God Our Ever-Present Strength

God Our Refuge  

God is our refuge and strength,
     an ever-present help in trouble. - Psalm 46:1


Father, in a distracted, fragmented, wandering world, You are here. Present. Fully present. Ever present. Exceedingly present with us.


Is there any greater gift You could give?


You hold our hands through each day, lifting us up when we don’t have the strength to stand, pulling us forward when we don’t have the strength to move, keeping us still when we don’t have the strength to stop.


Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
     and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam
     and the mountains quake with their surging. - Psalm 46:2-3


There are so many things that are amiss in this world. Oh, how we wish that you would protect us from all the terrible things that could happen.


And yet,


You are our sanctuary when all else gives way. What are we afraid of?


The Lord Almighty is with us;
     the God of Jacob is our fortress. - Psalm 46:7


Almighty, You are more powerful than we can imagine. The strength that is with us is mightier than anything that could rise against us.


Come and see what the Lord has done,
     the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease
     to the ends of the earth.
 He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
     he burns the shields with fire. - Psalm 46:8-9


You could stop fighting at the snap of a finger. How we pray you would do that now, Lord. Remind us of Your power. Turn people from standing in opposition to each other to kneeling in submission to You.


Do that in our world, and do that in our neighborhoods, and do that in our hearts.


Shatter our spears, break our bows, burn the shields of our own making, and let us find our protection in You.


He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
     I will be exalted among the nations,
     I will be exalted in the earth.” - Psalm 46:10


We spend so much energy reaching for power. As if it is a resource that will run through our fingers if we do not hold it tight. Our arms are tired, Lord.


Help us hear your invitation to be still. To know that we are enough because You are enough.


If we are still, the world will not collapse on top of us. For You are beside us, holding the world’s weight on our behalf. We need only hold your hand.


The Lord Almighty is with us;
     the God of Jacob is our fortress. - Psalm 46:11


You are the God who wrestled Jacob. Who came down to touch humanity, showing both Your power and compassion.


We rest in the fortress of Your unfailing love.


Psalm 46 is one of my very favorites. In this post, I am doing publically what I have often done privately- using the words of a Psalm as inspiration for my prayers. Praying Scripture is a way to let the God-breathed words of the Bible breathe life into us and our relationship with Him. If you've never done that before, I encourage you to give it a try. This Psalm could be a great start.


walk through the psalmsWalk through the Psalms is a series working its way through the book of Psalms, one Psalm a week, one post a week, in order. It is grounded in the belief that as Psalms swirl through prayers of pain and praise, they paint a portrait of a life of faith. And, as with any walk, it is better with company; all are welcome to join. To learn more, read this.