Lord, Save Me!

Bible Book: Matthew  14 : 30
Subject: Prayer
Series: Simple, Urgent Prayers

In some of our recent Sunday morning services, I have been dealing with prayers that were simple prayers. But these prayers were also substantial prayers. These are personal prayers in the Bible that have a tone of urgency to them.

We have looked at Exodus 33:18 where Moses said, “Shew me thy glory.”

We have looked at Psalm 139:23 where David said, “Search me.”

We have looked at Isaiah 6 where Isaiah said in verse 8, “Here am I; send me.”

We have looked at Judges 16:28 where Samson said, “Strengthen me.”

This morning, we’re looking at the prayer of Simon Peter who said in Matthew 14:30, “Lord, save me.”

Now this is not an unusual prayer in the scripture. There are a number of times throughout God’s word where someone said to God, “Save me,” especially in the book of Psalms. For example, the psalmist said…

(Psalms 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.

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

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

(Psalms 22:21) Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

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

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

(Psalms 39:13) O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.

(Psalms 54:1) Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.

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

(Psalms 69:1) Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.

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

(Psalms 109:26) Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:

(Psalms 119:94) I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.

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

Jeremiah said…

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

Nehemiah said…

(Nehemiah 13:22) And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John record the fact that Jesus walked on the water of the sea of Galilee. But Matthew’s account in Matthew 14 records something that neither Mark nor John have in their accounts, and that is the fact that Simon Peter walked on the water. “But,” the Bible says in Matthew 14:30, “when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.”

Charles Spurgeon said…

Where did Peter pray this prayer? It was not in a place set apart for public worship, or in his usual place for private prayer; but he prayed this prayer just as he was sinking in the water. He was in great peril, so he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

Arno Gaebelein wrote…

What made Peter sink after he stepped out so boldly and walked on the stormy waves to meet his Lord? It was a boisterous wind; and Peter, instead of looking to Jesus only, was frightened by that boisterous wind and began to sink. Has this not been repeated in our own experience? We heard His voice, we separated ourselves, we followed Him, and then the enemy raised some boisterous wind. He always does when we desire to follow the Lord in all things. Oh, how often we made the same mistake which Peter made! Looking away from the Coming One, the One who is able to save to the uttermost, our feet began to sink and to slip back.

I guess we’re all familiar with Jeff Foxworthy and his trademark line, “You might be a redneck if…” There are literally hundreds of endings to this line, but here are just a few...

  • You might be a redneck if you had to remove a toothpick for wedding pictures.
  • You might be a redneck if the primary color of your car is “bondo.”
  • You might be a redneck if you think a subdivision is part of a math problem.
  • You might be a redneck if you’ve ever made change in the offering plate.
  • You might be a redneck if your dog and your wallet are both on chains.
  • You might be a redneck if you have a color coordinating rope that ties down your car hood.
  • You might be a redneck if you have spent more on your pickup truck than on your education.
  • You might be a redneck if the tobacco chewers in your family aren’t just men.
  • You might be a redneck if your richest relative invites you over to his new home to help him remove the wheels.
  • You might be a redneck if you think the last words to the Star Spangled Banner are “Gentlemen, start your engines” or “Play Ball.”

Now these are all correlating statements. The actions that are mentioned are related to being a redneck.

The reason that I bring this up, is because I want to use some correlating statements in dealing with the prayer of Simon Peter and the situation in our text today.

Peter prayed, “Lord, save me.” And for him to pray this way means that he was asking the Lord to keep him safe and sound, to rescue him from danger and destruction, to preserve him from perishing.

save – Greek NT:4982. sooson, to save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; universally, it means to save one (from injury or peril); to save a suffering one (from perishing); to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save (i.e. to rescue). (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

A friend of mine says that Peter was not particularly Baptistic when he prayed this prayer, because he prayed it as he was “beginning to sink.” My friend says that Baptists usually wait till they are pert’ near drowned before they ask the Lord to help them.

The first correlating statement that I would make about Peter’s prayer is that…

I. You Might End Up Praying This Prayer If You Are Encountering A Disturbance

(Matthew 14:24-27)

A. The Disciples Were Tossed

(Matthew 14:24) But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.

1. They Were Tossed By The Uncontrollable Waves

waves – Greek 2949. kuma, koo'-mah; from kuo (to swell [with young], i.e. bend, curve); a billow (as bursting or toppling).

