‘Lord! Help Me!’
A Christian farmer had two small boys named John and Tom. He called into the bedroom to see them before they went to sleep, and he asked them had they prayed. They hadn’t, and one of them – John – complained that he wasn’t feeling well. They said that they didn’t know how to pray. So their father sat on the bed and he said to them: ‘There’s a little prayer that has helped me many times when I’ve been in trouble and God can make you feel better when you pray to him for help. I have prayed this prayer many times, more than any other prayer.’
‘Oh, what’s that, Daddy?’ the boys asked.
‘Lord, help me,’ said their Dad.
The boys looked up at their father. ‘You’ve prayed those words and the Lord has helped you? Tell us how,’ asked Tom.
This is what the farmer said:
‘Well, about fifteen years ago, I used to graze our sheep on cabbages in the autumn and winter months; it was on the outer leaves after the cabbages had been harvested. I used to pay the farmer ten pence per sheep per week. At the end of the winter I paid the farmer £130. The next winter, there was hard frost for three weeks in December, which spoiled all the farmer’s cabbages. He said: “You can graze all the fields with your sheep.” There was much good feed for the sheep because all the cabbage hearts had not been harvested. I had nearly a thousand sheep on the cabbages. At the end of the winter, I reckoned up what I owed for the cabbages, and it was £1,130, exactly £1,000 more than the year before; but, oh dear, I had a problem. It had been a hard winter; I had many bills to pay on the farm and I didn’t have any money left. The price for sheep had been very low and the cabbage farmer needed paying. He had been pushing me to pay a higher rate for the cabbages, and I knew that tomorrow he was coming to collect the money for the sheep grazing. I could, maybe, pay him £130 by the end of the month, but oh dear, not £1,130? Whatever could I do?
‘All night I stayed awake, and all I could cry was: “Lord help me; Lord, help me.” All the next morning, while working with the sheep: “Lord, help me; Lord, help me.” By the afternoon, I was at my wits’ end. The man was coming to collect the money at five o’clock. Wherever could the money come from? It was impossible. What should I do? “Lord, help me; Lord, help me,” It was four o’clock. I was in my field by the pond. I fell down, and there was none to help. I cried: “Lord, help me,” for an hour.
‘Five o’clock came, and I heard the man’s car and saw it arrive in the gateway, about three hundred yards away. I was beyond all help now. I stood up. I staggered across the field like a drunken man, every step: “Lord, help me; Lord, help me; Lord, help me; Lord, help me.” I arrived at the gate, and lifted my downcast head to look at him, for I couldn’t speak. He said: “I’ve been thinking, coming along… just pay me the same amount as you did last year, and send it to me by the end of the month,” and he went back to his car and drove off.
‘I turned around and walked back towards the pond… I ran… I skipped: £130 to pay instead of £1,130! I stopped and shouted out, for all the animals in the field to hear: “The Lord has paid £1,000 for me!” I fell on my knees by the pond.
‘”Oh, praise him; praise him.”
“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name;
“Oh give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever”
“The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”
“He raiseth up the poor out of the dust and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill.”
“He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.”‘
He controlled himself and told his boys to pray,’Lord, help me.’
His sons told him that they liked that prayer, that they had learned it already, that this was the prayer, saying back to him, ‘Lord help me.’
Sometimes we are in great pain and weakness. We are recovering from an operation lying in a hospital, and we can’t think with any purpose. We can only say, ‘Lord help me! Lord help me!’ It is a mighty prayer.
[Taken from the Friendly Companion, October 2007.]