Praying a Psalm with Jesus is a powerful spiritual discipline. “The Lord is My Shield in Emotional Battles” has been a helpful exercise that I’ve used in many Soul Care Group meetings I lead.

Introduction

Jesus’ gospel is that we ought to re-think how we’re living our life in light of our opportunity, right now, to bring our living into God’s kingdom (Matthew 4:17). The Kingdom of God is the realm where what God wants done is done (Matthew 6:10). We learn to live in the spiritual reality of God’s kingdom by apprenticing ourselves to Jesus.

Psalm 3 is a lament that follows an important Gospel pattern:

  1. David laments over his conflict with his son Absalom and expresses his fear of the ensuing battle, venting his raw emotions to God and probably to trusted friends. (Verses 1-2 and a Selah to reflect on circumstantial reality.)
  2. He abandons to God the outcomes of his circumstances, trusting the Lord as his shield. (Verses 3-4 and a Selah to reflect on spiritual reality.)
  3. He’s in great danger, yet he sleeps peacefully as he waits for deliverance because he experiences the Lord sustaining him in the safety and abundance of his kingdom! (Verses 5-8 and a third Selah to reflect on bringing our circumstances into God’s rule.)

Meditation (Psalm 3:3)

Picture yourself in battle, protected by a 180 degree, full body shield (like the Roman soldiers in ancient times used). The Spirit of Christ surrounds you like a shield, enveloping you in the spiritual reality of the Kingdom of the Heavens. What a great realization: “the Lord is my shield!” He protects you from flaming arrows! He bestows his glory on you! He lifts up your head with confident alertness!

In quiet meditate on the “Christ Shield Prayer” (You can use the picture and a gentle breathing rhythm to help focus your thoughts and desires on simply resting in Christ as your protection): 

  • “But you are a shield around me, O Christ; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head… Selah.” (based on Psalm 3:3)

Personal Reflection/Lament

Try one or two phrases below (or use your own) to help you express your emotions about your circumstances. (You can journal on the back of the page.)

Dear Heavenly Father…

  • I am worried (or afraid) about…
  • I feel criticized (from others or myself) about…
  • I feel guilty because…
  • I feel alone in my battle with…
  • I feel hurt by…
  • I am frustrated (or angry) because…
  • I am concerned for  (name)  who is in a battle with… (adapt the pronouns in the prayer)

Then abide in the Christ Shield Prayer to bring yourself into God’s kingdom where you can experience the reality that “the Lord is my shield!”

Use your Christ Shield to Deal with Criticism” offers further help.


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