“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Philippians 4:6

“Help” may be one of the shortest prayers ever prayed, but it can be a very faith-filled and effective prayer, a prayer of petition. Petition means, “to ask, or to make a request.” A petition is a request made from a position of need, a position of dependency on God who is stronger, greater, and more powerful. It is a humble prayer made to God in recognition of His supreme authority and of His great care for us as His children. When someone makes a petition, they have identified that their answer is found in God. The prayer of petition says to Father, “I am aware of my need. I choose to look to You as the source of all good things and the gracious God who longs to be generous with me.”

The prayer of petition is a call or a cry to God for help. In Psalm 61:1 it says, “Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer.” The cry for help is a confident call for God’s intervention in our weakness. It’s a request for God’s grace to enter into our situation and infuse our lives with what is required to overcome. The prayer of petition is a supplication for God’s favor, knowing that He is more than happy to come to our assistance.

One of my favorite examples of this prayer is found in Matthew 14:22-33 where Peter walks on water, sees the winds, becomes afraid, and begins to sink. He cried out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” Jesus took him by the hand, lifted Him back up to the top of the water, and they walked together to the boat. Peter was in need, and He called out to Jesus for help. Jesus helped him. Knowing the love Jesus had for Peter, knowing the purpose God had for Peter – I can’t imagine Jesus not helping Peter. We can have confidence that God is working on our behalf. I John 5:14, 15 “(14) Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (15) And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.”

Peter’s prayer wasn’t complicated or long. It wasn’t filled with large words or theological terms. Peter’s prayer was a request for help as someone who looked to God when he required help. He turned to Jesus in his time of need. God hears all prayer, short or long, wordy or not, just as long as the prayers come from a surrendered heart.

Application: God hears every whisper you make, every thought that you think, and every care that you carry. He loves you and wants to help you. All you need to do is ask.

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