Lord, I Need Your Help

In case you missed my P31 devotion yesterday, I wanted to share it with you here.  When I woke up Wednesday morning, these were my exact words – Lord, I need your help. Life is a little overwhelming at the Swope house these days. Although my marriage is great now, my need to cry out to God for help is constant with my daughter Aster’s developmental delays and daily routines. The teaching part of this devotion was such a good reminder for me.  Praying He uses it to encourage your heart today.

“In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help.” Psalm 18:6a (NIV 1984)

I don’t know exactly when it started, I just remember feeling angry and frustrated with my husband – almost every single day – for weeks.

One evening after a pretty intense “discussion,” J.J. told me that no matter what he did or how hard he tried, it was never enough. He was right. I constantly found fault in him as a husband and as a dad.

But the fact that he implied I was impossible to please … well that sent my already-unreasonable emotions reeling. I grabbed my coat and stormed out the front door. Hot tears streaming down my cheeks, I replayed our conversation in my head.

Determined to figure out what his problem was and get Jesus to fix him, I started telling on J.J. – to God.

As I filed my complaints against my husband, I finally heard myself. All the ugliness that was in my heart. All the anger spewing out of my mouth.

That’s when I realized, I need help.

I needed God to show me what was going on. To help me figure out how, after seven years of a happy marriage, had we gotten to this ugly place?

Instead of just crying, I found myself crying out to God for help.

King David was much better at this than I am. He had a habit of crying out to God for help when he was in distress. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible Commentary tells us that in Psalm 18:6, “‘In my distress’ refers, most probably, not to any particular case, but rather indicates [David’s] general habit of mind, that when he was in deep distress and danger he had uniformly called upon the Lord, and had found him ready to help.”

That night, when I stopped talking and started listening, I sensed God showing me I wanted J.J. to make up for what my dad had never been as a father to me and as a husband to my mom.

Years as a child in a broken home with a broken heart had led to a significant sense of loss and deep disappointment. Yet, I never grieved the happily-ever-after I longed for, but didn’t have.

Unfulfilled hopes became bitter expectations.

Trying to create my own version of “happily-ever-after,” I became controlling and critical. I thought if I could get J.J. to be the husband and dad I wanted him to be maybe my broken dreams could be put back together.

But I was wrong. Instead of expecting my husband to make up for my losses, I needed to cry out to God with my hurts and call on Him for help.

Are there hurts that hold you hostage? Expectations no one could really ever meet? Been trying to fix someone or a situation? Need some help today?

I know I do, and God is there.

Waiting for us to cry out to Him. Not just once, expecting a quick answer. But like the dependence we see in King David, we need God’s help on a regular basis.

As I processed what had happened in my childhood and how it affected my marriage, I learned to ask God for help through each step of my healing journey.

I asked Him to help me find the security I needed by letting Him be the father I longed for. I asked Him to help me grieve the loss of things I wanted from my dad that I would never have. I asked Him to help me forgive my father and release feelings of anger, abandonment and hurt. I asked Him to help me release my unrealistic expectations of my husband and let go of my fight for a “happily-ever-after.”

It was a process that took time, prayer, and courage, but God was my very present Help who showed me how to let go of my past and my pain, so I could take hold of hope and healing.

By the way, I’m crazy about my husband now. And so very thankful for the day I finally asked the Lord for help.

Dear Lord, I cry out to You today. I need Your help in my _______________. Please show me where to start and be my Help each step of the way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Are there hurts that hold you hostage? Expectations no one could really ever meet? Been trying to fix someone or a situation? In your distress, call to the Lord. Cry to God for help. 

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.


  1. Karen in PA says:

    Lord God I lift Aster up to You, that your loving care are with her and Renee and the entire Swope family at this time of challenge for them. You are so loving and good, Father, please give Renee strength and wisdom as she faces these challenges with her daughter. Heal Aster, Lord, In Jesus Holy Name, Amen

  2. This is exactly what I needed yesterday and the reminder today. Thank you for sharing such a private struggle and showing us, me especially, that we are not alone in this. You inspire me daily.

  3. Renee,
    Thank you for sharing. I am at this point with my husband right now! Everything he says and does irritates me and upsets me. We share more harsh words than loving ones. I don’t want this to be my life! I feel that I cry out to God and things may get better for a day or two, but then the ugly cycle starts all over again!! Your message is encouraging to me that it can and will get better.

    Thank You.

