God I Need a Savior

praying hand neon signage

“Hangin’ in there, just barely. Throwin’ up prayers, like Hail Mary’s. If You’re still there, Lord, spare me,” sings Jason DeFord (known as Jelly Roll). The artist stands out for his ability to transcend genres, categorized as a rapper but also celebrated on the country music charts. I appreciate the honesty of his lyrics and the resonance of religious longing.

The video for his song “Need a Favor” has over 21 million views on YouTube. I’ve included it below. The theatrical depiction gives context to the lines “Yeah, I owe you more than one and beggars can’t be choosers. But I’ll pay for all I’ve done, just please don’t let me lose her,” showing a father grieving the illness of his daughter who’s sleeping in a hospital bed, waking in the middle of the night to run into her room to see if she’s okay.

The beauty of the Christian message is that God hears even the prayers of those souls cognizant of their unworthiness, aware of their lack of genuine effort hitherto, but fully conscious of their present need. It’s a good thing because that applies to all of us much of the time. If God’s response to prayers was dependent upon the perfection of the one offering them, none of our thoughts would make it past the ceiling. It’s not overly churchy, but if this is the only prayer you can muster up today, let me encourage you, let it rip. He’s listening.

“I only talk to God when I need a favorAnd I only pray when I ain’t got a prayerSo, who the hell am I, who the hell am ITo expect a Savior, ohIf I only talk to God when I need a favor?But God, I need a favorAmen, amen”