he answered. “Be clean!” At once the disease left the man. Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go straight to the priest and let him examine you; then to prove to everyone that you are cured, offer the sacrifice as Moses ordered.”  – Luke 5:12-14 GNT

The leper did more than cry out, it would seem he implored Jesus for it was more than a request and it was more than a prayer, it was a tearful and ernest beg.

The leper turns to no one else but Jesus. He knows no one else can help.

There is humility in his tone and phrasing of his request. Though he is imploring, begging, pleading, he does not make demands.

When he receives his healing he still obeys the instructions of Jesus. Prayer is usually not the end of the matter. I must wait for instructions to follow.

I can also learn from Jesus on prayer as He looked for a quiet place to pray right after this healing.

But the news about Jesus spread all the more widely, and crowds of people came to hear him and be healed from their diseases.But he would go away to lonely places, where he prayed. – Luke 5:15-16 GNT

Either when exhausted or needing to be in a safe place, Jesus found that withdrawing to pray restored Him. He must have had designated spots that he liked for He did this often.  What I love most is that the needs of the day did not dictate His timetable. When it was time to get away and pray, He did. He revealed His submission to His Father and His need to commune with Him often.

I am pressed to ensure that I am not kept from regular, uninterrupted times of prayer. I know that prayer brings power from God for my life and my ministry. The temptation to rely on my talent or personality is there – arrogance supreme! I need Jesus.

 “The Bible does not present an art of prayer; it presents the God of prayer, the God who calls before we answer and answers before we call.” – Edmund P. Clowney