What happens when we ask God for help?
“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121 : 2
How often do you ask God for help? Often I hope! After all we are called and reminded to take everything to God and petition him for help. Not only that but he promises when we ask he will come. And He has given us the perfect gift to help us.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.” - John 14 : 16
It’s something that slips off the tongue each morning. “Lord, please help me today”.
We compartmentalise our lives offering each one up to Him. Work, husband, children, finances and rightly so. It pleases the Lord to be intimately involved in our lives down to the finest detail.
But what does it mean to ask God for help? What does it look like? When we say that four letter word what do we expect to happen next? I once struggled to ask God for help because I struggled to answer theses questions. I was aware that I had free will therefore if I prayed for help to read my Bible every day I knew that I was still the one who had to sit down and pick it up. It would still be my choice each day. If I ask God to help me am I really expecting to find myself sat in front of my Bible with no idea how I got there?
The Holy Spirit is referred to as our helper. When we Pray for help, it is this spirit that dwells inside us that often takes up the request.
When we talk of the Holy Spirit it feels very mysterious but the word of God calls it our Friend. A friend who is always ready and walks beside us in every area of our lives.
So if I were to ask a human friend for help, What would that look like?
Have you ever had a friend tell you they want to lose weight and need your help? Now they know that you can’t loose the weight for them. So they want you to encourage them but also to convict them each time they pick up another biscuit. They want you to remind them of what happened last time they ate an entire Chinese takeaway. They want you to remind them of what they are working towards so they can stay focused.
This is the type of friend that we try to be to each other and its the friend the Holy spirit is to us.
When you ask the Lord for help, are you looking out for the times when he;
Reminds you - When it suddenly comes clearly in to your mind throughout the day, that is the nudge from the Spirit. Maybe to phone someone, complete a task or watch your actions or behaviour.
Convicts you - That sinking feeling when you realise you didn't do something, or that sudden sting when you instantly realise you've done and said something you shouldn't. The quicker we react to the spirit nudging our conscience the quicker we can right the wrong.
Encourages you - A sense of fulfilment and contentment. A feeling of peace when the correct decision has been made. The more time we spend tuning ourselves into His Spirit the easier it will become to make these day to day decisions about our family, future or work and trust and follow that feeling of peace.
Focuses you - When something seems to be constantly on your mind, clouding your focus on other things it is a call to deal with it and it will stay there until you give it the time it needs.
Strengthens you - Ever been through a tough time and looked back and wondered how you got through it? Ever thought “I just don't know how I managed to get that done.” The Holy Spirit harbours a strength within you far superior to your own. He will carry you long past when your own abilities, energy and strength have failed you.
Loves you - No matter the type of day. The upsets, altercations or set backs, the love of God is inside you. Take a moment, breath and dig in to that love. You are precious and will never be abandoned.
Like many families with a mortgage and young family, finances are often something on our prayer list. When I ask for this I am not asking to wake up to an unaccountable sum of money to appear in my bank account. Although it would be nice. What I normally get is nudged. Nudged each time I’m doing something on my laptop and find myself surfing through online shopping sites. Nudged each time I’m walking around the supermarket and think about picking up something I don't really need.
None of this it meant to diminish the times God moves boldly and in extraordinary ways. When He reaches in and grabs hold of our problems. Sometimes God does and has brought financial blessings to us in sudden and unexpected ways.
But we must be on the look out for the everyday way that the spirit answers those prayers for help and when we get them, acknowledge them and respond to them because this is what is means to walk with Jesus. After all we cant ask God to help us read our Bible and then every time we think about it through the day decide to do it later until later runs out and then go back to God disheartened once again asking for the same help for tomorrow and expecting a different outcome.
It can take practice and we wont always get it right but God’s grace covers that and His love pushes us forwards and upwards with each new day.