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The Prayer of Protection
Living Fearlessly in Dangerous Times
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The Prayer of Protection unveils the Bible’s ultimate psalm of protection, Psalm 91, to help you understand more about how God guards His children. Joseph Prince offers simple keys and practical advice to finding and resting in the secret place of the Most High, where no evil can even come near you. You’ll begin to live unafraid and with boldness as you allow the certainty of your heavenly Father’s love and the sure promises of His Word to guard your heart against every fear. Come under the wings of the Almighty and live life divinely protected, positioned, and free from all fears with our covenant-keeping God!
We live in dangerous times. A time in which a person could be attacked by terrorists while watching a concert. A time when a bomb could go off as someone sips on a latte in his favorite café. A time during which an epidemic from one country could spread to another through a single traveler. A time when earthquakes, floods, and other calamities seem to be happening all too often. A time of violence, conflict, and wars.
We can hardly get away from the constant bombardment of such negative news. It comes in through our newsfeeds. It turns up on social media. It screams at us from newspaper headlines and flashes across our screens as news outlets update us live on the senseless violence that wrecks so many lives.
My heart goes out to those whose lives have been devastated by hate-fueled attacks, as well as to those whose realities have been shaken in disasters beyond their control.
Unfortunately, we already know that the world is going to get even darker.
Isaiah 60:2 tells us this:
Darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people.
But I have good news for you, my friend. Good news of the promises in God's Word that will fortify you and equip you during these times. Good news of His protection and His favor upon you. Good news that declares that you are in this world, but not of this world!
Isaiah 60:2 does not end with deep darkness. It goes on to declare this:
But the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.
The darker the world becomes, the brighter YOU will shine. As gloom and despair cover the earth, your light will become increasingly radiant. You will be His beacon of grace and glory in the midst of deep darkness. The world will see you walking in the fullness of the Lord's blessings and favor, and wonder how you and your household could be protected from the destruction and chaos all around.
You may be familiar with the Old Testament story of Daniel's friends, who were thrown into a fiery furnace for refusing to bow down to the golden idol of King Nebuchadnezzar. The king, his governors, and his counselors all witnessed for themselves how the fire had no power over the three Hebrew boys. Not a single strand of their hair was singed nor were their garments scorched. In fact, they walked away from the furnace without so much as the smell of smoke or fire on them!
Beloved, I want you to picture Daniel's friends walking out of that fiery furnace, completely unharmed. That's a picture of you and me today.
In Christ, we are in this world, but we are not of this world. Even when thrown into the most extreme and challenging circumstances, we can walk out unharmed.
The same Lord Jesus who stood with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the furnace stands with you today!
The darkness is real. The fire is real. The dangers in this world are certainly real, but His promise that you can live protected and untouched can be an even greater reality in your life.
That is why I wrote this book.
The Word of God tells us that fear involves torment. Our Father in heaven doesn't want any of His beloved children tormented by fear. His Word tells us, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18). I particularly like how the Amplified Bible says it:
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!
I wrote this book because I want you anchored in His protective love for you. I want every trace of fear to be expelled from your heart. Perhaps terrorism, wars, and calamities do not weigh your heart down, but fears of more immediate circumstances do. Fear of losing your job as rumors of retrenchments and job cuts travel through the grapevine. Fear that bodily symptoms you have been experiencing could develop into something sinister. Fear that your children could somehow get into trouble and be hurt.
Whatever fear it is that grips your heart, I have so much that I want to share with you that I know will garrison your heart. You are not a hapless bystander who has no choice but to live in fear. No, you are set apart by your heavenly Abba. You are His beloved, and He who watches over you never slumbers or sleeps (see Ps. 121:4)! And yet, we cannot take His protection for granted.
This is why I want to show you how you can pray the prayer of protection found in Psalm 91. Together, let us uncover what the Bible says about divine protection and learn faith-building truths that I know will strengthen you. I want you to be encouraged by amazing testimonies from people around the world who have experienced God's protection firsthand. Our Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In the same way He supernaturally delivered the precious individuals whose stories you will get to read in this book, He will deliver you too. It is my prayer that as you journey through the powerful revelations contained in this book, you will be empowered to truly live confidently and fearlessly in these dangerous times.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14 "Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation."
THE SECRET PLACE
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
There is a lot of fearmongering everywhere you turn today. On the news, in the papers, via social media, and unfortunately, on Christian media as well. You and I know that this peddling of fear isn't going away anytime soon. Your local news outlet is not going to start reporting on the thousands of planes that landed safely today. Fear generates viewership and is an effective clickbait for online publications.
However, it is vital that we do not let fear take over our hearts. As believers, we have no business feeding on fear. If your mind is entangled with knots of anxiety, perhaps it's time for you to examine your mental diet. What have you, consciously or unconsciously, been meditating on? Are you ingesting and believing everything you see in the news reports, or are you living by what the Lord Jesus has purchased for you at Calvary?
