Sometime in the past, I perceived prayer as a demanding task. I thought about how I need special time to do it, a specific quiet location, preferably in the morning hours just before I started my day. Maybe God would see how I considered Him first before I got engaged in my busy day. And that would be the reason He would remember me throughout my day. Even if I didn’t get time to pray again till the end of the day.

You see for me, God seemed to be in a far off land, not easily accessible, so big and uninterested in the little details of my day-to-day. It seemed to me that it was necessary I go to Him perfect, clean and ready – not always saying sorry for small things. He had already forgiven me, why was I engaging in sin again?

My interaction with God was then faulty as was how I perceived prayer. I thought there was a right way to approach God – full with time schedules, and if I didn’t achieve that – I had failed God. Another burden added to my endless list of sins. I was drained, tired and defeated. If my day seemed any slower, well it was because I had not prayed.

Fast forward to today, while I am still growing in my prayer life, I’m definitely thankful that I am not where I used to be.

God, I discovered is here, right when I need Him – even if I don’t think I need Him.

Psalm 46:1 (NIV) God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Does His help depend on me or on Him? I believe God’s help depends on Him – He is unwavering while I am easily moved, His love is unfailing while mine isn’t. He will help me when I am in trouble. Ever-present in the midst of all the turmoil, He is right there ready, very willing to help.

So, God won’t help just because I prayed in the morning. He will help me because He is ever-present. It’s about Him, not about what I did or who I am. But because of who He is.

It also doesn’t matter how insignificant my trouble is. We are a funny species us humans. Always sizing up, comparing and minimizing our situations, so much so, that help needs to be for ‘big’ things like a breakup, failed exams, lost investment. What about a frustrated first-time mother with a crying baby not aware what is causing the discomfort, or a paining tooth, when you are at your wits end with a problem at work? God is a big God indeed, but very much interested in the small things as in the big things in your life.

What is prayer then? Is it about the rituals of time, place or order – it is more about realising that God is there for you when you need help. Whisper a word, a phrase or a sentence, cry, shout, speak loudly, speak softly {just know it matters less how you do, but that you do it}. On its own, “Help God!” would suffice at the moment you require the help from God.

Tough Questions: Where do you run to when you need help? Who is on your Speed-Dial? Is it a girlfriend, husband, parent, sibling, child, the bank, TV, Facebook or Google? Or is it God? Does God come first on your mind when you need help?

Lesson: If only God were on our speed-dial, we would be sure of real help! Try Him today.