Many of us are familiar with the disciple Peter, who, after seeing Jesus walk across the Sea of Galilee, stepped out of the boat and walked on water toward Jesus. At some point in those miraculous steps, Peter became frightened and began sinking into the water. He cried out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:23-33). These three simple words form the basis of the most powerful, simplest prayer. This simple prayer can guide us in our own prayers and in teaching others how to pray.
First, we guide others in calling out to the only One who can help them: the Lord. We don’t pray to some cosmic force, an unknown deity, nor one of the many gods worshiped in other religions. Instead, we call out to the Almighty God through Jesus, our Savior.
Second is the action verb “save.” This four-letter word communicates so much of the human experience. An English dictionary gives the following definitions for "save": rescue from danger or from pain and fear; spare one from suffering, anxiety, or the unknown; and stop the spread of illness, infection, or cancer. And of course, “save” is also used to communicate what Jesus does for those who believe in Him. “The Son of Man [Jesus] came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
The final word “me” is more than a personal pronoun. It is an intimate identification as a child of God. The Lord of heaven, the Creator of the universe knows each hair on our heads, the health of the cells in our bodies, and the number of days in our lives.
“Lord, save me” is a simple prayer, but it communicates the immensity of the needs of humanity calling out to the only power able to effect change. You as a nurse can pray this prayer for patients or clients; pray it silently, or with their permission, aloud. Insert their name for "me." Pray it for your colleagues and for yourself. Then, rest in confidence knowing the Lord will answer this simple, potent prayer.
This article is adapted from the December 7, 2019 blog post, NCFI Cares: The Simplest Prayer by Carrie Dameron.
The mission of NCFI (Nurses Christian Fellowship International) is to equip and encourage Christian nurses to integrate biblical principles and Christ-centered values in clinical practice, leadership, education, and research.