The Place of Rest
I want to share with you a powerful key from the very first verse of Psalm 91, the prayer of protection. Read it with me (boldface mine):
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
The Hebrew word for "dwell" is yashab, which means to sit down, to remain, or to settle.1 So the very first thing that God wants you to do to enjoy His protection is to rest. His protection, peace, love, and other blessings flow in your life when you are in a place of rest.
Let's camp on the word dwell just a little more. Let's meditate on what it means to rest or "sit down." The Bible says that we are seated with Christ at God's right hand (see Eph. 2:6, Heb. 1:3). The word "seated" is beautiful—it means that you are no longer standing and working.
Under the old covenant, the priest had to offer the morning sacrifice at 9 a.m., and then remain standing for six hours until after the evening sacrifice at 3 p.m. Our Lord Jesus was crucified at 9 a.m. and He hung on the cross for six hours until He died at 3 p.m., thus fulfilling the type of both the morning and evening sacrifices (see Heb. 10:11–12). Because Jesus became the final sacrifice, the work of the priest is done and he no longer has to stand. Because our Lord cried, "It is finished!" at Calvary (John 19:30), we are today seated in Christ (see Eph. 2:6). We can dwell in the secret place of the Most High—a place of peace, safety, and security—because the blood of our Lord Jesus has paid for every blessing of protection in Psalm 91!
Now, because of the completed work of our Lord Jesus, we can have free access into the presence of our Elyon, the Most High. We can abide under the shadow of the Almighty or Shaddai. These two Hebrew names of God—Elyon and Shaddai—in the first verse of Psalm 91 alone help to put our problems in perspective, don't they? In and of ourselves, our present challenges may appear insurmountable. But when we are resting in the presence of El Elyon—God Most High, the possessor of heaven and earth (see Gen. 14:19)—and abiding under the shadow of El Shaddai—God Almighty, the all-sufficient One—all of a sudden, our adversities don't seem so intimidating after all!
My prayer for you is that your perspective of God will be enlarged by the power of His living Word. Whether you are dealing with a difficult financial situation, a sleep disorder, or plagued by depressive or even suicidal thoughts, my desire is for you to discover a God who loves you, and whose strong hands of protection are over your entire life. His divine protection, as you will discover in the course of this book, isn't one-dimensional—it covers every area that concerns you.
Growing Well Despite Premature Birth
I received this precious praise report from Carina, who lives in North Carolina:
Dear Pastor Prince,
I want to share with you a testimony regarding my grandson, Caylen.
Caylen was born three months premature, weighing 1lb 7oz. He was in the hospital for almost six months and while he was there, he had three surgical procedures. We were told that his survival rate was low. Even if he did survive, he would have significant development delays due to the extreme prematurity.
At the time of his hospitalization, his mother was asked if there was a Bible verse that she wanted to be placed above her son's incubator. She gave them Psalm 91. I don't even know if my daughter had any idea of the power of putting that psalm above his incubator. I myself did not realize how powerful it was until later.
Caylen had surgery for his heart and also two more for his stomach. He did well in all his surgeries, so much so that the doctor commented, "I don't think he realizes he is supposed to be sick."
My grandson is now six years old with no developmental delays. He is advanced in almost every area, not behind in any way or having delayed development in his mind, body, or spirit. Praise the Lord!
God took little Caylen into that secret place where he was safe and received healing. I saw firsthand how the world could not harm him and he is now a walking testimony of the power and love of God.
Thank you for ministering to him and so many others.
Oh, how reading this precious praise report warms my heart! I speak our Lord's favor and wisdom over Caylen—may he grow up to be a mighty man of God and continue to be a living testimony of His great love and grace. Thank you, Carina, for writing in and sharing this testimony of God's goodness with me. There is no doubt that there is power in the Word of God. There is healing power in the prayer of protection!
Is the Secret Place for a Select Few?
Carina mentioned that God took little Caylen into the "secret place." Where is this secret place and how do you get there? Before I answer this question, I want you to be careful of preaching and teaching about Psalm 91 that make "the secret place of the Most High" a place that only an elite few can go to, while the rest of us have no access to it because we haven't done enough, like pray for eight hours. Usually, the person who teaches along these lines is trying to say that there is a standard of holiness that you must attain before you can reach the secret place of the Most High. Now, if this is true and it takes eight hours of prayer at home to be in the secret place of the Most High, then how about those of us who have full-time jobs and can't pray for eight hours, and who really need protection?
Think about it for a moment. Who needs more protection—the one praying in the safety of his home or the one working out there? Clearly, it is the guy who is working out there in the world where accidents are possible and where he is exposed to all kinds of viruses. Yet, according to this teaching, he cannot access the secret place because he has not prayed eight hours a day! Does this even make sense to you? That's why I don't like teaching that makes certain people—especially the preacher—appear like they are part of an elite few. The Lord's blessings are not just for an elite few. If a blessing is from our Lord, everyone can have access to it. The young and the old, the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor—all have access by faith to His blessings that are freely given. Can I have a good Amen?
