God Save Me - Again?

Question
I am a born again Christian, but at times I feel like praying "God save me" because of my present circumstances and sin in my life. Is this proper? Can I be saved again?
Answer

Your question is a great testimony of a growing faith! Yes, once a person is truly born again, they cannot be saved again. However, there are several things that come about in our lives from day to day (hour to hour, minute to minute, and second to second) that we need to be saved from. Part of a prayer I often pray for myself is:

Heavenly Lord, Creator and Master of All, Holy Redeemer,

Save me from certain desires and the lack of others.
Save me from myself, the world and all its trappings.
Save me from abiding and present sin.
Save me from thinking evil thoughts.
Save me from needless chatter.
Save me from wasted time and an idle mind.
Save me from wondering eyes.
Save me from treasures other than your own.
Save me from false motivations.

Yes, Lord save me from demons, and Satan himself - which are most hideous. These you take out with a mere finger. But Lord what I fear most - save me from the most horrible of all - myself. (Jer. 17:9).

Save me anew to yourself every day.

This small portion of a much longer prayer is a recognition of my need(s). Though I know I am ALREADY saved from ALL of the above, I also know that I sin in some of the above areas - more often than I even realize. Though I am ALREADY saved, the prayer above is a confession of my sin as well as an acknowledgement of my present faith of the only One that can save.

There are several verses that relate to such a theme. Here are some examples (KJV, as it uses the exact phase "save me"):

Psalm 3:7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

Psalm 6:4 Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.

Psalm 7:1 O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

Psalm 31:2 Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me.

Psalm 31:16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.

Psalm 54:1 Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.

Psalm 55:16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.

Psalm 57:3 He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

Psalm 59:2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.

Psalm 71:2 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.

Psalm 71:3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

Psalm 109:26 Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:

Psalm 119:94 I am thine, save me: for I have sought thy precepts.

Psalm 119:146 I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.

Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

Isaiah 38:20 The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.

Matthew 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

Even Jesus who NEVER sinned and did not need to be born again found an occasion to pray:

John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

Our ancestors also prayed such prayers. Here are some of the Puritan prayers taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett:

Confession and Petition

Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power.

I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering 'no' to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule. I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction. Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in Thee. Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.

The Deeps

Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me chastely to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone.

Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.

Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may be a tilled field, the roots of grace spreading far and wide, until Thou alone art seen in me, Thy beauty golden like summer harvest, Thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.

I have no master but Thee, no law but Thy will, no delight but Thyself, no wealth but that Thou givest, no good but that Thou blessest, no peace but that Thou bestowest. I am nothing but that Thou makest me. I have nothing but that I receive from Thee. I can be nothing but that grace adorns me. Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living water.

Evening Renewal

My Father, if Thy mercy had bounds, where would be my refuge from just wrath? But thy love in Christ is without measure. Thus, I present myself to Thee with sins of comission and omission, against Thee, my Father, against Thee, adorable redeemer, against Thee and Thy strivings, O Holy Spirit, against the dictates of my conscience, against the precepts of Thy Word, against my neighbours and myself. Enter not into judgment with me, for I plead no righteousness of my own, and have no cloak for iniquity. Pardon my day dark with evil.

This night I renew my penitence. Every morning I vow to love Thee more fervently, to serve Thee more sincerely, to be more devoted in my life, to be wholly Thine; Yet I soon stumble, backslide, and have to confess my weakness, misery and sin. But I bless Thee that the finished work of Jesus needs no addition from my doings, that His oblation is sufficient satisfaction for my sins.

If future days be mine, help me to amend my life, to hate and abhor evil, to flee the sins I confess. Make me more resolute, more watchful, more prayerful. Let no evil fruit spring from evil seeds my hands have sown; Let no neighbour be hardened in vanity and folly by my want of circumspection. If this day I have been ashamed of Christ and His Word, or have shown unkindness, malice, envy, lack of love, unadvised speech, hasty temper, let it be no stumbling block to others, or dishonour to Thy name. O help me to set an upright example that will ever rebuke vice, allure to goodness, and evidence that lovely are the ways of Christ.

Heart Corruptions

O God, may Thy Spirit speak in me that I may speak to thee. I have no merit, let the merit of Jesus stand for me. I am undeserving, but I look to Thy tender mercy. I am full of infirmities, wants, sin; Thou art full of grace. I confess my sin, my frequent sin, my wilful sin; all my powers of body and soul are defiled: a fountain of pollution is deep within my nature. There are chambers of foul images within my being; I have gone from one odious room to another, walked in a no man's land of dangerous imaginations, pried into the secrets of my fallen nature.

I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself; I have no green shoot in me nor fruit, but thorns and thistles; I am a fading leaf that the wind drives away; I live bare and barren as a winter tree, unprofitable, fit to be hewn down and burnt. Lord, dost Thou have mercy on me?

Thou hast struck a heavy blow at my pride, at the false god of self, and I lie in pieces before Thee. But Thou hast given me another master and lord, Thy Son, Jesus, and now my heart is turned towards holiness, my life speeds as an arrow from a bow towards complete obedience to Thee. Help me in all my doings to put down sin and to humble pride. Save me from the love of the world and the pride of life, from everything that is natural to fallen man, and let Christ's nature be seen in me day by day. Grant me grace to bear Thy will without repining, and delight to be not only chiselled, squared, or fashioned, but separated from the old rock where I have been embedded so long, and lifted from the quarry to the upper air, where I may be built in Christ for ever.

Purification

Lord Jesus, I sin. Grant that I may never cease grieving because of it, never be content with myself, never think I can reach a point of perfection. Kill my envy, command my tongue, trample down self. Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable, to live for Thee and not for self, to copy Thy words, acts, spirit, to be transformed into Thy likeness, to be consecrated wholly to Thee, to live entirely to Thy glory.

Deliver me from attachment to things unclean, from wrong associations, from the predominance of evil passions, from the sugar of sin as well as its gap; that with self loathing, deep contrition, earnest heart searching I may come to Thee, cast myself on Thee, trust in Thee, cry to Thee, be delivered by Thee.

O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that all things are shadows, but Thou art substance, all things are quicksands, but Thou art mountain, all things are shifting, but Thou art anchor, all things are ignorance, but Thou art wisdom.

If my life is to be a crucible amid burning heat, so be it, but do Thou sit at the furnace mouth to watch the ore that nothing be lost. If I sin wilfully, grievously, tormentedly, in grace take away my mourning and give me music; remove my sackcloth and clothe me with beauty; still my sighs and fill my mouth with song, then give me summer weather as a Christian.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.

"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Mark 9:24.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).