February 6, 2023

Urgent Short Prayers

Written by Boyd Bailey

Perhaps, use fewer words in prayer, listen more and you may see and hear more clearly what God has for you.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 6, 2023

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. Matthew 14:30

Sometimes life sneaks up on us and ambushes us with fear. Fear from a puzzling medical test. Fear from financial fallout. Fear from sudden rejection. Fear from the consequences of a bad choice. Fear from an intimidating individual. When fear causes a sinking feeling in our soul, we can quickly call out to Jesus, “Lord, save me; I’m sinking!” Thankfully, our eyes of faith are able to look beyond the pressing circumstances and peer into the eyes of Jesus, or as Paul says, “press on toward the goal of…the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” As we press on toward God’s goal for our life…in prayer, we fix our eyes on Jesus. So, winds of change will not blow us off course, and when our fearful soul begins to sink, we will reach out to grasp the hand of Jesus. 

Peter, one to never fear taking the initiative, quickly finds himself unable to walk on the water. Desperately, within seconds of experiencing an involuntary baptism, Peter blurts out an urgent prayer, “Lord, save me.” Though swiftly sinking, the Lord of love answered Peter’s prayer with an extended hand just as the words escaped his mouth. He was rescued by his divine caregiver, who a few moments earlier had prayed for Peter from the elevated view of the mountain. Urgent prayers are an opportunity for God’s love to intersect with our crisis of faith to bring peace. 

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” (James 5:13).

Like Peter, you can resort to urgent prayers throughout your day, “Lord, give me the patience to discipline my child in love.” “Jesus, I need to impart wisdom in our discussions at work today; unite our hearts around your best option.” “Heavenly Father, fear is convincing me to embrace inaction; give me faith, hope, and love to move forward, one step at a time.” Also, be quick to pray urgent prayers for others. Like the disciples who remained in the boat…you can cry out on behalf of one who took a step of faith but seems to be sinking. Ask the Lord to lift them up, and ask Jesus how you might assist in the most helpful manner. Your urgent prayers help bring calm.

Don’t despise your short prayers…many times, short supplications are sufficient… pride can tend to drone on as if lengthy prayers somehow make them more effective. As Jesus taught, avoid vain repetitions and long prayers that only draw attention to the person praying instead of giving glory to God. Charles Spurgeon speaks to the power of concise, punctuated prayers:

“Short prayers are long enough. There were but three words in the petition which Peter gasped out, but they were sufficient for his purpose. Not length, but strength is desirable.
A sense of need is a mighty teacher of brevity.”

Perhaps, use fewer words in prayer, listen more and you may see and hear more clearly what God has for you. Urgent prayers are not always answered in the manner you would like. Instead of continuing forward as you started, like Peter, you may need to stop and be with Jesus before you move forward. An urgent prayer protects you from yourself and helps you avoid self-inflicted drama. Transition your urgent prayers to preparation prayers, anticipating God’s loving wisdom.

“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness” (Psalm 69:13).


Heavenly Father, give me the courage to pray urgent prayers in my time of need and to trust you to lift me up and give me direction with your love, wisdom, and faithfulness through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.


What urgent situation is a friend experiencing that you can pray for and offer support?

Related Reading

1 Kings 8:28; Psalm 143:1; Matthew 21:22; Ephesians 1:15-16

Worship Resource

Bayside Worship: None Like You


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