Posted on March 28, 2013
Praying Psalm 121
Feeling alone? discouraged? Feel like you’re at battle, nearly overwhelmed by the Enemy? Psalm 121 is great comfort! Its eight verses are packed with assurance that God is beside us at all times. David may or may not have been the author (it is “unsigned”), but with his background as a warrior we can be sure he understood and appreciated its message.
In bold are the actual words of Psalm 121(NIV), with my comments intermingled.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
Why look to the mountains for help? Picture a beleaguered army, fighting desperately in the valley, watching the surrounding mountains, hoping to see reinforcements appear on the crests. You have no need to look to the mountains. Your Reinforcement is already in the valley with you! God is right by your side.
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He made the mountains, the earth, the heavens—and you. His power and creativity are more than equal to any battle that lies in front of you.
He will not let your foot slip—
He goes before you. He guards each footstep you take. Every time you place your foot on the ground, He’s watching. He won’t let you stumble, no matter how exhausted you get.
He who watches over you will not slumber,
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
He is surrounding you 24/7. Unlike human reinforcements, He never gets tired, never falls asleep on watch. His energy is inexhaustible.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
A soldier carried his shield on his left arm, leaving his right side less protected. So God is “at your right hand”—on your unguarded side. He’s got every vulnerability covered. The Amplified Bible says, “The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand [the side not carrying a shield].” When the Enemy tries to attack at your weak point, God is already there to defend you. No strategy outwits Him. No ambush takes Him by surprise.
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
Day and night, He stands guard, protecting from every danger. When the sun beats down, when the heat is on, He’s there to shade you. When the night’s chill seeps into your weary bones, when sleep won’t come, He’s there to shelter you. Never, ever, are you alone. “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b, NIV.)
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
He guards you from all harm, from every evil. He has no lack of experience. Since He has no vulnerability, neither do you. He’s seen every scheme in the Enemy’s war book and every weapon in the Enemy’s arsenal. He’s got you covered.
He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Whether you’re going out to battle—fresh, fortified, strong—or whether you’re coming in from battle—weary, discouraged, weak—He is keeping you. He guards your life in every way: physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually. He will not let you be overwhelmed (1 Corinthians 10:13). Beyond the needs of this life, He is keeping your eternal soul, preserving you today, tomorrow and forever—until all battles are over and you share the victory feast with Him.
I have offered this basic five-element prayer from Psalm 121 as a prayer for my sons, my husband and myself—and many others—for years.
Our God and Father,
• Guard us day and night.
• Don’t allow our feet to slip.
• Protect us from all evil.
• Preserve our physical lives and, more importantly, our eternal souls.
• Watch over our going out and our coming in both now and forever.
In the name of Jesus, Amen!
Is there someone you can strengthen by praying Psalm 121? What is its greatest encouragement to you?
© Diane McLoud 2013