Prayers for Protection
(Psalm 5; 6; 7; 10; 11)
By Jean Colombe
For the next six weeks or so, our daily Bible readings will focus on the Psalms, written primarily by King David of Israel. Other writers included King Solomon (son of David), the sons of Korah (Asaph, Ethan and Heman) and even Moses.
The Psalms were written as Hebrew poetry and sacred songs, which became a spoken (or sung) history for many generations of God’s people. By repeating the words of the Psalms, parents would teach their children the truths of the Lord. The faithful would affirm and admonish one another with the familiar words. And the leaders would guide the people in worshipping the Lord with the traditional Psalms.
The Psalms traced the faithfulness of the Lord, prayed for His aid, confessed personal and corporate sins, recounted divine promises and even prophesied of times yet to come.
Today’s Scripture readings include several Psalms of petition, as David sought the Lord’s protection from a variety of perils. Each poem begins with a plea, outlines the danger and closes with a declaration of faith.
Miraculously, these ancient words offer wonderful models of prayer for us today. Consider the closing lines of each of these Psalms.
A Prayer for Protection in Persecution
Have you ever been falsely accused, unfairly maligned or slandered? Have others spoken harsh and untrue words against you or even threatened you for your faith? David’s prayer offers an excellent example and a promise of the Lord’s shelter.
“My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with flattery.
O God, declare them guilty.
Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
for they have rebelled against You.
But let all who take refuge in You rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
that all who love Your Name may be filled with joy.
For You bless the godly, O Lord;
You surround them with Your shield of love.”
(Psalm 5:9-12, NIV, emphasis added)
A Prayer for Protection from Evil
What believer has not faced temptation to do evil? Who has not encountered rejection or harsh treatment from those who oppose the Lord’s righteousness? Such perils may come from other people, our own human natures or the spiritual realm. As David prayed for God’s own forgiveness, grace, comfort and guidance, so may we.
“Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity;
For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my supplication;
The Lord will receive my prayer.
Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled;
Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.”
(Psalm 6:8-10, NKJV, emphasis added)
A Prayer for Protection from Pursuers
David often found himself pursued by those who would harm him. From pagan enemies to his own kinsmen, the threats were numerous and continuous. Still, he sought the Lord, even as we may do. David trusted God to judge rightly and to guard his life.
“He who is pregnant with evil
and conceives trouble
gives birth to disillusionment.
He who digs a hole
and scoops it out
falls into the pit he has made.
The trouble he causes recoils on himself;
his violence comes down on his own head.
I will give thanks to the Lord
because of His righteousness
and will sing praise to the Name
of the Lord Most High.”
(Psalm 7:14-17, NIV, emphasis added)
A Prayer for Protection from Oppression
Oppression may take many forms: outright aggression, trying circumstances or even inward discouragement. It may come from without or within. Oppression may even be spiritual in nature, as it all too often is. Have you ever felt oppressed and weighed down with worries, frustrations or calamity? David surely felt this way, and he carried his concern to the One with the answer.
“Do something, Lord God,
and use Your powerful arm
to help those in need.
The wicked don't respect You.
In their hearts they say,
‘God won't punish us!’
But You see the trouble and the distress,
and You will do something.
The poor can count on you,
and so can orphans.
Now break the arms of all merciless people.
Punish them for doing wrong,
and make them stop.
Our Lord, You will always rule,
but nations will vanish from the earth.
You listen to the longings of those who suffer.
You offer them hope,
and You pay attention to their cries for help.
You defend orphans
and everyone else in need,
so that no one on earth can terrify others again.”
(Psalm 10:12-18, CEV, emphasis added)
A Prayer for Protection from Threats
Have you ever felt threatened, either by a direct attack or a subtle statement? Whether this peril comes from an obvious enemy or even an unseen menace, the Lord knows. Even if entire nations are imperiled, Jehovah sees and answers the calls of those He loves. David faced such worries, and He laid his concerns at the feet of the Faithful One, who is our ever-present shield and timeless protector.
“I’ve already run for dear life
straight to the arms of God,
So why would I run away now when you say,
‘Run to the mountains;
the evil bows are bent, the wicked arrows
Aimed to shoot under cover of darkness
at every heart open to God.
The bottom's dropped out of the country;
good people don't have a chance’?
But God hasn't moved to the mountains;
His holy address hasn't changed.
He's in charge, as always,
His eyes taking everything in,
Adam's unruly brood inside and out,
not missing a thing.
He tests the good and the bad alike;
if anyone cheats, God's outraged.
Fail the test and you're out,
out in a hail of firestones,
Drinking from a canteen
filled with hot desert wind.
God's business is putting things right;
He loves getting the lines straight,
Setting us straight.
Once we're standing tall,
we can look Him straight in the eye.”
(Psalm 11:1-7, MSG, emphasis added)
What a blessing and comfort it is to belong to the One who sees all and who desires to set all things aright in His time. May it be ever so, as He has promised.
Will you pray with me?
Most mighty Lord,
You whose Name is above all names,
We praise You.
We rest in Your arms.
Help us to trust You
To guide and protect us,
Even as we face
You are the all-powerful One,
And we belong to You.