“Lord, make haste to help me.” Psalm 70:2
This particular bible verse has been one I’ve heard numerous times. Often, it was while I overheard my husband praying the Liturgy of the Hours. More recently, Fr. Mike Schmitz referenced it during his Homily from the First Sunday of Lent. Basically, it’s one I’ve heard plenty of times, but never actually heard.
Back in August 2022, I made the decision to start praying Morning, Evening and Night prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. The inspiration behind this endeavor was that I had witnessed my husband pray all 5 traditional prayers from the Liturgy of the Hours for a few years, and I thought to myself “wow, he’s got a lot figured out in regards to his faith and trust in God… and I could always use some help… so let’s start there.” The first few weeks, I’d wake up with my husband, trek out to the couch, and pray Morning Prayer silently next to him while he did the same. Then I would pray Evening Prayer while we both patiently waited for our children to fall asleep. Finally, while laying in bed, we’d pray Night Prayer together. We can skip all of the details of what happened next (aka – I got lazy and didn’t feel it “working”), but now I only pray Night Prayer with him. There are lots of graces that have come from praying together right before we drift off to sleep. However, one thing that I’ve been able to actually grasp onto is the first call and response that occurs: “God, come to my assistance.” “Lord, make haste to help me.”
The first few times I responded with “Lord, make haste to help me”, I was puzzled at the simplicity of that statement. It struck me how much that it covered. Lord, come quickly! Lord, help me! Lord, I need you! It almost left me dumbfounded. Why had it taken me actually verbalizing these words, even though I heard them numerous times, to recognize the impact they can have.
I have this “problem” where I get stuck in a certain mindset of following certain “rules” or “checking boxes” when it comes to my personal relationship with God. I want to believe that following the “rules” when it comes to prayer and Church teachings automatically means I’m Heaven-bound and can call God my best friend. I will start praying or reading certain things in hopes that it will make me feel like I am, in fact, Heaven-bound and that suddenly I can feel God in everything I do. The truth, as you might suspect, is that simply praying or reading by the rules doesn’t do much for me. I quickly turn it all into “checking the box”. Then I get upset with myself that I’ve turned it into that, so I stop. I want to feel! I want to know! You’d think by now that I would know that it takes so much more to allow God in my life.
“Lord, make haste to help me” has been something that will stop my anxious thoughts – not only right before bed as I’m saying them out loud, but also in moments where I feel overwhelmed, confused, lost, or simply tired. I say that simple statement to myself, and it settles me. Sometimes I say it a few times in a row if I’m really desperate. It’s become my prayer. It’s become something I have been able to rely on to not only calm my own self, but to help open my heart up to God – and His will for that particular moment or decision or action or conversation I’m about to embark on.
Has it helped me allow God in? Absolutely.
Has it helped me feel God? Most every single time, yes.
Has it reminded me that “Thy will be done”? Every single time.
Did it take me surrendering even just a little the first time I said these six words outloud to make an impact? Yes.
Every night when I say these words out loud, they ground me. Sometimes saying them makes me laugh thinking about how many times I could have said them that day instead of worrying. In a world where I feel like I have absolutely zero control sometimes, this prayer has reminded me that God is ready to run in and give me peace. God is ready and waiting to quickly come into my heart. God is there for me when I ask Him for help. God has full control, and I need help remembering that… quickly!