The Secret Place—in Christ
Let me tell you where the secret place of the Most High is. The secret place of the Most High is a place where you are in Christ. Wouldn't you agree that being in Christ is to be in the safest hiding place? How did you get to be in Christ? By receiving the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Once you are a born-again believer, our heavenly Father sees you in Christ. You are safe, protected, and secure in the hiding place!
Remember how Noah was safe in the ark when the floodwaters came? While Noah was not perfect, God saw him as righteous because of his faith in God (see Heb. 11:7). When the flood came, everyone outside the ark died, but Noah and his family were protected and saved. Why? Because they were in the ark, which is a type of Christ, who is our salvation (see Acts 4:12).
The ark didn't have windows along its sides, only near the roof. The truth here is that God does not want you to focus on all the darkness, terror, and evil that are around you and in the world. He wants you to look up and know that His Son is coming back for you. I want you to see something else: I believe there were times when Noah might have lost his balance and fallen as the storm waters crashed against the ark. But Noah fell in the ark; he never fell out of the ark.
Similarly, for the believer today, when the devil tempts you and you fall, you don't fall out of your position in Christ, you are still in Christ. In the book of Proverbs, it says, "For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again" (Prov. 24:16). You see, a believer doesn't fall in and out of righteousness. Our righteousness today is a gift from our Lord Jesus Christ (see Rom. 5:17). This means that even though we may fail from time to time because we are imperfect human beings, we are still in Christ our ark and do not forfeit His blessings of protection.
Now, in case you are wondering, does this make someone want to live recklessly? Certainly not! I believe that knowing you are righteous in Christ makes you live responsibly and in honor to the Lord (see Rom. 6:10–14). The revelation of our righteousness in Christ produces righteous living (see Titus 2:11–12).
Valuing the Secret Place
My dear reader, the more you grow in your revelation and valuation of how Jesus' finished work has placed you in Him—in the secret place where you are safe, protected, and secure—the more you'll find your heart at rest instead of filled with worry and fears. Something powerful happens in your heart and in your outward circumstances when you begin to value being in Christ, in the secret place of the Father's care, protection, and love.
Let me give you an illustration of what it means to value something. Suppose I brought you an old, dusty violin with two missing strings and I said to you, "Isn't this beautiful?" Your reaction would probably be, "That's not beautiful; that's old and worthless." But if I told you it's an original Stradivarius that used to belong to a world-famous violinist, all of a sudden, your appreciation of this dusty, old violin would swell and you'd ask if you could hold it. What happened? Your appreciation of the violin changed when you understood its true value.
In the same way, I want to encourage you to value the preciousness of what it means to be in Christ—being in the secret place of inseparable closeness with Him, where we have His loving presence constantly with us, watching over us, and protecting us. I strongly encourage you to keep hearing anointed preaching that keeps revealing who you are and what you have in Christ. Keep hearing grace-based teachings on God's promises to protect you, as well as praise reports of God's grace and protection over His people. Why? Because as you do, you'll begin to value being in the secret place more and more. As you do, you'll find your heart and mind more and more at rest in Him. You'll wake up every morning confident of His tender care, protection, and preservation. You'll live life full of hope and zest instead of worry and fear, and see Him deliver and protect you from whatever the enemy may throw at you!
My friend, the "secret place" speaks of a place in Christ, but it also speaks of intimacy, as it is a place of closeness. To be under the shadow of an object, you need to be close to that object. There are times when I travel to Israel with my pastors and the sun is scorching hot. When we are outdoors, whether it is on the Mount of Beatitudes or in Capernaum, we always look forward to being under the shadow of a tree. The difference in temperature when we are under the protective shelter of a tree is like night and day. Out in the open, we wouldn't last long under the scorching heat of the sun. But under the shadow of a tree, we can sit for hours, just discussing the Word of God. In fact, during one of our outdoor trips, we made and brought our own sandwiches and had a most refreshing time sitting and eating together under a tree.
Beloved, being under the shadow of the Almighty speaks of closeness, intimacy, and protection. It speaks of a place of refreshing, coolness, and rest. When Psalm 91 talks about dwelling in the "secret place" of the Most High, that secret place is not a geographical location, but spiritual intimacy with our Lord Jesus. In the same way, the prayer of protection is not an incantation or some kind of magic chant that grants you protection. It is you valuing your position in Christ and your close relationship with Him, and being found in that secret place with Him.
He Watches Over His Own
Some years ago, I received a testimony of divine protection from a businessman who attended our church. He had been on a business trip and was staying at the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia. While he was in the lobby of the hotel, he suddenly heard a loud explosion. A bomb had been detonated right outside and it tore through the lobby. The blast was so powerful that he saw a body flying past him. After the dust had settled, he checked himself quickly and realized that although his shirt was splattered with blood, and debris was strewn all around him, he was completely unharmed. Amazingly, he had stepped behind a pillar at the very moment the bomb went off, and that pillar had shielded him from the direct impact of the explosion.
- On Sale
- Nov 8, 2016
- Page Count
- 336 pages