Not You But Me


It’s me, It’s me, It’s me oh Lord
Standin in the Need of Prayer
It’s me, It’s me, It’s me oh Lord
Standin’ in the Need of Prayer

This spiritual begins completely centered on the singer’s need of Jesus and prayer. While the singer does not really get into why prayer is needed, one can easily imagine reasons. Perhaps it is because the singer is a poor weak sinner like all of us. Thus, the singer could be talking about need to overcome sin. Maybe the singer is talking about needing strength to overcoming evil and evildoers in this life. The singer might be talking about the need for personal forgiveness of sins. Maybe the singer is just talking about receiving comfort in the storms of life.

Whatever the reason, the singer is talking about personally needing prayer. This spiritual does not point at others needing God even though they do. The singer of this spiritual simply says, “I need prayer.” Lest the hearer misunderstand, the singer explicitly identifies many others, but then goes back to the original statement, “I need prayer!” The singer seems to be saying, “I am not looking at brother, sister, or anyone else, I recognize that I need prayer.”

It is interesting that the singer has been mistreated in life, but the singer does not point the finger at others. In many cases, we have been wronged and sometimes we are called to do something about it, but before you can respond to evil, you have to recognize your own weakness in the face of it.

While a comprehensive look at other spirituals will show that sometimes the sins of other folk are referred to, this spiritual reminds me that at some point I have to get to the point of recognizing that I need prayer. In addition, that knowledge at some point will overshadow the weakness of others and what they did to me. That knowledge will propel me to personally “get right.” That knowledge will propel me to take the “spec out of my own eye.” That knowledge will help me to sing, “It’s me, It’s me, It’s me oh Lord, Standin in the Need of Prayer.”


Prayer

Oh Lord, I ask that you would continue to give me the recognition of my own need of prayer. Help me to not get so caught up in the weakness and sins of others that I lose touch with the recognition of my own need. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Comments

comments

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Posted in blog, Devotional, Negro Spirituals
One comment on “Not You But Me
  1. Roger B. Abuloc says:

    Amen. And it also reminds me in the Book of Habakkuk 3:16 “When I heard this message, I felt weak from fear, and my lips quivered. My bones seemed to melt, and I stumbled around.”

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Af Am Heritage Lectionary
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