Help Me Out, Lord

A Prayer of Lament

Help me out, Lord.

Out of resentment.
Help me see the beam in my eye, not the splinter in my brother’s eye.
Help me see the beam on which the Savior died for me.

Out of confusion.
I just don’t understand my life.
Why have you allowed this to happen to me?
Why have you allowed me to happen to others?
But then I don’t have to understand, do I?
Help me to see your will for me, now—
to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;
to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness;
to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength;
to love my neighbor as myself;
to love as you loved me and gave yourself for me, crying,
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

Out of self-pity.
I mean, really. Has anyone suffered as you did?
And you didn’t even deserve it.
Help me to see beyond the painful rod of discipline, to the loving hand wielding it, and to the blows that fell upon my Savior’s back, endured that I might become a beloved child.
Help me to look beyond the little thorn in my flesh to the crown of thorns piercing your kingly brow;
beyond this momentary affliction to the eternal weight of glory purchased for me by the lash, the nails, the spear, the Cross, the tomb.

Out of remorse and guilt for my inexcusable sins against your merciful majesty.
“The remembrance of them is grievous unto us, the burden of them is intolerable. . . .”
What was going through my twisted mind, that I should act that way?
What vile poison infests my sin-soaked soul, that I should so brazenly violate your holy laws, and so frequently—even constantly—flout your clear commands?
How could I so treat the one who has made me, saved me, come to dwell in me?
How could I so mistreat those who are made in your image, bought with your blood, destined for your glory?

Help me to see beyond my horrible crimes to your holy compassion;
beyond my guilt to your grace;
beyond my sin to your salvation;
beyond my wickedness to the wealth of your mercy;
beyond the death that I deserve to the death that you died;
beyond the Father’s righteous wrath to the love of Calvary;
beyond my weakness to the power of the resurrection.

Help me to look to Jesus, my merciful and faithful High Priest, who even now intercedes for me, whose prayers, offered in the Spirit, are always heard by the Father.

Help me out, Lord.
As you helped Abraham, and Isaac, and devious Jacob;
Joseph, and his dastardly brothers;
Moses, Aaron, and the disobedient children of the Exodus;
Samson the judge and Samson the condemned prisoner;
David the sweet singer and David the seductive sinner;
righteous Daniel in the lions’ den; renegade Jonah in the belly of the great fish;
holy Hezekiah on his bed of sickness; unholy Manasseh in a Babylonian prison;
Peter walking on the waters; Peter sinking under the waves through unbelief;
Paul in prison; Paul in prison; Paul in prison . . .
faithful Paul with his thorn;
sinful Paul, who confessed:
“I know that in me, that in my flesh dwells no good thing;”
and who confessed again:
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Help me out, Lord.
As you have so many times before.
Thank you, Lord. Again.

G. Wright Doyle ( is director of China Institute, an organization that seeks to bring the gospel to Chinese people around the world.