Tag Archives: protection

Sunday Stillness – Use SIMPLE to study Psalm 23:4

Use SIMPLE to study Psalm 23:4


At the beginning of October I gave instructions of how to use the acronym S.I.M.P.L.E. to study a Bible passage.

Last week I used this method to study John 3:1-8. This week I am using a very short, known passage to see what I can learn using this method. Psalm 23:4.

S – Say the passage aloud.

Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me (Psalm 23:4, NIV).

Because it is so short I am going to look at it in The Message as well.

Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure (Psalm 23:4, The Message).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

God and I. When I am fearful, sad, confused. Remembering to fear nothing because of the presence of God. Just before this verse it says that I am led along quiet waters and through right paths. Then there is the word, “even”. Or “yea” in the KJV before the darkness comes in.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

As I go through this world I remember that God is always with me. I am NEVER alone. But it says “when” you walk by my side. So I have to know that God is there. I think of rod and staff and remember about shepherds keeping their sheep close by and being able to catch them or get them out of predicaments. The Message using “trusty shepherd’s crook”  is a great picture. No matter how dark things appear – I know I have a Shepherd watching over me.

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

As I prayed this time I was reminded of those who do not know the Lord – who are fearful because of this. I prayed for those who are going through tough times, those who know You, Lord and those who don’t. I prayed that You would talk to those who don’t know You so this passage will speak to their hearts.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

As for my life, when I prayed I heard You speak of being bold for You. To speak out about Your love, Your grace and Your faithfulness. I want to show everyone Jesus. In all I do, in all I speak and in who I am.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.


Oh Father, I pray for those who are hurting right now, for my friends who know you and for those who don’t. I pray Your Spirit will comfort them in their times of need. I also thank You that You are my Shepherd and I do not need to fear, that You are there to catch me when I fall, You are there to hold me when I am weak, You are there to inspire me when I feel uninspired. Thank You for being my All in All. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.


Use the new SIMPLE method to study Psalm 23:4. Pray and study together. (tweet this)

Today is #SundayStillness. Join us as you read and add your posts. Thanks for building this community.


60 Promises to Pray Over Your Children – book review

60 Promises to Pray Over Your Children – book review60 Promises to Pray Over Your Children

by Roy Lessin (Summerside Press, 2012)

Reviewed by Janet Sketchley

This hard-bound gift book is a great resource for any praying parent. Each prayer is matched with a Scripture verse and a brief inspirational quote, and a green satin ribbon lets you mark your progress through the pages.

Nine sections focus prayers in the areas of blessing, protection, character, community, praise, growth, courage, purpose and knowing God. The prayers are written from a point of view that says “my children” but are easily customizable to “our” and/or “child” … or, for that matter, “grandchild” or “niece/nephew.”

I made a point in each prayer to include my children’s names, and when I reached the end of the book, I began again. The prayers apply to any age of child as well, and again, are customizable. For example, if a reader has a child who’s ignoring the Lord, instead of thanking God for a faith relationship, the reader could thank Him for desiring such a relationship with the child, and pray for the Holy Spirit to draw him/her.

I’ve long been a fan of Roy Lessin’s verse and his devotional website, Meet Me in the Meadow. His words in these carefully-crafted prayers can aid us in regular prayer for the children (of all ages) in our lives.

Amazon link 

[Review copy from my personal library. Amazon link is an affiliate link for The Word Guild.]

Janet Sketchley

Janet Sketchley facebook 180x180

Janet writes about the tenacity of God. Her novel, Heaven’s Prey, releases November 1, 2013 from Choose NOW Publishing. You can find her on her website, Janet Sketchley.

What is H.O.P?

What is H.O.P?

by Janis Cox

Hawk - Psalm 5:11

While in Arizona last winter I met a wonderful group of faith-filled Sisters in Christ. We studied and prayed together every week. One day as we were listing the prayer requests  someone said “HOP for my family”. I asked what that meant. She told me Hedge of Protection.

We can pray H.O.P. – Hedge of Protection over our friends and family. (click to tweet this)

What a wonderful easy way to remember how to pray for our family and friends.

Spread your protection over them that those who love your name may rejoice in you (Psalm 5:11, NIV).

Now I see that H.O.P in action. Here are a few examples.

A husband falls suddenly. He is taken to the hospital. After tests the doctors discover  he has sleep apnea. That could have led to a heart attack, stroke and certain death. Now, they have the solution  – a CPAP machine. If it wasn’t for the fall? There is the hedge of protection at work with our loving God.

A friend goes in for an appendectomy and they discover a cancerous tumour on her kidney. Surgery in time. Hedge of Protection.

A family member has trouble with an infection on his toe which is getting worse. After tests it is found he has a cancerous tumour on his colon. Operation. In time. No cancer left. H.O.P.

May we all use this tiny word -HOP, remembering it is our God who watches over us. It is Jesus who intercedes for us. It is the Holy Spirit who speaks into our hearts.


Thank you Lord Jesus, for giving us this wonderful way to connect with our Father. We appreciate all You have done for us so we can talk to God. We pray a hedge of protection over our family and friends. We thank You for watching over us. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters. Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.

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We have a guest post today from Sulo Moorthy, who writes for Inscribe Online as well as in her own blog Precious Moments. Here she tells us one good reason to pray – protection.

Prayer–An Armor of Protection

by Sulo Moorthy (reprinted with permission from Inscribe Online)


We do pray for many reasons. We pray because we love God and we want to communicate with Him. We pray when we are in need of something, in trouble, in pain, or in danger. We pray for our sakes as well as for the well being of our loved ones and associates. Sometimes we pray out of desperation, and other times, we pray out of duty.

We feel guilty when we don’t pray and feel great when we do pray as we ought to. Some of us choose to pray in the early hours of the day, while others prefer to pray before going to bed. We assume God to be well pleased when we pray to Him, and displeased when we don’t seek Him in prayer. Though we may have many reasons to pray, there’s one other good reason we need to pray.

In Mark 14; 37, in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus tells Peter,

“…Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Peter was unaware of what’s going to happen in the next couple of hours. But Jesus knew. Only a day earlier, when Jesus told His disciples “You will all fall away, for it is written, ” I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, ” Peter had declared, ” Even if all fall away, I will not.” He was so confident of his love for His Master that he took no account of his weakness.

If only he had remembered what Jesus had told him soon after the Last Supper in the upper room, he may have acted differently. Jesus told him,

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22: 31-32)

As Jesus predicted, within two days, Peter stood in the courtyard of the high priest and denied knowing Christ. Giving into fear, he disowned the One, whom he vouched of not abandoning for any reason.

If only Peter had taken Jesus’ words seriously and given to much praying, he could have gained the courage to stand up for His Master at any cost. Prayer could have become an armor to guard him from giving into fear and temptation. It’s for Peter’s sake, Jesus wanted him to watch and pray.

In the Book of Job, we find Satan asking permission to test the faith of Job. Peter, like Job had the freedom to pass or fail the test. We too have the same freedom of choice. Most of the times, our eyes are blind to see what Satan is orchestrating behind the scene. It is here prayer plays a vital role in shielding us from the enemy’s deceitful pranks. Jesus taught us to pray, “Do not lead us into temptation.” If we keep alert and follow His instruction, like Peter we too might be called to strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ, when we see them going through trials and temptations.

“Without prayer, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word, have no power. All depends on prayer. May God teach us to believe this and to hold fast.” ~ Andrew Murray