Asking for help

Posted on July 18, 2016 · Posted in Prayer, Wisdom


Most of us are not very good at asking for help. Asking in a way that humbly acknowledges your need, that shows respect and appreciation for God and others and does so in a way that is not selfish is a life skill that will benefit you and your children.

In 2 Chronicles King Asa provides an excellent example of how to ask for help. Asa is faced with doing battle against an army that is significantly larger than the army of Judah. He needs help:

Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”
2 Chronicles 14:11

Let’s break down this request into three parts.

Ask the right person.

Asa acknowledges the uniqueness of God and speaks of his attributes that apply to his request. This pattern would also apply if you asking another person for help. In other words, when asking a another person, ask someone who can truly help and not make matters worse. When asking God for help, there is no reason to doubt. He can always give the best help with anything you might ask.

Specifically identify why you are asking for help.

In Asa’s case he is asking for God to defend Judah from a large, hostile advancing army. Again, God knows exactly what you need before you ask. And he is able to give it to you. But, it is always the course of humility and wisdom to state specifically how and why you need help. When it comes to asking people for help, don’t just assume that they are able to give the assistance you want or that they know what you need. If you don’t make a specific request, the help you receive may not be what you needed.

In any request for help, always make the honor of God the bottom line.

Asa ends his request by asking God to bring honor to his own great name. This keeps the request from being selfish. This is important! As Paul says, everything is to be done in the name of Christ and for his glory. So, if you are asking another person for help, your most important reason for asking is so that God will be honored. For example, asking for a loan when you do not have the means to pay it back, may solve a temporary problem. But a request like this does not bring honor to God and will only create a bigger mess for you.

Follow Asa’s example and use these three guidelines. This practice will be a blessing to you and to your children.

Marry Wisely, Marry Well

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.