Praying Biblical Prayers (#23) – Psalm 46 – Be still and know God



Throughout this series we have joined some of our favorite biblical characters in the prayers they once prayed and which God has preserved for us in the Scriptures. As you ponder the variety of prayers from the Great Prayer Book, the Psalms, be enveloped by each word as if it was written directly to and for you…because in fact they were and are a gift from God for you. Praying the Scriptures in this way will bring health and vitality to your heart and soul, and great liberty to your life of prayer.


Psalm 46 prayerfully reminds us to pay attention to the ways God has been our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we shall not fear…no matter what circumstances befall us, consume us, or seek to overwhelm us. God’s desire has been and always will be to protect and provide for his beloved children. All we need to do is stop long enough to remember the many ways he has done so over the generations and throughout our own lives. At the end of verses 3, 7 and 11 the psalmist inserts the word “Selah” (not shown here) and that word, from the vantage point of many scholars, simply means “pause” – and, how fitting for us to do so on a regular basis. The more dramatic call for such an arresting from the daily grind is the pinnacle of this psalm, “Be still and know that I am God.” When we quiet the sounds and diminish the activities, slow down the rhythms and cease the tireless pursuits of this world, and simply still ourselves in the midst of this crazed world…then and only then will we know the ways of God. The deepest forms of prayer always include stillness, which leads to greater attentiveness.


Hop off the treadmill of your fast-paced drivenness to succeed and simply pursue stillness before God, so that you can know him more deeply and recognize once more that he is indeed your refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble, turmoil and tempest. Be…still…and…know…(Psalm 46)

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Behold the splendor of the Lord – Believe the promises of his love – Belong to those who unreservedly trust him – Become prayerful in all you are and do.



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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective),  Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn and twin grandsons, Aiden Joseph and Carson Stephen. “My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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