Of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
This verse is a long-time favorite of many people, in fact, several worship songs are taken directly from these words. But I wonder if we have ever paused long enough to think about what these words actually mean.
Do we know that the Lord is truly our light?
And if we do, then how do we let His light guide us through the dark days of pain and weakness?
David, the author of this Psalm, knew something of what it meant to face the dark places. King Saul had chased him and tried to take his very life. In fact, when David wrote of the Lord being his stronghold, he had spent his own time of desolation-dwelling in a place commonly known as “the strongholds of En Gedi.”
It was a forlorn place, with caves built into the sides of the cliffs that were perfect for hiding. A spring enclosed was hidden there with nourishing water for those who had survived the desert. Have you ever seen photos from Israeli tour groups who have walked through the desert land of En Gedi?
The utter desolation is shocking. How could God have led David to those dry and forsaken lands? And yet, that is precisely the phrase that David used, while he was cut off from his home: GOD is the stronghold of my life. He had come to realize that the very place that felt so forlorn had become God’s protection during the years of his enemy’s pursuit. God provided all that He needed during the days of desolation, even placing a spring of water in the middle of the barrenness.
The Greek word for “stronghold” here is defined as a: place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold.
- How could we see that light of God shining forth in our own lives?
- Can we ask God to show us how He is being our safety, our protector, our refuge, our stronghold in these days when we feel forsaken and desolate?
- How would seeing that change our perspective from fear to trust?
PRAYER PROMPT GUIDE
Sometimes we all need a little encouragement and a boost in our prayer lives. While talking with God should be easy, a guide can be a helpful resource to lean into, spurring us on to deeper, more intimate conversations with Him.
- Set aside a special time and place to meet with God. For each one of us this may look different. Some might find that being outside draws them closer to God. Others might release their thoughts and prayers best when moving, like when taking a walk or on an elliptical. For others, a special chair or room might open their hears to connect with God. No matter where you meet Him, it’s important to designate a time to sit at the feet of Jesus. It may be a specific time or something more general, like in the morning, but making that time a priority will bless your entire day.
- Quiet your heart and mind. Breathe deeply. Life may move at a hectic pace or we may have trouble letting go of anxiety or our “to-do” list, but for most of us, it can be challenging to slow down and quiet our minds. Breathing deeply is a great cue for our bodies to release tension and relax.
- Slowly read the Scripture and the prompt, perhaps several times. Reading slowly and deliberately is another way to reinforce the solace we seek. Reading the Scripture several times then “preaching” those words to ourselves helps us to really “hear” God speaking to us. Scripture transforms us from the inside out.
- Write the verse in your journal, noting any words that catch your attention. Writing in a journal is another way to slow down and it creates a memory of the time we spend in prayer. Scripture on the page – underlined, highlighted, or circled – invites curiosity about what God may want to talk with us about.
- Talk with God, taking time to listen, then journal your thoughts. The previous steps begin to soften us, preparing us for a two-way conversation with our loving Father, who wants to hear what’s on our hearts and minds. Scripture guides us to a path where the Good Shepherd is waiting to lead us, to remind us of His deep love for us, and to draw us to Himself. While we may not realize that transformation is in process, journaling helps us to see, over time, where we are being lead to love, serve, and care for those in our sphere of influence.
VISIT THE CHRONIC JOY PRAYER POND
You’re invited to the Chronic Joy Prayer Pond. Toss your prayer requests, updates, and shouts of praise into the pond then watch them ripple with radical hope and compassionate change throughout our community and beyond. Then be sure #PrayItForward by clicking the “I PRAYED FOR THIS” button to let the requester know you prayed for them.
We are all blessed to have a place to pray and people to pray with and for us. Who do you know needs to toss a prayer or praise into the pond, and who might link arms with us in prayer?