Only one man has ever controlled the waves…

(Mark 4:39) And he (Jesus) arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

2. They Were Tossed By The Unseen Wind

wind – Greek NT:417. anemos, a violent agitation and stream of air (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

The word “contrary” here means opposite, antagonistic, or against. This unseen element was working against them.

B. The Disciples Were Troubled

(Matthew 14:26) And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

1. Notice The Concept Of Their Trouble

troubled – Greek 5015. tarasso, tar-as'-so; of uncert. affin.; to stir or agitate (roil water).

troubled – Greek NT:5015. etaráchtheesan, to cause one inward commotion, take away his calmness of mind, disturb his equanimity; to disquiet, make restless (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

2. Notice The Cause Of Their Trouble

Matthew Henry said…

The perplexing, disquieting fears of good people, arise from their mistakes and misapprehensions concerning Christ, His person, offices, and undertaking; the more clearly and fully we know His name, with the more assurance we shall trust in Him. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary)

Sometimes, when that which God is doing doesn’t fit into our idea of what is normal or expected, we become troubled.

3. Notice The Cry Of Their Trouble

cried out (vs. 26) – Greek 2896. krazo, krad'-zo; a prim. verb; prop. to “croak” (as a raven) or scream, i.e. (gen.) to call aloud (shriek, exclaim, intreat):--cry (out). (This is the same word that is used in verse 30.)

4. Notice The Comforting Of Their Trouble

(Matthew 14:27) But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

be of good cheer – Greek 2293. tharseo, thar-seh'-o; from G2294 (daring, boldness, courage); to have courage:-- be of good (comfort).

II. You Might End Up Praying This Prayer If You Are Experiencing A Desperation

(Matthew 14:28-30)

A. There Is Desperation In The Desire For Christ

1. Peter’s Desire For Jesus Prompted An Unexpected Answer

(Matthew 14:28) And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

Listen to the word of The Pulpit Commentary…

Verse 28 – And; slightly adversative (means that the word “And” is almost in conflict with the context) , because St. Peter’s words were so contrary to what might have been expected. Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou. No doubt is implied. He will only come at Christ’s command. Bid me come unto thee on the water. Not “bid me walk on the water;” for he does not want to perform a miracle, but to come to Jesus. His request is not due to the hope of making a show, but to impulsive love.

When God’s people get desperate in their desire for God, you can expect the unexpected. A fervent desire for God makes faith bold. We get the attitude that whatever it takes to get us closer to Him, that’s what we’re willing to do.

2. Peter’s Desire For Jesus Prompted An Unusual Action

(Matthew 14:29) And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

John MacArthur said…

Peter was continually in the Lord’s shadow and footsteps. By reading between the lines of the gospel accounts it is not difficult to imagine that Peter sometimes followed so closely behind Jesus that he bumped into Him when He stopped. Peter sensed in Jesus’ presence a wonderful safety and comfort, and that is where Peter now wanted to be. It was safer to be with Jesus on the water than to be without Him in the boat.

Louis A. Barbieri, Jr. wrote...

The Lord’s reply was a simple ‘Come.’ Peter’s initial response demonstrated his faith for he stepped out of the boat and began walking toward the Lord. (Only Matthew recorded Peter’s walk on the water.) In all recorded history only two men ever walked on water, Jesus and Peter. (From The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Desperately desiring Christ will not only cause you to think about doing things that you wouldn’t ordinarily do, but it will cause you to actually do things that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. (Example: telling a stranger about Jesus)

B. There Is Desperation In The Distress Of The Circumstances

1. Notice The Change In His Focus

(Matthew 14:29-30) And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. {30} But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

saw – Greek 991. blepo, blep'-o; a prim. verb; to look at (lit. or fig.):--behold, beware, lie, look (on, to), perceive, regard, see, sight, take heed.

saw – Greek NT:991. Blepoon, (one meaning is) to turn the eyes to anything, to look at, look upon, gaze at (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

We tend to go in the direction that we’re looking (especially when we’re driving). So when Peter saw (not the wind) but the effect of the boisterous wind upon the water, that’s where he was going. His objective was obscured by his observation.

boisterous – Greek 2478. ischuros, is-khoo-ros'; from G2479 (forcefulness, ability, might, power, strength); forcible (lit. or fig.):-- mighty (-ier), powerful, strong (-er, man), valiant.

