The Lord’s Prayer Challenge and the 23rd Psalm

Recently, I was in a conference with my husband’s denominational affiliation, and while there, I heard a well-known, Christian minister speak about how the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm had had a powerful impact on his life.  He said that about ten years ago, he was struggling in the midst of a very deep depression.  He began reciting the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm at least for-to-five times a day, and that He literally was healed through the process of applying God’s Word to his life.

He said that the modern church has lost something in not including many of these powerful prayers and ancient creeds, once recited in unison, as a part of worship.  There are still some churches and denominations that do this, and perhaps, they have something to teach us!

The Lord tells us that “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).  If food and water are not enough to sustain us, than no wonder many of us are literally dying on the vine.  Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual maladies can sometimes be a result of our lack of spiritual nourishment for the soul.

I remember my most difficult bout with depression.  It came shortly after the birth of our second daughter.  I was so depressed, all I wanted to do was sleep away the hours.  I looked forward to bedtime, because once asleep, I did not have to struggle with the nagging fears and sense of hopelessness that filled my waking hours.  It was then that I began to feed myself on God’s Word.  I found Scripture passages and wrote them down on little note cards-many note cards, and read them over and over again.  I had them stuck in my Bible for safe-keeping, so daily I could pull them out and recite the verses that began filling me with HOPE.  It did not happen overnight, but gradually, I began to feel more hopeful and at peace.

On two consecutive nights, I awakened in the wee hours from a deep sleep, during which I dreamt the the most amazing dreams, which I believe were messages from God Himself.  The first night, the dream ended with no conclusion as to its meaning; I awoke a little disappointed, but believed it addressed my depression.  I knew God knew what I was struggling with.  On the second night, it was like nothing I have experienced in my life before or since.  A rush of wind literally blew into my left ear and awakened me from the most dramatic dream during which I was instantly delivered from my depression at a church service.  If I had not awakened when I did, merely seconds after the climax of the dream, I probably would not have remembered it in the morning.  I knew at this point, that I would indeed come through this dark period in my life, and it was God who was going to bring me through to the other side.  I now had hope!

The point is, feasting on God’s Word as I did, instilled in my spirit the belief, God is Who He says He is.  The Word is Truth.  And it is that “truth that sets us free” (John 8:32).  What does it mean to feast?  I believe hearing God’s Word over and over until it becomes a part of us and changes us.  Faith to believe God and His promises increases in us as His Word fills us.  Roman 10:17 literally says that faith comes from hearing the Word of God.  If your faith is low, feast on His Word!

I am not going to say that I have never again struggled with depression.  Some people have biological tendencies toward depression; but I do believe feeding one’s soul can have amazing results for this struggle, as with any other human struggle, because we begin to put our hope and trust in God.  And His Word promises that He will not disappoint us.  He has never disappointed me!

So I am challenging myself now to recite out-loud, four-to-five times daily, The Lord’s Prayer, which is found in Matthew 6, and the 23rd Psalm.  Not to be spoken as a rote, mechanical exercise, but as a prayerful, hopeful plea to my God!  I will report on my experience in the coming weeks.

Join me in this challenge to incorporate these ancient verses in our daily lives, and watch how God’s Word changes us, renews us, heals us… I will report back my findings, and I would love to hear how it is working for you, too.

Challenged with The Word,

Robin

 

 

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