Psalm 91 is a familiar passage to many, and I must admit it has been a very dear passage to me over the years. I have quoted it many times and received encouragement from it but have had a limited understanding in regard to the power it can give us. Yes, it is about protection, deliverance, courage, angels, and messianic prophecy. Yet, there is a part in which we must take action, if we want the fullness of it in our lives.
Let’s look at verse 1 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Hmmm, it says “He that dwelleth”… what does that mean? Well, to dwell (verb) means to live in or at a specified place. Synonyms would be: reside, live, be settled, be housed, lodge, stay. So, to abide under the protection of the Almighty, we must dwell in the secret place! The secret place is not defined as under His wing, or “the shadow of the Almighty,” but it is the place we must dwell so that we can abide there.
During prayer time one day last year, I had my bible open to this passage and I asked the Lord to ‘let me stay in this secret place…. Lord, I need to be in this place right now!” Immediately, I felt led to turn to Matthew 6:6 which states “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret;” I knew right then the Lord had given me the answer!
Dwelling in the secret place, is our quiet time of prayer. We are to pray daily. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray and said the part about “give us this day our daily bread”, that tells me we must pray daily. If we want to abide under His shadow, protected, we must stay in prayer. Our Father is in secret, as the scripture tells us, so we must go to Him in prayer. Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father (John 14:6) and he taught us to pray!
Let me ask, have you been struggling spiritually? Do you feel alone, like God is a million miles away and doesn’t see what you’re going through? Do you feel unprotected, like the devil is on your case and left the rest of the world alone? Are your relationships on edge because you’re patients have become so short with those around you? If any of these hit home, let me encourage you to visit the secret place. Once there, I believe a desire to make it your dwelling will be present. If we feel life is out of control, then the only place to abide is under the shadow of the Almighty… and to get there, we must dwell in the secret place!
Please be encouraged today, knowing that God will make a way for you. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t prayed in days, weeks or years… start today! He is waiting to hear from you. Seek Him in prayer and pour out your heart. Speak out your concerns, troubles, fears, and even anger. God wants to hear from you. Spend time in prayer… we can escape the arrows of the enemy and fear of the unknown, as well as any plague that may come near us “Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;” Psalm 91:9
Let me challenge you (and I’ll do it too) to spend a few minutes each day, privately, for the next 30 days speaking to the Father about whatever is going on in your life. Approach Him sincerely, through Jesus Christ, and don’t be afraid to be completely honest. If you do, I feel sure that you will begin to sense the safety and assurance that you have been needing in your life. His presence will be unmistakable, and your faith strengthened.
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is the pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.