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Prayer, Plain and Simple

What if the Lord had not been on our side?
Let all Israel repeat:
What if the Lord had not been on our side
when people attacked us?
They would have swallowed us alive
in their burning anger.
The waters would have engulfed us;
a torrent would have overwhelmed us.
Yes, the raging waters of their fury
would have overwhelmed our very lives.   (Psalm 124:1-5 NLT)

What-if’s can rule our lives, steal our joy, rob our confidence, and ruin the moment. The Psalmist has demonstrated the proper usage of  the “what if” question by turning it upside down. Rather than asking, “What if the stock market crashes?” “What if my kid gets sick?” “What if my wife leaves me?” “What if I am not healed?” “What if I can’t pay my bills?” “What if my car breaks down?” he asks the simple question, “What if the Lord had not been on our side?”

George Bailey  in “It’s a Wonderful Life” (It’s a Wonderful Movie!) is allowed to experience a “what if” that changes his perspective and the course of his whole life. As a result, he abandons self-pity and becomes grateful for what he has.

“What would my life look like if God hadn’t been in the story?” is a good question to ask. Looking back at your history, imagine your life without God. Take some time today to ponder that, and then write your own Psalm. Here is mine:

What if the Lord had not been with me? When people attacked me, I would have succumbed to fear and oppression. I would have despaired of my life. I would have given up altogether and lost all hope. I would be no more if it weren’t for His love and protection. Praise the Lord! He shut the mouth of the great lion! He silenced the foe and the avenger! He is my Revenger! And He is kind and loving! He taught me to forgive. Where would I be without His power to forgive? Where would I be without His great grace? Because of it, because of Him, I am free. I walk in freedom, for I have forgiven and left it all in His strong hands! Thank you! Praise You Righteous Redeemer! Amen!

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