I said Psalm 91 as a daily prayer when I lived with very severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Well, to be accurate I didn't say all of it. I had minimal use of my arms so I couldn't always reach out for a Bible.
But I learned a chunk of this psalm prayer and said it by heart :-)
This page includes my personalised psalm prayer followed by the original words from the King James version.
If you came here looking for the words to Psalm 91, please scroll down.
I include an adapted version suitable for a personalized psalm prayer to call protection specifically into your own life.
Beneath the adapted version you will find the original words to the psalm, if you wish to read them.
I was in a situation where I couldn’t speak or move much and I didn't have someone I could rely on to advocate for me.
Life was not safe. I was totally dependent on others. And others were often not dependable.
In terms of care, I was living in London (UK) and depended on council care. There were some wonderful carers. But there were many who weren’t wonderful. I never knew who was going to walk through the door, or how they would treat me.
Even if a carer had the best of intentions, I was so ill that, without training, it would be weeks before someone could look after me in a way that did not cause me unnecessary pain.
I needed Divine protection.
I needed to know there was a source of strength and protection available beyond myself.
I trained my mind to say the personalized Psalm 91 each day as a prayer for strength and a prayer for protection.
Saying this psalm prayer was part of my commitment to developing the belief that - on some level - I am, and can never be other than, safe.
The part of the psalm which calls on the protection of angels is especially comforting to many people.
As with some other famous prayers, such as
the Prayer to the Holy Spirit, I changed the psalm to make it more personal.
I turned Psalm 91 into a personalized psalm prayer in which I talk directly to God and claim protection over my circumstances.
Below is my personalised version of the Psalm 91 prayer: (the original words are further down in the article.)
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers,
and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be 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.
A thousand shall fall at thy side,
and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge,
even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee,
neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.
They shall bear thee up in their hands,
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:
the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
Because he hath set his love upon me,
therefore will I deliver him:
I will set him on high,
because he hath known my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honour him.
With long life will I satisfy him,
and shew him my salvation.”
(Psalm 91 prayer, KJV e-sword)
...and so I abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
Yes, I was living in a house that was not safe for me. (I had severe sensitivities to chemicals, and would get horrendous symptoms from neighbouring flats being painted.)
Yes, I was dependent on people who could not or would not look after me well.
But, in reality, I was and am also living somewhere else.
Psalm 91 tells me I am living in “the secret place of the most High.”
Psalm 91 tells me I am always only ever a shadow’s distance away from God.
Whatever is going on for you right now, know that in reality you remain safe in God.
On some level, you are not who you seem to be.
You are not where you seem to be.
God’s reality – a reality of love and perfection – is greater than the circumstances of your life. And, as you call on this reality more and more, it is coming into your life:
Perhaps you will first have moments of peace, regardless of the circumstances.
Perhaps later you may even have a change in those circumstances.
The meaning of the Psalm 91 prayer is that God is our home.
If we ever have been or ever will be in God, then that is where we are right now.
God is Love.
God is changeless.
It is not for God to change. It is for us to change our minds – to
accept the reality of God’s love until our lives become transformed.