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Prayer

Will God help me?

‘Father, help me.’

I remember praying those words this time last year, struggling to squeeze a 20,000 word dissertation into six weeks . I prayed them with a mix of shame and desperation – I hadn’t spent even ten minutes with God in the last month and now I was on my knees asking for a miracle.

When we’ve been neglecting God, it’s hard to ask Him for things. It feels wrong to pull the Lord of the universe out of our pocket and dust Him off when we need assistance. So we pray hesitantly, at the last minute or not at all. On some level, we believe God will be reluctant to help us because we’ve been ignoring Him.

Maybe this is because, with our other relationships, that’s how it goes. We feel uncomfortable asking someone for a favour when we’ve been terrible at investing them. If you need a lift to the airport at three in the morning then you text your closest friends – not the person who you keep forgetting to call back and haven’t seen in weeks. We know that a person’s generosity towards us is conditional, and depends on how well we’ve been loving them.

So we treat our relationship with God in the same way. We struggle along by ourselves, believing that we shouldn’t ask God for help with our essay, friendships or money troubles – at least not until we’ve spent a bit more time with Him.

But, incredibly, this is not how things have to be.

In reality, we can come to God whatever the state of our relationship with Him. We can pray whether we’ve spent two hours or two minutes with Him that day.

Because God loves us even when we don’t love Him.

Unlike ours, God’s generosity is not conditional. He wants to help, no matter if we’ve ignored, forgotten or denied Him. It isn’t a begrudging kind of help, but an eager one. It isn’t only available sometimes, but all the time. It isn’t limited by size or situation: willing and sacrificial help is always on offer from the God of the universe.

We can look to the cross to see how the very same God we ignored and rejected willingly sacrificed His very Son to help us with our greatest problem, one we couldn’t struggle our way out of.

And the same loving God behind that phenomenon is with us every day, willing to help should we ask.

So our prayers for help should not be uncertain or left till the last second, when the knife’s just about to fall. The moment we hesitate in asking Him to come alongside us, we stop living in the joyful reality of His grace. We forget that God is unconditionally generous and loving. So whether it’s about exams or the prospect of graduating, and no matter if it’s been days or months since you last spoke to God – be quick to come to Him for help, confident and grateful in His rich love for us.

Milla Ling studied English Literature at Exeter University for four years, until joining UCCF in 2018. She loved being a member of the CU in Exeter, and is now excited to use her creativity to help support students in their evangelism.

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