Recently, I’ve been convicted about a multitude of different issues in my life. I am by no means trying to convince anyone that I am well versed on the subject nor that I am right. I’m trying to organize my spaghetti bowl of thoughts and die to my selfish desires.
Matthew 6:9-13; The Lord’s Prayer
This is the first example that we see of Jesus telling people how to pray. He gives this example after warning the listeners to not pray to impress man, to consider our words as we speak to God, and that God knows what we need.
After reading this a few times, I realize that there is no mention of protection. None of Jesus praying for a ‘hedge of protection’ or keeping us from death. While there are also other things missing from His prayer here, the lack of protection being prayed for leaves a big gap. I’ve searched online search engines and remembering what I’ve read for myself about protection in the Bible. There really isn’t much mentioned apart from the prayers of David in the Psalms.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
Proverbs 2:11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
Proverbs 4:6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.
Psalm 140:4 Keep me safe, LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who devise ways to trip my feet.
Psalm 23, 91, 121
Verse after verse, the mighty strength of the Lord is acknowledged. His power is trusted and His prominence is exalted. These biblical authors were so busy exulting El Shaddai, Elohim, the GOD of all who made the heavens and the seas, who gives us each breath, who orchestrates the universe with mere words- they are so enveloped in the fact that He is their God that they are not focused on their fear, but on their Father. So they ask for deliverance, but they ultimately have FAITH in His plan and aren’t consumed by their fear enough to pray about it in depth. At least, that’s the conclusion that I have come to.
I guess that leaves me in a place where I have to reevaluate, am I motivated to pray for protection out of fear or am I allowing apathy to creep into my faith? Its obviously both, but is this an active struggle for me from the enemy or is this as a result of my laziness?
I no longer want to let fear drive my life or my perspective. I want to have a faith that casts our fear, a faith that is not afraid. And maybe there is a fault there, that I am too focused on loving my life that I don’t want to lose it. I’m too focused on loving my husband’s or my daughter’s life, selfishly, that I would rather keep them with me here than have them be in perfect joy and peace with the Lord.
Philippians 1:21 says to live is Christ, but to die is gain.
Live to tell others about Jesus, to love and serve the people He loves, but the GAIN is death. The lottery jackpot is death- life after death in eternity. How foolish I have been in worrying and praying to avoid harm and death. If I am put through trial or temptation, what an opportunity to praise Christ or His faithfulness and speak of it to others. Praying for protection, in the sense that I have been doing so, would remove the subject of my prayers from these opportunities to TRUST God and see His plan furthered, or to not wish and rejoice for them to be in a perfect eternity with God.
My perspective has been wrong. It’s not about holding things tightly, but holding them loosely in surrender. Because even if I drop them all from my hands, they will still land in the hands of the God who holds the universe, and that is a much better comfort to my heart.
What are your thoughts on this? When do you think it would be acceptable to pray for protection?