    • Toni, we are experiencing the same thing in our 34 year old marriage. I have done tons and tons of praying. I felt like God suggested a third party to help and finally hubby agreed to go to counseling. I found a Christian male that communication and marriage was his specialty. Had our first session last week as a get to know you and 2 nd is tmrw. I prayed this morn for God’s guidance in the session. I will be praying for you as well!
      God does hear us and answers!

  4. Angela Gordon says:


    My son was diagnosed with severe verbal speech Apraxia at 2 1/2 years old. He is now 3 1/2. We were told he would never talk. He is now talking, but still has Apraxia. Through lots of searching we have found vitimin supplements that have had a profound and possitive effect on his speech! My friend just called me and told me she was listening to K-love and you came on and mentioned your daughters Apraxia. She wanted me to get in contact with you asap! So here I am! I would love to shair with you what I know and what has worked for my son and so many others like him.

    Angela Gordon

  5. These were the right words for the right time for me. I have been battling my own demons from my childhood big time today. Thank You God for this devotional and thank you Renee for being faithful to the ministry to which God has called you.

  6. Heavenly Father I am here crying out to you to surround the Swope family in this time. Cover them with your wings of shelter and pour out your annointing on Aster at this time. We know that when we cry out to you that you hear us and turn your ear to us. Hold this family close Lord and surround them all!

  7. Oh yes, why yes, I have expected my husband to fill the holes he isn’t meant to fill. And then I get angry and disappointed. And think he’s a big jerk. When he’s doing his best to love a sometimes very needy gal. Only God can satisfy the hungry sometimes bottomless heartfelt need for love.
    Yes, Lord, I need your help today and every day. And please do settle the Swope household with your peace and love and hope…and thank you so much that Renee is crazy about her man. Allow her to express that love to him today freely. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

  8. @somerskys1 says:

    Good Morning! Heavenly FATHER i am thanking u that u r healing ASTER from the top of her head to the soles of her feet, I also ask u FATHER to heal Renee completely in her mind and emotions. I know u already know this renee, ur husband cares about ASTERS healing in a different way than we do as women. but He still cares as deep for her healing as we do. RENEE GOD IS HEALING U OF THOSE UNWANTED EMOTIONS right now MARK 11:23 GOD ALWAYS HEARS ALWAYS ANSWERS. I am a survivor of A MASSIVE MASSIVE BRAIN HEMMORRAGE that slowly GOD IS HEALING SO I KNOW GOD HEARS AND ANSWERS IMPPOSSIBLE IMPOSSIBLE situations:;D

  9. Dear Renee,
    I wanted you to know that I was at She Speaks this year. When you were on stage and mentioned that Aster had developmental delays, my heart felt like it was leaping onto the stage and hugging you! Our 3-year-old, Henry, was diagnosed with a developmental delay in speech earlier this year, but it was later determined to be high-functioning autism. I know all too well the burden of tests, appointments, evaluations, and therapies. Prayers for you, JJ, and Aster today.
    Meredith Dangel

  10. O gosh this is so my life right now.. I just cried when I read this.. It is me up and down.. Thanks for this article..

  11. I too find myself judging and not being able to get past the infidelity in my marriage.I pray that the Good Lord remove these thoughts and pictures in my mind that keep playing over and over.

    We have been married for 30 years. I feel so lost at times, not sure weather it is going to begin healing.
    Please pray for my marriage, for I myself find it hard to pray at times. I resent the distrust I now feel.

    Father God Please create in me a clean heart and renew a good spirit in us.

    Thank you for the chance to vent.

  12. It never fails just when i need it God speaks to me. Im struggling with my relationship with my daughter. This has been going on for several years now. It has affected my relationship with my husband. When you said you were controlling, trying to have that happliy ever after you never had…that struck me. Thats what i have been doing my entire adult life. I was married and divorced from an unfaithful and abusive man and had 3 children to raise. When i remarried i had all these high expectations that my husband couldnt live up to and i put so much pressure on him it made it worse and so did my children but my middle daughter acted out the most in her dissapointment she has become very bitter and rebellious and angry. Our relationship is in shambles and now she has a daughter who is growing up in a broken home as well. I cry out to God all day everyday and. Readintg this just made me weep. My Lord please help me in my distress. Heal my family.

