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Prayer, Plain and Simple

O Israel, trust the Lord!

    He is your helper and your shield.

priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the Lord!

    He is your helper and your shield.

All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord!

    He is your helper and your shield. (Psalm 115:9-11)

Three times in close succession, we read in this passage, “He is your helper and your shield.” What does that mean? Let’s meditate to appreciate that phrase. Sometimes it’s helpful to dive into the original language to catch a deeper glimpse and gain some helpful and encouraging nuggets of truth.

The word shield can also be translated “scaly hide of a crocodile” * Now, that’s something I could use more of:  thick skin. Thick-skinned folks aren’t easily hurt, they are not touchy, and they aren’t as fearful in general. Thick skin is not something I need to contrive on my own; I don’t need to change my temperament, as if I could! God will insulate me as I trust Him. He can be my thick skin, giving me a heart that cannot be moved by offense, a heart that is quick to forgive and move on unscathed.

Father,

You are my helper and my shield. You insulate me from pain in relationships. I take you on as my shield. Help me to be mindful of praying this on a daily basis, for I know that your involvement in my life depends on my invitation through prayer. Come and be my shield, Father. Then help me risk in relationships without fear. Help me to choose to forgive quickly when others disappoint or rub me the wrong way. I speak to my soul, “Soul, trust the Lord! He is your helper and your shield!”

Amen

* according to the website www.blueletterbible.com.

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