2. Notice The Comment About His Fear

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

afraid – Greek NT:5399 (comes from the Greek word phobos from which we get our word phobia) It means to terrify, to frighten; to fear, be afraid; absolutely to be struck with fear, to be seized with alarm: used of those who fear harm or injury. (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

It seems to me that Peter could swim because of what we find in John 21…

(John 21:7) Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

But even though he could swim, he felt overwhelmed by the circumstances because he got his eyes off of Jesus. Then that which had once been a sure footing became fluid.

III. You Might End Up Praying This Prayer If You Are Expecting A Deliverance

(Matthew 14:31-32)

A. This Passage Mentions The Word “Caught”

(Matthew 14:31) And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

caught – Greek NT:1949. epelabeto, to take, lay hold of, take possession of, overtake, attain to. (a) properly, to lay hold of or to seize upon anything with the hands (b) by a metaphor drawn from laying hold of another to rescue him from peril, to help, to succor. (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1. There Was A Sudden Haste Involved

immediately – Greek 2112. eutheos, yoo-theh'-oce; adv. from G2117; directly, i.e. at once or soon:--anon, as soon as, forthwith, shortly, straightway.

2. There Was A Stretched Hand Involved

stretched forth – Greek 1614. ekteino, ek-ti'-no; from G1537 and teino (to stretch); to extend:--cast, put forth, stretch forth (out).

hand – Greek 5495. cheir, khire; perh. from the base of G5494 in the sense of its congener the base of G5490 (through the idea of hollowness for grasping); the hand (lit. or fig. [power]; espec. [by Heb.] a means or instrument):--hand.

I thought about the song written by Albert Jackson Sims in the 1930’s…


There is an unseen hand to me

That leads through ways I cannot see

While going through this world of woe

This hand still leads me as I go

Verse 2

This hand has led through shadows drear

And while it leads I have no fear

I know t’will lead, me to that home

Where sin nor sorrow ere can come

Verse 3

I long to see, my Savior’s face

And sing the story saved by grace

And there upon that golden strand

I’ll praise him for His guiding hand


I’m trusting to the Unseen Hand

That guides me through this weary land

And some sweet day I’ll reach that strand

Still guided by the Unseen Hand

B. This Passage Mentions The Wind Ceasing

1. This Was An Environment Of Refuge

(Matthew 14:32) And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

a. There Was A Safe Place

b. There Was A Saving / Sovereign Person

c. There Was A Subdued Problem

ceased – Greek 2869. kopazo, kop-ad'-zo; from G2873; to tire, i.e. (fig.) to relax:--cease.

All of nature seemed to breathe easier because the Master had taken control of the situation.

2. This Was An Environment Of Reverence

(Matthew 14:33) Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

worshipped – Greek 4352. proskuneo, pros-koo-neh'-o; from G4314 and a prob. der. of G2965 (mean. to kiss, like a dog licking his master's hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (lit. or fig.) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore).


I think basically, Peter was saying the same thing that David said in Psalms 12:1, “Help, LORD.”

I read this little story yesterday. It said…

A man on the corner looked ragged. People kept coming by and putting money in his hand. The preacher went by and gave him $20.00 and whispered, “Don’t Despair.” The next Monday the preacher saw the same man. The man walked up to the preacher and gave him $800.00. The preacher said, “What is this for?” The man answered, “Don’t Despair won the second race and paid 40 to 1.” (J. Mike Minnix, www.PastorLife.com)

I want to say that it’s a safe bet that if you are in despair today, you can cry out to Jesus and say with Peter, “Lord, save me.”

A commentator in the mid 1800’s named David Thomas wrote…

Brother, the sea of human life is a sea of depravity, and, like the sea of Tiberias, is ever subject to storms. It is the sea of tempests. Many a struggling bark (a small ship) it has engulfed. Blessed be God, a DELIVERER has appeared walking on the turbid (muddy) and multitudinous wave. He has trodden the billows at the height of their fury, and left abundant proofs of His power to subdue the wildest tempest, and save the most imperiled voyagers. Even those who, like Peter, feel themselves sinking beneath the swelling surge, shall be saved, if like Peter they turn their eyes to Him and cry: “Lord, save me.”