BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God’” (Matthew 14:22-33 NKJV).
In verse 27 of the passage above, Jesus told the disciples “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Initially, Peter wasn’t afraid as he began to walk upon water but verse 30 says when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid and began to sink. Peter might have been afraid and sinking, his next step was correct. As he was sinking, he cried, “Lord, save me!” Jesus did just that – He saved him.
If Peter had not cried out for Jesus to save him, he would have drowned. So while many people focus on the fact that Peter was afraid and began to sink and criticize him for this, they fail to see that he did the right thing by calling upon Jesus to save him. That is a lesson for you and me. We may have erred by doing some things wrong; we should know the next right thing to do. Don’t concentrate on your efforts alone. Your best efforts will, many times, not be enough without the help of God. Learn to look unto Jesus the author and the finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2).
That three-word prayer “Lord, save me” is probably one of the most powerful prayers you can ever pray. Learn to cry to the Lord to save you. It is not a sign of failure; it is a recognition of your limitation and a demonstration of your faith in the Lord.
There is another story in Matthew 8:23-27 where the prayer “Lord, save me!” could be seen. “Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?’ Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’” (NKJV).
From that passage, you can see that the disciples were in a similar situation as Peter was. Jesus was in the boat with them and Jesus was sleeping while the tempest on the sea was beating against the boat. The disciples woke Him up and cried, “Lord, save us!” Jesus rebuked them for their little faith and rebuked the winds and the sea. Great calm was restored.
You may blame the disciples for their lack of faith but they could also, in panic, have done the wrong thing and perished. But they did the right thing. They knew where to get what they lacked. They knew who to call upon who was very much in the same boat with them. They didn’t die because of their inaction or wrong actions.
What do you do when you face a similar situation like the one Peter and the other disciples were in? You don’t have to perish because of your failure or limitation. Call upon the Lord to save you. Whosoever calls on the Lord shall be saved. There is no other condition given other than to call upon Him – “Lord, save me!” Paul, quoting from Joel 2:32, says “For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 NKJV). Peter, also speaking in Acts 2:21, quoted from the same scripture. Whether for the salvation of your soul or deliverance from danger, call upon the name of the Lord.
No matter how precarious your condition is, learn to call upon His name; the Lord will save you. Cry, “Lord, save me!” and see what will happen next. It’s a short prayer but very powerful, very effectual. “Lord, save me!” is an alarm to God for divine intervention – it’s an SOS! “When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the LORD your God, and you will be saved from your enemies” (Numbers 10:9 NKJV). Did you see that? “Lord, save me!” is an alarm, and God will always respond to it. The latter part of that scripture assures, “and you will be remembered before the LORD your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.”
When you cry, “Lord, save me!” what you are saying to God is that you are helpless but you put your trust in Him. Salvation belongs to the Lord and He will save you. He saved Peter when he was sinking and held his hand and the two of them walked back into the boat. That means Peter still walked on water!
You can still walk on the same water – the same business, examination, project, etc. – where you’re sinking. In the same area where you’ve failed, you can still succeed if you’ll cry to the Lord to save you. He’ll save your marriage, business, children, etc. All you need to do is not to be self-sufficient or self-reliant and cry to Him to save you. You’ll experience a great calm if you cry to the Lord to save you in the midst of the raging storm in your life, destiny, home, career, health, etc.
Just as God saved Peter and the disciples, He had earlier in the Old Testament saved David when he was in trouble fleeing from Absalom and cried to the LORD to save him. David lamented his trouble and helplessness but didn’t fail to cry to the LORD to save him. “Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongs to the LORD.Your blessing is upon Your people” (Psalm 3:7-8 NKJV).
Pride will not let some people seek help from someone else until their trouble destroys them. Some people may try to justify not asking for help from fellow human beings, but what justification will someone have for refusing to ask God for help, especially in a time of trouble? He is a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).
What wisdom is there in that foolishness? Who are you trying to impress by not asking for help from God? Do you want to take the credit for yourself, your intelligence, and your efforts? Is it that you don’t want to give the glory to God?
David is considered a great warrior, but he never said he didn’t need God’s help; he never failed to ask for God’s help, especially whenever he was at his wits’ end. Be wise! David prayed in Psalm 7:1-2: “O LORD my God, in You I put my trust; save me from all those who persecute me; and deliver me, Lest they tear me like a lion, rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver” (NKJV).
God didn’t disappoint David. He delivered him. In many of his psalms, we see David asking the Lord to deliver or save him. If one goes through the kind of troubles that David had, one would be foolish not to seek the help of the Lord. And the LORD answered David because he put his trust in Him, and would always give the glory to God for answering him.
The author of Psalm 118 is not indicated in the Bible, but the psalmist prayed, “Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity” (Psalm 118:25 NKJV). That’s a good prayer point for you to pray. Also earlier in Psalm 116:1-14, the psalmist was in the danger of death, surrounded by trouble and sorrow, and he cried to the Lord to save him. He did.
Trust in the Lord
In order to experience His salvation in the valley of the shadow of death, and the danger surrounding you, you must put your trust in the Lord. That is the key to enjoying the salvation of the Lord. Isaiah 12:2 says, “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song;
He also has become my salvation’” (NKJV).
The Prophet Micah lived in a terrible time when people were not living uprightly. He counseled not to trust anyone, not even someone who lay on one’s bosom (Micah 7:5-8). If you must enjoy God’s salvation, you must put your trust in God, not in anything else. Don’t trust in your bow or sword to save you (Psalm 44:6). Trust in God’s power to save you as David did. “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me”(Psalm 138:7 NKJV).
If you cry to the Lord to save you, you can rest assured that your trouble will not consume you because God’s presence will be with you. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:2 NKJV).
Here is another sure-fire assurance by God: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV). If you say that’s in the Old Testament and you want one in the New Testament, here it is, directly from the mouth of Jesus the Saviour: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b NKJV). Lord, save me!
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T.O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523