1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name
2 Praise the Lord, my soul and forget not all his benefits
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s
A true story…
I had just received dreaded words from a doctor’s report. But as I hung up the phone that afternoon, I felt strangely outside of it somehow. “Guess I just heard ‘bad news,'” I thought, then laughed at the odd phrase, more like those in a cliche movie scene than words I would usually use. But when I turned to the psalms and read the first words my eyes fell on, I gasped.
Psalm 112: 6-8:
Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
I simply sat there for a few minutes, awed at the thought of God first putting that particular phrase in my mind. Then making me to open right to that exact wording in His Word. It struck me — I could not have heard His heart any more clearly than if He’d spoken audibly.
That’s when I remembered stories I’d read of others who had written out such promises on index cards in times of crisis… to keep before their eyes and spirit continually. To not allow fear or negative words to knock down His truth. I’d interceded that way for someone else and seen God move mightily on his behalf. But somehow it was harder to pray that way for myself.
I closed my eyes. Help me to be steadfast in trusting You, Lord. I don’t know why it’s easier to believe for others than for me. Lead me to words to hold onto from You… I don’t want to listen to fearful thoughts, or experiences from well meaning others who might tell me horror stories. I want to keep my mind staid on what You say…
So, for the next two weeks before surgery, I did just that. Finding verses that spoke promise to me in ways I’d never seen in them before and speaking them out to the circumstances. And asking friends I knew would pray like-minded to join me. Like taking God’s promises and placing them one by one back into His hands, a child picking flowers for her gardener dad. I will not fear… I will look with triumph on my enemies (this disease)… Day after day, praying Scripture… like food and medicine to all that I am.
A dear friend called to pray with me the night before I left for the hospital, sharing one more promise God had led her to in quiet time. Psalm 103: 1-5. In that moment she prayed those awesome statements over me, I suddenly saw more in them than I’d understood before…
- David was directly addressing his innermost parts, commanding his body to worship the Lord… even as his spirit did…
- He reminded his body, soul and spirit, to never forget one single one of God’s benefits, and then he spoke out those benefits in detail:
- We usually have no trouble believing the first one – God forgives ALL my sins! It is the first thing Jesus said to those He healed too, somehow always linked to healing and wholeness of body and spirit… Take up your mat and walk, your sins are forgiven…
- It’s this next part that is harder to believe…because our past experience can seem to say otherwise. But God says, He heals ALL our diseases…
- His prayer was prophetic of the cross… Jesus has redeemed our lives from the pit, both here and now and in eternity. His death and resurrection has crowned us with love and compassion…
- David speaks out what Jesus later told us again and again. (Would you who are good give your children a scorpion instead of a fish? If an unjust judge will get up and answer his door to one who keeps banging, how much more will your father who loves you?) David knew… God longs to satisfy us with good things. To renew our youth and strength… It is the Thief who comes to steal and rob…
And today… looking back at God’s ‘triumph over my enemies,’ I believe… there is healing in the Word, because God lives in His Word. He puts it in our mouths to use as His sword (Ephesians 6), and when we receive and take it to speak back to Him, He fulfills yet another promise, Isaiah 55:11 — “... so is my word that goes out from my mouth:It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. ”
Thank you Father, for each and every healing promise…beginning with your Name, God our Healer.
Today, I pray Psalm 103 for myself [Insert your name] and for those I am lifting up before you…[Insert names of those you intercede for]:
I enlist whatever parts of my body (and theirs) that need healing to Praise the Lord, o my (their) innermost being! I will sing…His victory and joy resound inside me! Sickness and disease do not give praise to You who created my innermost parts, Lord. I will not forget one single one of your benefits! Thank you for forgiving my sins and cleansing me! If I have anything against anyone today, I forgive! I praise you! I receive your gifts of healing! I praise you for redeeming me from every pit, for crowning my life with love and compassion, for satisfying me with good. I am so grateful that You do this with desire to renew my strength and youth, like the eagle’s! I praise you for your Word that cuts through every mountain coming against me. May praises to You abide and continually flow in every cell of my body, for sickness can not abound where You live. In Jesus Name… I will sing Glory to You Alone.
An old worship song is filling my mouth as I pray… and I sing it into all my innermost being…”Clap your hands all you people (all my parts!), Shout unto God with the voice of triumph! Shout unto God with the voice of praise! Hosanna, Hosanna!”
Thought to ponder…
Is there something in my heart of hearts that I fear is too “big” for God?
© Pam Depoyan
Sunday Stillness with Janis Cox