Psalm 91- A Prayer For Strength is one of the prayers I said each day which allowed God access to my life through a very difficult time.
Click here to see the first page of this article including the words to Psalm 91.
When we live with illness or when we seem otherwise trapped by the circumstances of our life, we may struggle to physically fight for survival, for food or for justice.
Faith in God allows us to fight (and surrender) spiritually.
We can choose to believe there is nothing to fight in the physical world, although it certainly doesn't look that way.
We can choose to believe that the only thing to fight is our thought that we are in danger.
“Your truth is my shield and buckler.”
This verse from this psalm prayer lets us know that when we feel the urge to fight, instead we can take up God’s word to defend us.
We practise the belief that we are of God and therefore safe and protected.
Psalm 91 is a prayer for strength. We call on God’s strength and protection and do not rely on our own.
“Your truth is my shield and buckler.”
The truth is that as long as we have the physical ability to fight for what we need for ourselves or our loved ones, we often do.
We think it is right to defend ourselves.
One of the gifts of chronic illness or difficult circumstances can be that we don't have the choice to fight physically to make things happen.
We become willing instead to change our thoughts and build our faith.
We become willing to acknowledge that our own strength is not enough to solve our problems.
We reach out for God’s strength.
And then.... and then.... a magical life begins.
"And so, I am not afraid
for the terror by night;
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.”
I love how this psalm for strenth is so comprehensive.
Whatever you need protection for, Psalm 91 has it covered. It is a prayer for strength to overcome the world.
I had much terror by night in those years of severe illness, in the form of nightmares.
Or else kept awake by pain or other symptoms.
I lost my speech and my ability to see much, or when symptoms were
intense, I often lay awake wondering if I was dying, and trying to work
out whether I could get to see a Doctor.
Or else I lay awake trying to work out how I was going to get enough food in my body to stay alive.
On the previous page, we looked at how the verse in Psalm 91
- "Surely you deliver me from the snare of the fowler" can be used as a
prayer to claim release from depression.
This verse can be used for the same.
"And so, I am not afraid for the terror by night;
The terror by night could also be many other things.
What is the arrow that flieth?
The arrow that flieth in Psalm 91 can be any criticism or emotional or physical abuse you may receive. We are praying for emotional strength.
Pestilence is illness.
The destruction that wasteth at noonday, can be any danger that may present itself.
"And so, I am not afraid...
The message of Psalm 91 is that whatever danger you seem to be in, when you abide in God and He abides in you, you are – on some deep level – protected.
As you say this prayer for strength beyond your own, you claim this protection.
you claim protection, regardless of your feelings and the circumstances
you experience, you start to experience the reality of protection in your life.
...but it shall not come nigh me."
This is such an important spiritual quote when you are living with severe illness and experience danger or fear.
This psalm for strength is telling us that we don't have to expect what everyone else expects. We don't have to have faith in the doctor’s prognosis.
If the doctor says that you have an illness that will last a lifetime, do you have to believe her?
Even if one thousand have stayed ill, you don't have to.
Even if one thousand have died, you don't have to.
Even if one thousand have been emotionally scarred for life, you don't have to be.
What is the difference between you and those who are staying ill or dying?
Are you more favoured by God?
Not at all. I believe in, experience and witness a God who is available to all.
But, by saying this and other prayers for strength, you are becoming more willing than most to allow God to work in your life.
You are spending time in the secret place of the Most High.
You are believing in and calling on a strength and protection not of this world.
You are using this psalm for strength to build your faith in a God who is represented by health, and by a safety that cannot be threatened.
Thank you for being willing to receive.
Thank you for spending time in God.
Thank you for saying this prayer for strength in God.
Psalm 91 helped me in a very difficult time.
say it as a daily morning prayer.
Think of some of what you will do today.
See yourself placed in the secret place of God’s love throughout the day ahead.
And, if you relate to the need for protection for whatever reason, I do advise learning some of Psalm 91 by heart.
In the moment when we are distressed, we may not have a written copy to hand and it is then that we need to say this powerful prayer for strength.
I no longer have any intention of living a life where I rely on my own strength. Now that my circumstances are easier - not easy!, but easier - , I continue to say this psalm prayer, asking for the strength that comes from knowledge that I rest in God’s love.
It has been so joyful for me to write these faith articles.