You’ve come here because you need help.

Who doesn’t? You know you can’t make it on your own. None of us can. The good news is that there is a lifeline. We can speak simple, heartfelt words to our Creator and know that he listens to us and will respond. Prayer is not a religious formula. You don’t have to say just the right words or repeat them a certain number of times. Prayer is an honest conversation with God, and you can be confident that he loves and cares about you.

Even the most minor details of our lives matter to him. And the power of prayer is that he’s at the other end of the conversation. Imagine the difference between talking to your best friend and someone you’ve never met. With your best friend, you can be yourself because that person already knows you and has accepted you for who you are. Everything changes when we realize who is hearing our voice.

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him. – Psalm 40:1-3

When Jesus was on the earth, people didn’t just come to hear him teach. They came to him because they needed help. They were honest, broken people who needed a Savior — just like us. They brought the hard things of life to him. When people were sick, they came to Jesus. When people were grieving, they came to Jesus. When people were hungry, they came to Jesus. When people were sinful and in need of mercy, they came to Jesus. When people were tormented and confused, they came to Jesus. And he never turned anyone away!

Here are four stories showing how much Jesus wanted to help. These examples are how we know that prayer is a God-given lifeline.

Luke 7:36-50 – In this story, a sinful woman (probably a prostitute) approaches Jesus at a religious leader’s dinner. She washes Jesus’ feet and worships him as Lord. The leaders are dissatisfied, but Jesus does not rebuke the woman for her demonstration of remorse. Instead, he offers her forgiveness and kindness and rebukes the leaders for their hard and unforgiving hearts.

John 11:17-45 – Jesus wept with his friends. Mary and Martha’s brother Lazarus had died. Jesus felt their pain and cried with them over their loss. But that’s not where this story ends. Jesus revealed that he is the resurrection and the life. He gave this family a gift they would never forget and raised Lazarus back to life.

Mark 5:21-43 – Jesus heals two people in this story. On his way to heal a sick girl, a woman with an issue of blood stops Jesus and experiences powerful healing from a sickness she’d had for years.

Mark 6:33-44 – Thousands of people followed Jesus during his earthly ministry. This day he taught the people for hours on end. They were in the middle of nowhere, and the people were hungry and without food. Jesus makes a meal out of thin air and satisfies their physical and spiritual hunger.

Real Stories: Real Answers to Prayer

These stories give you confidence that God wants to meet you with whatever you’re facing right now. He is full of compassion and power. Sometimes God doesn’t respond in the way we think he will or in the timeframe we think he should, but he will never ignore an honest cry for help. The Bible is full of stories of people who asked God for help and found that he answered in amazing ways! Do you want to ask Jesus about specific needs in your life? Begin a conversation with him today.

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