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.

 

Prayer changes me

prayer changes me

Quite a few years ago I took an entire year to process Psalm 1. Today, looking through the lens of prayer, I ask myself if it has something to teach me on prayer. Will it enable me to seek God?

It shows me that prayer can enable me to live a godly life. Prayer is ordained by God to draw me to Him and I can experience His presence, power and transformation.

I can choose from two lifestyles and I need God’s help to live for Him. It starts by making a commitment to follow God.

Happy are those
    who reject the advice of evil people,
    who do not follow the example of sinners
    or join those who have no use for God. – Psalm 1:1 GNT

To do that I make another commitment to saturate myself with God’s Word.

Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord,
    and they study it day and night. – Psalm 1:2 GNT

Why is this so important? It provides me with accountability. I am giving concrete expression to what I will do before the Lord. It also allows me to plead with God on the basis of my commitment. I can ask Him for His power, grace and wisdom. I can call on Him to empower me to be the person that looks like I follow Him.

They are like trees that grow beside a stream,
    that bear fruit at the right time,
    and whose leaves do not dry up.
They succeed in everything they do. – Psalm 1:3 GNT

In fact, I am sustained by Him. No matter what I face or what part of the world experience I am in, God will sustain and bless me. He will supply me with everything I need. In turn, whatever I do for Him will not be in vain but will be used and honoured. I am content in my walk with Him. It is important for me to express my contentment as it keeps me from envying evil people. They do not have a God like I do – merciful, kind, loving, good, gracious, powerful and righteous. They do not have a guide, a lamp and a light for their life in the world. They are not continually sustained with strength and power from the Holy Spirit. They do not have a source of hope and comfort.

I want to express my confidence in God’s judgement of the wicked and at the same time I express my confidence that God will keep me secure.

The righteous are guided and protected by the Lord,
    but the evil are on the way to their doom. – Psalm 1:6 GNT

Now I can turn my prayer attention to those who have not chosen to follow God. I can ask God to open their eyes to see how He can be the difference in their lives and that He can be trusted to keep His promises. I can ask God to show them the fruit of sin cannot compare to the blessings of God. I pray that they can see the road they are travelling on leads to nothing now and nothing in eternity.  I pray that the Holy Spirit can provide powerful and precious insight into who God is.

Lastly, I end with praise, I praise the characteristics of God by taking these truths and turn them back to God.

• He is the God who makes me happy (1:1).
• He is the God who enables me to reject the advice of evil people (1:1).
• He is the God who has given me joy in His Word (1:2).
• He is the God who has revealed to me His truth (1:2).
• He is the God who is worthy to be studied day and night through His Word (1:2).
• He is the God who continually supplies all I need (1:3).
• He is the God who enables me to bear fruit (1:3).
• He is the God who sustains me in all the circumstances of life (1:3).
• He is the God who allows me to succeed in all I do for Him (1:3).
• He is the God who is not disturbed by evil (1:4).
• He is the God who sees all, even the evil (1:4).
• He is the God who will judge the sinner (1:5).
• He is the God who is intimately involved in the lives of the righteous (1:6).
• He is the God who leads His people in the right and just way (1:6).
• He is the God who never abandons His people (1:6).
• He is the God who will bring the evil to an end (1:6).

“For as soon as God’s dread majesty comes to mind, we cannot but tremble and be driven far away by the recognition of our own unworthiness, until Christ comes forward as intermediary to change the throne of dreadful glory into the throne of grace.” – Calvin