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Don’t you find that, as a Sandwich Generation senior home care giver and grandparent, you generally find it easy to obey Paul’s charge in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “pray without ceasing,” since there are so many needs to pray for? Do you ever find yourself so stressed, worried, upset, frazzled, drained, or just plain exhausted that you can’t find the words to pray, but you NEED to pray? I’ve been there many a time. Illness, emotions, death… And those are just some of the reasons. I do have a great solution for that, though, and it’s easy. I pray Scripture.
I often carry a list of favorite verses in my purse as well as having a Bible tucked into my car. I even have the whole Bible in my cell phone along with an audio version (including the great free one from Christian Audio this month) in my mp3 player. That makes it easy for me, no matter what my situation, to latch on to a favorite verse or five and pray them to God over whatever my heart is troubled by.
Many of my favorite passages are in the Psalms and most of my Bibles have several comforting passages underlined, and sometimes even re-underlined! Using Psalm 91 as an example, I would pray something like:
Father God, Thank You that You have led me to dwell in Your shelter. Help me to always abide in Your shadow, Lord, no matter what the trial. Oh Lord, thank You that You are, indeed, my refuge and my fortress, My God in Whom I trust! Please deliver me from the snare of fear and please deliver my loved ones and myself from the deadly pestilence. Please cover us with your pinions and help us each to seek refuge under Your wings. Thank You that Your faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. I rest in You, my precious Savior.
Please deliver me from the terror by night and the illness that stalks in darkness. Thank You for leading me to make You, Lord, my refuge and that You, the most High, are my dwelling place. Thank You that You are with me in trouble. I rest secure in You!
I don’t try to use every verse. I just scan through and use the ones that fill my heart with prayer or praise for my particular situation.
I have found that God uses this to calm me and focus me on Him, at least for a bit. Sometimes I’m afraid that I’ve been in such a dark valley, it’s definitely hard to even do this. Those are the times when all I can do is grab one verse and say it over and over and over. Even that has proven to be a blessing and a help.
Truly, I have seen Him walk by my side even closer as I walked “through the valley of the shadow of death.” I pray you, too, will find this to be a comfort and an encouragement in difficult times.