  13. Oh, how beautiful your words were! I never dreamed I would come to a spot today where I could listen to someone and sense the sincerity and love that you have given out in your testimony. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to God and then sharing with others. I can understand now, why Billie thinks you are such a wonderful person. Love in Christ Diana

  14. Meg Bigler says:

    Renee, I have been Studying your book ‘A Confident Heart” for sometime know…I was going thru a difficult time understanding God purpose for me and trying to find courage to live my daily life with confidence! I will tell you that with God’s word, your book, and the trials that have been going on in my life…I have chosen to no longer live in the insecurity that Satan wants me to live in and will not listen to his voice any longer but will choose to listen to the voice of truth!! Yes God’s Voice! If feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to read your book and share it with others. Thank you Renee for all that you do to encourage us, pray for us and share with us each day. You are one of Gods many blessings!!! Thank you for sharing!


  15. ISue Moore says:

    Your words seem to come straight from my heart, head and life itself. I thank you for the direction that I will take from reading your words today. I have read many of your blogs before. Today I was drawn to read what you have been saying because I heard you on KLOVE Radio this morning. You said your daughter was diagnosed with Apraxia. My son was diagnosed with severe Global Apraxia when he was 5 after many years of struggling with why he wasn’t speaking. Renee, it is a long story but a glorious one! That was 12 years ago and he is now 17, a Junior in High School taking college level courses and you would NEVER know he ever had a problem! I prayed and prayed and our God sent me Angels by the way of fabulous Speech Therapists and Occupational Therapists as well as Reading Resource teachers when the time came. We had our challenges!!! But he is an amazing young man who worked through them all and overcame them – “Blessed are those that persevere” – Would love to offer you support – it will be OK!

  16. i am not a christian but i have read ur book nd i am highly inspired by it.i face the same situtation.my dad has always mistreated my mom becoz she is a housewife.and that broken child in me want love of my dad and a happy family.since i am puttng too much pressure on him i am not happy in my current realtionship
    god plz help me and all those who face the same problem

  17. I want to thank you for a daily devotion which lead me to buy A Confident Heart. I have just started reading but it is as if was talking directly to me. I have been struggling with self esteem and confidence insecurities .
    I feel as if a mountain has been lifting off my shoulders . I have allowed Doubt to become natural and I sought a psychiatrist visit . He proceeded to tell me in 5 minutes like he’d known me all my life. This book has given me in 1 chapter the true explanation of self doubt symptoms. I wnt to thank you for the daily devotions as they speak directly to someone each day. I will continue reading but wanted you and readers to know about your special gift and for sharing it with me
    I will mo longer give doubt control

  18. “It was a process that took time, prayer, and courage, but God was my very present Help who showed me how to let go of my past and my pain, so I could take hold of hope and healing.”

    What you wrote describes where I’m at – in the process. Sometimes there is added frustration when I don’t see immediate results but your words are a timely reminder – it takes time, prayer, and courage. I am so grateful that God is my refuge… a very present and patient Help to me.

  19. Hi Renee,
    You said I could post today in case I needed prayer, and I do, for my heart please. I would like to please understand and not take for granted that God’s plan is greater than mine, and that he has every good intention for my heart. I pray for your sweet little girl, as there is nothing better in the whole world than little girl love. With thanks and many blessings, Cin

  20. Renee,
    I caught only a minute of the Proverbs 31 woman a couple of days ago, but I’m guessing it was the only minute I was supposed to catch. My daughter is 24 years old and was diagnosed at 2 years, 10 months with apraxia. She was in speech therapy from then until her senior year when she showed up at her IEP and told the powers that be “I don’t want to take speech anymore!” There is definitely something different about her speech, but it’s more like she’s from “somewhere else”, not like impairment. So please, don’t let anyone make you feel like there can’t be anything more than what you are experiencing now. There is no reason why your daughter won’t be able to speak or communicate with you or her peers. Our God is greater than any diagnosis. My daughter is also borderline cognitively impaired, ADHD, has central processing disorder, and is OCD. In spite of all of that, she has received her Certified Nurses’ Assistant certificate and due to my poor health, helps me raise my 7 year old son. I can leave this world and not worry about her taking care of herself. God is good…ALL THE TIME.

  21. WOW!
    This speaks to me SO much!! its like you were writing about ME!
    I need help

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  23. when i feel like im taking two steps forward im pushed back 100 steps back. lord i need you now.i dont know what else to do please help me.homeless and tired,who do i turn to i need help.

  24. Walter Taylor says:

    I turned my back on Jesus Christ and need help to get back in His will and know what His gift for my life is ok

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