Summary: It is only a simple word, but it speaks to our deepest needs and longings. Do you need help?


Pt. 1

I. Introduction

Help, I need somebody,

Help, not just anybody,

Help, you know I need someone, help.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,

I never needed anybody’s help in any way.

But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured,

Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down

And I do appreciate you being round.

Help me, get my feet back on the ground,

Won’t you please, please help me?

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,

My independence seems to vanish in the haze.

But every now and then I feel so insecure,

I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before.

Have you ever been there . . . In need of help? When I was younger I never needed anybody’s help in any way and then I realized that help was essential. Do you remember when you were young and thought you knew it all and could do it all? The Beatles had this awakening and encapsulated the cry that we all utter at some point. . . “Help!” However, I think the word “Help” is so overused that we underestimate its power! David used this word on at least 9 different occasions in the Psalms and each time it was part of a simple and yet profound prayers. Here are a couple of examples.

II. Text

Psalm 18:6

In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.

Psalm 109:26 - Help me, oh help me, God, my God, save me through your wonderful love.

Simple prayers – HELP! Nothing eloquent or impressive about these prayers they are simple desperate calls for God’s assistance. These prayers offer great hope to us because it teaches us several things.

A. The Help Prayer

1. It is the perfect prayer!

The simple prayer of help needs no elaboration or explanation. It is simply perfect because with one word it sums up the need, the emotion, the desperation, and the expectation! It is suitable and applicable for every situation. It is appropriate for good days and bad days. It can be prayed in life or death situations or in moments of simple resistance. It works covers catastrophes as well as a mere bad day. Its power isn’t diminished by the situation. The scope of the word grows/shrinks to match your need.

2. It fits any person.

It not only fits any situation, it also fits any person. Sinner or saint. Well spoken or simpleton. Regardless of education, station in life, learned or unlearned, saved or unsaved. It is a universal prayer. We have all and will all pray this prayer at some point in our life. King or fugitive it works. Hero of the faith or forgotten sideliner it still fits. That is important because some of you feel inadequate when you addressing God, the Maker of the Universe! You hear others with all of their rhythmic rhymes and eloquent words and the temptation is avoid praying because you can’t match their prayers. May I teach you how to pray this morning? HELP!!!!

3. It is the most answered prayer!

There is unexpected help, which we will discuss next week. However, most help comes as a direct result of a request. In fact, I would submit that many of us don’t get help because we have failed to request it.

All you have to do is go back and examine the life of Christ and consider all of the miracles (divine intervention or help) and think about how many of those moments of help took place as direct result of a prayer/request for help. He turned water into wine due to request from His mother. He healed the blind as a direct result of request. He healed the lepers due to a petition to help. He calmed a storm because disciples cried out for help. He fed the 5,000 because they let it be known that they were hungry. He heals Jairus’ daughter because he asked Him to do so.

You will probably hear me say this again soon, but we have not because we ask not! Perhaps you haven’t received the help you desire because you have failed to request the specific help you need! If you need help request it today!

Now with those things said, let me share 4 very important things about receiving help from God.

B. Getting Help

1. God still wants to help!

We hear David cry for help, but we must also see that God responds with assistance. He testifies of this in Psalms 118:12, “I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me.”

We read the multiplied account of God’s intervention into the lives of the Children of Israel. We read occasion after occasion of parted seas, food on the ground, victories in the face of impossible odds, healing from sickness and then we turn to the New Testament. Everywhere Jesus went He helps. In fact, in one passage it says Jesus healed all their sick. He helped with healing. He helped with taxes. He helped defend the defenseless (woman caught in adultery). He healed bodies. He healed minds. He healed souls. He healed families. He healed finances. He helped!

I just want to remind you today, because I think some of you have forgotten . . . He still wants to help you today! We quote the passage of Scripture that teaches us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. However, we fail to apply that truth to the help equation. God helped Moses so He will help you. He came to David’s rescue, He will come to yours. He backed up the 3 Hebrew Children; He will come to your aid as well. He healed the sick. He will heal you. He provided for the hungry, He will provide for you! You have to not only know this truth, but embrace, believe, trust, depend on, and have faith in the fact that God still wants to help today! His help didn’t come to an end at the end of Revelation. He still looks for ways to get involved in and intervene in your life today! Don’t give up. Don’t discount God’s ability or desire to come to your rescue!

Lee Ielpi is a retired firefighter, a New York City firefighter. He gave 26 years to the city. But on September 11th, 2001 he gave much more. He gave his son, Jonathan. His son was a firefighter as well. When the Twin Towers fell, Jonathan was there. Firefighters are a loyal clan. When one perishes in the line of duty, the body is left where it is until a firefighter who knows the person can come and quite literally pick it up. Lee made the discovery of his son’s body his personal mission. He dug daily with dozens of others at the sixteen-acre graveyard. On Tuesday, December 11, three months after the disaster, his son was found. And Lee was there to carry him out.”

Hear me this morning, your Father has made it His personal mission to care for, carry, uncover, and dig out, His son’s body. He won’t give up. He won’t quit. He will dig through your collapsed and crushed world to find you and bring you assistance. Hang on! Believe! Trust! Hope.

Some of you right now don’t believe that or are unsure about this because you are saying in your mind “I have asked Him to help me and He hasn’t.” Some of you are thinking, “I have depended on Him and He has failed me so I don’t know if I believe that God will help me or not.” So why doesn’t God help. In order to receive help you must learn the next two things.

