September 10, 2013 • By Ed Wrather
But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me! - Psalm 22:19 NKJV.
O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me! - Psalm 71:12 NKJV.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. - Hebrews 4:16 NKJV.
What would you do if you were kidnapped at gunpoint and were in a speeding car being carried away? It happened to a 25-year-old woman who was forced into the kidnappers vehicle at gunpoint in downtown Dallas, Texas. Two teenaged boys noticed the woman in the car and then saw her mouth the words, "Help Me!" Aaron Arias and Jamal Harris were the two young men who saw the plea for help. Aaron called 911, and they followed the kidnapper’s vehicle until police officers arrived and were able to stop the kidnapper and rescue the kidnapped woman. A 37-year-old man, Charles Atkins Lewis, was arrested for kidnapping. As for the two young men, they did receive a thank you and a hug from the rescued woman. (ABC News 09.05.13)
What would you do if you were kidnapped at gunpoint? Would you ask for help if you had the opportunity? Of course! Of course, we would ask for help from everyone that we possibly could. According to a Beliefnet poll 64% say that they pray more than once a day. Another poll says that only 20% of Americans 45-years-old or older who are somewhat religious cite prayer as their most satisfying spiritual or religious experience (Foster Letter, 2/05). As a pastor, I have found that it is difficult to inspire people to be excited about prayer. Having been a pastor of three churches (and a member of four churches while a layman) the level of excitement about prayer was about the same in all of those churches.
In October of 2008, we found out that our son, Nick, had lost the sight in his left eye because of a detached retina. This occurred after he had cataracts removed from both eyes. He had surgery in November of 2008 to stabilize the eye so that it would not have to be removed. Nick has Down Syndrome and has trouble communicating, because of this we were surprised yesterday when we found out during an eye exam that he now has some vision in the damaged eye! We have prayed and prayed for the restoration of his vision along with countless others. Five years from when we first began praying for healing the hand of God has moved in answer to those prayers.
I fully believe that your prayer life shapes the world in which you personally live. Some think that being a mature Christian means that you only pray for others, and we ought to pray for others; we need to pray for others. However, we have the example of the Psalmist and many throughout the Bible who asked and received help from God for their personal situations. God still answers even when it only consists of those two words, "Help me!"