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.

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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.

Today…

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

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

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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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.