I sat in my bed, tears running down my face. I couldn't stand the thought of trying to get through another day if the day were going to go the same way all recent days had gone.
It was still dark outside, 4 or 5 AM, and no one was awake in the house except me. All I could think was, “Soon, I will have to get out of bed. Soon, my baby will cry. Soon, my husband will go to work and leave me here alone to face the day. God, help me.”
I was praying and crying all at once.
All of a sudden, a prayer welled up in my spirit that went something like this:
“Father God, Your grace makes things easy. Your grace gives strength. Your Word says You'll resist the proud but give grace to the humble.
Father God, I'm humbling myself before You right now. I have absolutely no way to get through this day by myself. I can't handle it. I'm so tired. I'm burned out. I'm worn out. I can't do it, Lord. I don't have the strength.
Father, I need Your help.
Your Word says that my help comes from the Lord. Father, I'm humbling myself and admitting that I need Your help. I need Your grace. I need Your strength. I need courage, wisdom, and rest. I need the baby to take naps today so that I can get some work done. I need to know what to do and when to do it.
Help me, Father. I'm claiming Your promise that You give grace to the humble, and I'm humbling myself before You and admitting that I need Your help. I can't do this, but You can … so thank You for Your grace. In Jesus' name, amen.”
As I prayed, I could sense Holy Spirit's presence.
I cried and cried, but I wasn't alone. I could feel Holy Spirit ministering to me. It was like He was wrapping me in His warm, comforting arms for a big hug. I knew He understood how I felt, and I knew He was having compassion on me–compassion that moves Him to do something.
I continued to pray for a few minutes. At one point, I even remember smacking my lips together like I was eating–nursing on the proverbial “breast” of God. (After all, He is El Shaddai–the Many-Breasted One.) It sounds silly, I know … but I was so used to seeing my newborn son nursing, totally helpless and dependent on me to keep him alive, that it just felt like a heartfelt demonstration of my faith.
Just like my newborn son, I was totally helpless and couldn't get through another day without serious intervention from Someone bigger than myself.
I went back to sleep after that prayer time, soon to wake again and start my day.
Like every other day I'd had since our son was born, it was a day full of screaming baby. A day full of baby's digestive issues that I couldn't fix (an undiagnosed dairy intolerance). A day full of trying to get him to sleep when sleeping is not his favorite activity. A day full of trying to work a full-time job (this job), but not knowing how to do that and be a mama at the same time.
Yet, that day was also different from every other day.
I had put a demand on God's grace, and it made all the difference in the world:
- I didn't freak out that day. I actually had peace!
- I could feel God's grace wrapped around me, keeping me.
- I walked through the day in a cocoon of His love and keeping power.
- My son slept that day–twice!
- I was able to get some work done.
That day, God's grace was a tangible thing that felt like HELP.
Too often, we over-spiritualize grace. We think of it as only that thing that got us saved. And it's true that God's grace saves us; by grace we are saved, through faith in Jesus Christ. Grace is that gift of God that saves us from the slave market of sin when we don't deserve it.
But God loves to manifest His grace in other ways too.
When God pours His grace on you, it feels like He has dumped a holy river of warm, silky molasses on your head. His grace feels like HELP when you need it the most. It feels like peace when you would otherwise freak out. And it feels like insulation from a harsh, exhausting, sometimes intimidating, or even frightening world.
God's grace is sufficient for you, for His strength is made perfect in weakness.
James 4:6 tells us:
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'”
And 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 says:
Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.'”
If you're weak, then you're the perfect candidate for God's grace.
Are you dealing with a marriage you don't want to endure another day? Or, perhaps you have a strong-willed child that wears you to the point of exhaustion? Maybe you're even dealing with:
- a job you hate;
- a hostile work environment;
- financial stressors that hang over your head like a sword; or
- depression and anxiety that you haven't been able to kick yet.
Whatever your personal struggle is, Papa God has help for you today. That help is called grace, and it's a holy help–a holy flow that only He can give–and it's freely available to you.
All you have to do is humble yourself before Him.
What does humbling yourself before God look like?
- It looks like submitting to His Word.
- It looks like submitting to His desires and doing what He asks you to do.
- It looks like admitting to Him that you need help.
- It looks like admitting to Him that you can't do it (whatever your “it” is); that you have no strength of your own; but also acknowledging His truth that you CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
When you empty yourself before God and ask Him for His grace, you're putting a demand on Him.
God responds to His Word. He also responds to faith. And He commands us to put Him in remembrance of His promises. Isaiah 43:25-26 says:
‘I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted” (Isaiah 43:25-26).
God wants us to tell Him what to do!
If you just raised your eyebrows at that statement, put 'em down! It's the Word of God.
Yes, God wants us to remind Him of His Word in our prayers. Not because He has forgotten that Word; God never forgets anything except the sins He has forgiven. Rather, God wants us to remind Him of His Word because it builds our faith to do so.
And when you humble yourself before God and remind Him that He has promised you grace when you do, I call that “putting a demand on God's grace.”
You put a demand on God when you point out His Word to Him and show Him that you meet the conditions.
When you put a demand on God, you know you have the legal right, based on His Word and the blood of Jesus, to receive what you ask for.
In my story above, I put a demand on God by humbling myself before Him. I admitted to Him that I had NOTHING without Him, but that I knew I could do it if He would help me. By doing so, I met the conditions for His promise that He “gives grace to the humble.”
Then, I called Him on His promise.
Since I had met the conditions, I asked Him to give me grace and help me that day.
It wasn't a wimpy ask, either. I wasn't coming to Him in doubt or unbelief. Instead, was very much a legal transaction. I met the conditions of His promise, so He had to meet His part of the promise–and I told Him so.
Putting a demand on God means calling God out on His Word and insisting that He perform it.
And when you need God's grace, you can put a demand on it as long as you meet the conditions. If you humble yourself, He will lift you up. If you humble yourself, He will give you grace. And when you pray, you can insist that He do so.
What do you need Papa's help for today?
Put a demand on His grace. Humble yourself under His mighty hand. Confess that you've got nothing without Him. Confess that you can't do anything in the power of your own flesh. Tell Him how much you need Him, and tell Him–in faith–that you know He'll help you.
Put a demand on God's grace. Meet His conditions and ask for His help. He will help you, and you'll find His holy flow manifesting in your life.
Do you need Abba Father's help today? Will you put a demand on His grace? If so, stop and pray now–then leave a comment below!