Psalms 57: 4, My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.
Psalms 120, In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me. Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue. What shall be given unto thee? Or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper. Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar! My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war. (KJV)
Do you know the feeling of having no one to turn to? Of being at war with those whom you don’t want to fight with at all? Of being hurt, again and again, by the very ones you ought to be able to trust the most? I do. Because I do, God, help me has become a daily, sometimes hourly, prayer for me.
God, help me encompasses so much. My desire to know Him better, to serve Him better, to love Him better, to serve others better. To be the Mom, and yes, even the wife, that I long to be. To be an example to others of grace, of godliness, of hope in the midst of heartbreaking circumstances. To one day have a church that stands on the Bible for its doctrine but also knows and understands the pain in our lives and loves us anyway—and lets us love them. To be able to live in peace, worship in peace, to move forward rather than endlessly feeling as if I’m taking one step forward and ten more backwards, sideways, or skewed all over the place. To honor God by being able to pay my bills. To simply have enough. To be able to help others. “God, help me”…. There are times for deeper, more expansive prayers and I pray those often. But there’s also times for simple prayers of dependence.
Early on, I learned the importance of praying because, even then, our lives were upside down and backwards. My father was an abusive drunk and he terrified me. I remember being three years old and sitting at my mother’s breakfast table saying first one prayer, then another, out loud. She asked me what I was doing and I told her that I was “practicing praying”. She reminded me she’d taught me “Now I lay me down to sleep”. I remember telling her that “I’ve got more things to say to God than just that.” I still do.
I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me.~ C.S. Lewis
I, too, can’t help myself. I must pray. Not to make the Gospel me-centered because it isn’t, but God alone is the One who has always been there for me. He’s lead me down rough and rocky roads, tumultuous pathways, through caustic bitter relationships with family members, through many a dangerous time. I’ve lived in and through poverty, abuse, rejection, and ongoing chronic illness (that, at times, has nearly taken my life). He led me through the valley of false doctrine into His glorious pure truth. He is the reason I live, I breathe, I hope. Be they short or long, my prayers don’t change God. They change me. They change my perspective on my circumstances, aligning it with His. They change my will, making His will my own. My prayers are to honor Him, but they are what continues to give me life.
I am an abused Christian wife. This is a glimpse into my story. But it’s far more than my story. Ultimately, it, like any great story, is about something beyond myself. In my case, my story is about God’s grace and goodness towards me and my children. We live among many lions, but He is our great Defender. He hears me when I cry unto Him.