The Travelers’s Illustrated Scripture Prayer Card, featuring a Prayer inspired by Psalm 121:8, original art by Suzanne Davis Harden Copyright © 2020 Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved.
All Glory To God.
“The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
Psalms 121:8 KJV
In the illustration for this prayer card, the Lord inspired me to paint the central figure as a female visual metaphor representing a traveler.
She is a student learning lessons on the path of life, collecting them in (metaphorical) note books that she carries as her life lesson journals in her arms next to her heart where they are engraved even as she lives them.
We are all travelers, sojourners on this earth.
The face on my traveler is purposely in deep shadow.
Who is she?
What will be the outcome of her journey?
That is the question in our own mind whenever we embark on some trip.
We must go by faith and we proceed on our way (usually) with joy and optimism.
We pray in hope over our babies when they begin their path of life.
We pray in sorrow as we watch loved ones depart on their journey into eternity.
Ever since I learned this Bible verse, Psalm 121:8 has been a foundational prayer that I offer to God daily.
We pray this beautiful prayer asking the Lord to guard our going out and our coming in from this time forth~ right now~ till forever ~ throughout our whole lives and for all eternity.
By offering this prayer we are acknowledging that our Creator is in control of all things that pertain to us and we are renewing our trust in His care as our Holy Protector, Good Shepherd, and Guardian.
The word the Psalmist used for *preserve is * shamar (transliteration) (BDB Thayer Bible Dictionary Definition)
To keep, guard, observe, give heed... protect, save life...watchman... to keep within bounds, restrain...
The verse before the affirmation that God shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from now till forever promises: “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul.” Psalm 121:7
The word for evil is ra’ ra’ ah (transliteration)~from the BDB definition)
Bad, evil...disagreeable, malignant...giving pain, unhappiness, misery...displeasing, bad value...distress, adversity injury, wrong, ethical evil, from a word meaning...
Ra-ah (phonetic); to be bad, be evil > to break, shatter, to be broken, be broken asunder, broken in pieces. Origin: a primitive root.
Now we know that we all have bad days. And we all get sick. I have severe migraines every day...though I pray this wondrous prayer daily, and many more besides.
So what exactly kind of evil does the verse promise that God will preserve us from then?
The following verse defines the promise: “He shall preserve thy soul...”
What does the soul mean?
The word used means * neh-fesh (*Phonetic)
“The soul, self, life, creature, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion, /that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man/ the living being/ seat of the appetites/ seat of emotions and passions/ activity of the mind/activity of the will/activity of the character...”
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught His disciples to pray something very important that is related to Psalm 121 every day:
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Matthew 6:13 KJV
As we continue to give God the control over our lives He is going to guard and to preserve our will, and give us self control, and work in us the grace to do what is good and right and proper.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
Philippians 2:13 KJV
It is truly only God’s grace that protects each one of us from doing the unthinkable.
God’s Holy Spirit will restrain our sinful impulses as we invite our Lord Jesus Christ to be our Guardian God to keep us from harm and danger, and surround us with His holy favor, so that we can live peaceful, happy lives that honor and glorify Him.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
As we pray such prayers from God’s word we are praying His will~
for God’s word IS His will.
As we pray and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Lord of our lives, we are inviting our Creator to not only participate or share in our lives but to be our Guardian God, our Shepherd, and Guide, our Protector from all evil and temptations to do harm.
Long ago the story is told that as a Christian watched a condemned man being led to the gallows he humbly bowed his head and said, “But for the grace of God there go I...”
Praying the Traveler’s Prayer from Psalm 121:8 won’t guarantee that a soul will not have adversity. But it will invite our Creator to take over the reins in our life and guard our SOUL from evil.
It gives our Creator great joy when we invite Him through prayer to protect us.
For He loves us and wants to share our lives with us in intimate fellowship.
God longs to be our Friend.
The Lord wants to guard our going out and our coming in from this time forth even to forever.
The Travelers’s Scripture Prayer Card, All Glory To God, Copyright © Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved.
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“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
From whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord,
Which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper:
The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
He shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out
And thy coming in from this time forth,
And even for evermore.”
~Psalms 121:1-8 KJV