maybe I need to stop asking God for help

I’ve been slowly grazing my way through Psalm 119 recently.

I’m loving it!

Although I usually get grabbed by something in the Bible and find that I have lots to say about it — too much, in fact — I’m finding Psalm 119 different. It’s far too challenging for that.

The Psalmist’s almost desperate craving for God and his word leaves me blushing.

But it’s nourishing my soul all the same. One of the ways it’s doing this is very simple:

Instead of always asking God for help — ‘Help me love you, Lord’, ‘Help me treasure your word’, etc — the Psalmist hands more agency to God — ‘Teach me…’, ‘Lead me…’, ‘Guide me…’, ‘Open my eyes…’.

Not that this denies our agency or the effort we’re invited to exert in pursuing and delighting in God.

And yet it’s definitely got me wondering if maybe I need to stop asking God for help all the time.

What better way to put my deep convictions about the priority of God — his grace and his initiative — into action?


  1. Hi Chris,

    Interesting… I remember my godly grandma saying something very similar to my mum more than 20 years ago. It affected me as a child back then and still interrupts my prayers when I move away from seeking direct intervention 🙂

    thanks for your thoughts and the reminder,
    K – from Mauritius

  2. ‘Help’ is one of my ‘oh-blast-i’ve-said-it-again’ words. God works in all I do, and I work in all I do. If I ask him to help me, I’ll have even more synergistic, he-gives-me-grace-I-give-him-what-I-can plaque in my spiritual life than I already do.

    Of course, I’m eyeing off ‘pray’ and ‘bless’ suspiciously, too, so don’t take my word for it.

    1. What a great memory, Kristan!

      And Alan, I’d love to hear your (suspicious) reflections on ‘pray’ and ‘bless’ sometime…

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