Praying to Help

The classified sections of newspapers sometimes have spaces for prayer. Curiously, people pay to have their prayers published. Perhaps assuming that God is an avid reader of that publication, they imagine that such publicity will make their requests more appealing. Here’s one which made it to a newspaper’s online section:


The author clearly has a trinitarian theology and is almost certainly Roman Catholic, based upon use of the ‘heart of Jesus’ expression. Personally, I’d not waste my money printing such prayers and the logic employed by this one is questionable. Still, he or she must be trembling as they await their test results, portending a death for which they are evidently unprepared.

The Lord invites us to call on His help; His word is awash with such invitations. For example,

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me (Ps. 50:15).

Yet as we mature in belief and grow in grace, so our understanding of God’s infinite wisdom and character affects how we pray. Already assured that our God will help us, in our prayers we rather dwell on His character and attributes, rather than what He might do for us. We ask Him to help us less, requesting instead opportunities to help Him. By this, I mean not that He requires our assistance, but that we seek to be used by Him, that His eternal purposes and desires might be fulfilled through us.

I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

And He said, “Go” 

Isaiah 6:8-9

Once 'twas busy planning,
Now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring,
Now He has the care;
Once 'twas what I wanted,
Now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking,
Now 'tis ceaseless praise.

A.B. Simpson