Day 3: Hear Jesus Pray for our Protection
I ask that by the power of Your name, protect each one that you have given me…I am not asking that you remove them from the world, but I ask that you guard their hearts from evil. (Verses 11b,15,16)
Is it not amazing to think that Jesus asks our Father (and by “our” I mean His and ours) to protect us and guard our hearts from evil? Now, if Jesus has asked this of the Father for us, that means that every day our Father is protecting us in ways we probably don’t see, seeking to guard our hearts from the evil in this world. Jesus isn’t asking for an escape route out of the world, He is promising the protection of His brothers and sister…specifically for the protection of our hearts…which are the wellspring of life.
I’ve been thinking and talking to God lately about the places I experience being threatened. I had no idea I had these places until a dear friend asked me about this a few weeks back. She asked, “Where are you feeling threatened in this situation?” I didn’t like the question and felt quite defensive towards it, denied it and then couldn’t get rid of the question! Can you relate?
I have been talking to God about where this sense of threat began its brokenness in me and He helped me to see. It shed a lot of light on what triggers it now. It’s an angry type of pride, to be honest. I sat with Jesus and let myself know where I held this in my body. I discovered I held it in the muscles of my arms – which is very interesting because I have experienced muscle pain here a number of times. Jesus met me here, I held out my feisty, threatened arms for His healing. I let Him pour the healing oil of the Spirit on me. Now I have to learn how to live out the freedom He has worked in me, how to notice when that sense of being threatened shows us and how to release it to Him. He wants to be my Protector and He protects me from what is truly a threat – not the things I have thought I need to protect myself from.
I have this image in my mind. A number of years ago, my husband and I visited our youngest daughter in Australia. I wasn’t really catching on which direction I needed to pay attention to because of the cars driving on the opposite side of the road. (I struggle when the cars are in the right lane!) I would just be about to step out and my daughter’s arm that was linked so kindly under mine would give a sudden and strong pull back that caused me to step back and stay safe on the sidewalk. What a feeling. Watching out for her mama. Seeing the places and the cars I missed. Knowing the different directions danger could come from.
Today, I invite you to be aware throughout the day that a strong arm is linked in yours, looking out for your heart, the very soul of you. Notice when it pulls you back to pause, notice where you might be trying to wiggle your way out from the grasp and where you might be protecting yourself from things that are not harmful. Lean into God Almighty being your Protector.
I leave you with this beautiful prayer from Christina Rosetti (19th century poet)
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who art as a shadow of a great Rock in a weary land
Who beholdest thy weak creatures weary of labour, weary of pleasure, weary of hope deferred, weary of self. In Thine abundant compassion and fellow feeling with us and unutterable tenderness, bring us, we pray thee, unto Thy rest. Amen
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