The 3 most prayed words in the world– and a better idea.


APRIL 11, 2014

Psalm 125

Those who trust in the Lord
are like Mt. Zion’s hill;
Which can’t be shaken, but endures
forever firmly still.

As mountains do surround
your walls, Jerusalem;
The Lord surrounds His people now,
and evermore keeps them.

The reign of wicked ones
will not remain or stand,
Over the place allotted to
the righteous and their land.

For then the righteous might
do evil with their hand;
Do good, O Lord, to those good ones
who for the upright stand.

But those who turn aside
to crooked, evil ways;
The Lord will banish with all wrong –
Peace for all Isr’el’s days.


Of all the prayers God hears every day, what kind of prayers do you think he hears the most? My hunch is he mostly hears a prayer that comes own to about three words, “Keep us safe.” Next to food, water and shelter, human beings crave safety and security. Yes, I’d say people pray for safety more than just about anything else. Am I right?

Like a number of others, Song #125 offers a different strategy than anxious prayers for safety. Instead of praying for safety, this song declares protection. It states security. “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people.” Not only that, it “images” protection and security. Note, the song doesn’t say, God keeps us safe. The song reaches for an image of protection and leads us to sing into that picture. That’s what metaphors are for. They cause the soul to think. To declare “God keeps us safe,” is a “truth,” but it keeps things at the level of knowledge. To declare, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people,” –now that’s a vision.

Faith requires a comprehension beyond mere knowledge of truth. Faith is far more about seeing a vision than possessing knowledge.

The more our songs declare protection the less we will find ourselves praying for safety. There’s just a lot more pressing agendas that need our prayers– like praying for a great awakening to the Gospel in this land and beyond or praying for the persecuted or the poor and on we could go.

Sure, praying for safety is fine. But might declaring God’s protection be a bolder strategy? I say go for it!

And instead of telling one another to “be safe,” how about we start encouraging one another to “be bold!”


J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.