2. We must come to the place where Jesus in our only option rather than only one option!

I am convinced the reason that many of us don’t see God’s hand at work in our life is because we treat Him as one option rather than the as only option! We don’t really rely on Him. We don’t really live our life as if He is the only way out. We say we depend on Him for provision, but we live as if we are our hope and answer, so we trust our job more than we trust God. We refuse to tithe because we really aren’t sure the God option works. I can figure out this thing better than you can God. We have more faith in our 401K than we do in Him. We seek His healing power only as an afterthought. We seek counsel from every other source and then ask Him at the end if He has any ideas or thoughts on our stuff.

Jesus always responds to the cry of desperation. Go ahead, search Scripture and find one time where Jesus responds to someone who had other options. You won’t find one. Likewise, search Scripture and find one example of Jesus turning a deaf ear or ignoring the cry of a desperate person. You can’t find one. Jesus always stopped in His tracks when He heard the cry of desperation! Could it be that the reason that we aren’t receiving help is because He hasn’t really heard a cry of desperation, but a cry that says, “If you can help me fine and if not fine I will find another solution to this issue or problem?” I will come to you and hope for answer, but make plans in case I don’t get one. Could it be that our lack of desperation results in a lack of deliverance? Maybe all of our contingency plans reveal a lack of genuine trust, faith and reliance. Jesus comes through when He is our only hope!

Maybe if some of you would get really desperate for financial health Jesus would show up and teach you how to find it. Maybe if some of us would get desperate for our marriage to be healthy we would get the assistance we need. Jesus never responds well to “Oh by the way . . .” Some of you need to recognize this morning that unless Jesus shows up, your situation is hopeless. There is no other option! Maybe if some of us were desperate enough we could stop Jesus in His tracks with our cry!

3. Recognize and accept His help!

Maybe, just maybe our issue isn’t that God hasn’t helped. Perhaps our issue is that He has already done so and we have just failed to recognize or accept the method of His help! Maybe the reason you feel like He isn’t responding to your cry for help this morning is because God hears your cry and shakes His head in frustration because He has already sent the answer and you have snubbed your nose at the answer He has given.

I can think of least one illustration in the Bible when this happened. Naaman gets the remedy that he desperately needs for his leprosy and gets angry and left to his own hard headedness would have failed to get healed just because He disliked the means of the solution. Dirty river no way! I don’t know about you but that seems crazy. I would take that trade any day. A little dip in dirty water for clean skin. A little dirty water to get rid of my day’s AIDS disease. Get out of my way. I’m in. But the truth is we are a lot like Him.

We desperately cry out to God to help with our finances and yet we won’t sell the new car even though the monthly payments are absolutely killing us. All because we have wrapped our identity up in that vehicle. God says, “Here is your answer. I have provided a means for rescue.” And we turn down the dirty water.

We desperately cry out to God to help us in our dysfunctional marriage and then an opportunity comes for counseling and we snub our nose and go that’s dirty water. That’s too hard, takes too much effort and then we continue to cry out and for some weird reason God seems to be deaf.

We cry out for healing and God gives us the opportunity to change whatever it is in our lifestyle that is feeding the sickness and we keep puffing away, or eating away, or drinking away and wonder why the God of healing refuses to restore our health!

We cry out to get closer to God and our boyfriend/girlfriend or friend cut off relationship with us and we are so wrapped up in them that we miss the very answer to our prayer. They distracted us and God intervenes and we miss His intervention.

If you don’t think that happens remember with me, if you will, the instance in the New Testament where a group of desperate people gather to desperately cry out for God to help their highly esteemed brother in the faith, Peter. He has been wrongly incarcerated and they need to God to intervene. God does. Peter miraculously walks out of jail free. Peter shows up at the house where they are desperately praying. He knocks on the door. Rhoda answers the door, sees the answer to their prayer literally standing there and then proceeds to slam the door in his face!

I wonder how many of us are at this very moment slamming the door in the face of God’s answer to our cry because we don’t like the form, fashion, shape, cost, flavor, taste, pain, or discipline it would take to access the answer? I came to tell some of you to quit praying, quit fasting, quit crying out and open your eyes, heart, and mind to the answer that God has already sent your way.

I will tell you this morning that God is unlikely to send another answer until you accept the one He has already sent. He sent Jesus as the answer to man’s sin problem. Most men didn’t recognize or embrace Him as the Messiah. Their lack of acceptance didn’t cause God to come up with another plan or send another solution. God doesn’t have many back up plans. He hears our cry, sends a solution, and it is up to us to accept that solution!

Some of you are so busy praising and praying that you can’t even recognize the answer to your prayer. Get off the floor and open the door. Some of you have so boxed God into your idea of how the answer should come that you are missing the answer that has come! Some of you have so boxed God into an instantaneous miracle that you won’t even clue into the gradual process He is providing for your rescue. We want help, but too many of us dictate that help be given on our terms.

What if His help comes in an unexpected or unwanted form? What if you want help and He spits! What if you want sight and His solution is Spit Therapy? We have got to come to the place that if there is power in the spit then let it rain on me!

Recognize and embrace His answer!

4. You may be someone’s help!

Don’t miss this . . . you may very well be God’s help wrapped up in flesh. We hear people cry for help and then sit back and wait for God to do His deal. His deal may already be done in you. Find a need and fill it. Become someone’s answered prayer today! I think too many of us underestimate our role in God’s ability to answer prayers. He sends us! He uses us! Someone’s help is contained in you. If you don’t respond they will blame God. They should blame you . . . God responded. Don’t let someone go without God’s help because you were unwilling to be God wrapped in flesh! Tell your neighbor . . . I might be the answer to your prayer!