I've found that my worst enemy during times like this are the "what ifs"; this is especially true when our soldier is on a mission and we've been out of touch for weeks. My own internal resources for coping are not enough to keep my emotions in check when someone I love is in potential danger. Pushing down these feelings or trying to ignore them won't work. I've had them spring up like a crazy jack-in-the box ... at the worst possible time, mocking my lack of faith and cowardice. The best weapon against the "what ifs" is truth...God's truth.
I attended my first writer's conference in the early 90's. The editors and publishers at the Moody-Write-to-Publish Conference in Chicago, frequently reminded us that our writing must be relevant: "Write with your Bible and a current newspaper open in front of you." I handle difficult situations best when I have all the facts and have learned to apply what I was taught about writing to life in general. When our son is in a war zone, I watch the news ... with my Bible close at hand.
God's Word is the only offensive weapon in our "spiritual armor" and as our son began to prepare physically and mentally for his upcoming deployment, husband and I prepared as well.
We chose specific Bible verses and began to pray them for our son before he left for Afghanistan. I wanted to have these verses immediately available when prompted to pray in the middle of the night or during a busy day. In our printed copy I inserted our son's name in each verse where appropriate.
Not long ago, Husband commented on how much our times of praying God's Word out loud together is helping him to cope with our son's deployment. Speaking God's truth helps us cope with stress when most of the news from the media is either negative or heartbreaking. It is a daily reminder that God is in control. Below are current verses we are praying for our soldier. The _____ are where we have inserted his name.
___'s righteousness (in Christ) shall go before ___ and the glory of the Lord shall be ___'s rear guard (Is. 58:8).
Because God is ___'s refuge, the High God, ___'s very own home, evil can’t get close to ___; harm can’t get through the door. He ordered His angels to guard ___ wherever ___ goes (Ps. 91:9-11).
The eternal God is ___’s refuge and dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms
___ is secure and feels confident because there is hope; yes, ___ looks around him and takes his rest in safety. ___ lies down, and none make ___ afraid (Job 11:18,19).
The Lord is ___’s refuge and high tower when ___ is oppressed, a refuge and stronghold in ___’s time of trouble (Ps. 9:9).
God is ___’s hiding place from every storm of life; You even keep ___ from getting into trouble! You surround ___ with songs of victory (Ps. 32:7).
___ trusts in and confidently relies on the loving kindness and the mercy of God forever and ever. ___ will thank You and confide in You forever, because You have done it. ___ will wait on, hope in and expect in Your name (Ps. 52:8-9).
As ___ dwells in the secret place of the Most High, ___ shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. ___ will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust” (Ps. 91:1, 2).
In the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord ___ has strong confidence, and ___ shall always have a place of refuge (Prov. 14:26).
By two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive ___, ___, who has fled (to Him) for refuge has mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for ___ and set before ___ (Hew. 6:18).
For you will light ___’s lamp; the Lord will enlighten ___’s darkness. For by You ___ can run against a troop, and by ___’s God he can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to ___ who trusts in Him.
For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God Who arms ___ with strength, and makes ___’s way perfect. He makes ___’s feet like the feet of deer, and sets ___ on his high places. He teaches ___’s hands to make war, so that ___'s arms can bend a bow of bronze. God has given ___ the shield of His salvation: God’s right hand has held ___ up, Your gentleness has made ___ great. You enlarged ___’s path under him; so that ___’s feet did not slip…. ___ has pursued his enemies and overtaken them…for You have armed ___ with strength for the battle (Ps 18:28-37,39).
For more information on praying God's Word out loud:
The Secret Power of Speaking God's Word by Joyce Meyer
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pictures and text copyright Janice E. Gray 2013