Speaking to the Soul – January 2

A short reading and prayer for today

Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help.  Psalm 86:1 NLT

Finding peace and purpose in our lives is something that we all want, and the first step to achieving it is recognising that we need God’s help. David, the author of this psalm, was Israel’s King about 1000BC and had that experience time and again. This is clearly one of those times. He knew that, although he was incredibly wealthy and powerful, he couldn’t manage without God.

Bernard Levin was one of the most respected political commentators in this country. He once wrote, “Countries like ours are full of people who have all of the material comforts they desire, yet lead lives of quiet (and at times noisy) desperation, understanding nothing but the fact that there is a hole inside them and that however much food and drink they pour into it, however many motorcars and television sets they stuff it with, however many well-balanced children and loyal friends they parade around the edges of it. . . it aches!” I firmly believe that it is only God who can answer that ache. Only when we acknowledge our need of him can we start on the road to finding his peace.

Calling out to God is where it begins, and we can all do that. It may begin with a simple cry of “God help me. I can’t do it by myself.” There is no need to come up with a long prayer or something which sounds polished. God loves it when people tell him they need him because he can then get to work. He can then do what he loves to do and answer our prayers. But God steadfastly refuses to work in our lives without our permission. The Bible shows us that time and again God let people reject him and go their own way. He often warned them of the consequences of their actions but he never compelled them to follow him, and he won’t do so today. God waits for us to recognise our need, and then the journey can begin.


When did you last tell God how much you need him?


Loving God, thank you that you hear my prayers and are willing to answer them. Amen

Photo – Parish church, Ballycastle