Today’s guest post, Processing God’s Promises in Psalm 4, written by Anthea Kotlan, first appeared on antheakotlan.com.
My husband and I often tucked them into bed with prayers when my daughters were little. One of our prayers was from Psalm 4.
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8 ESV
This declaration reminded us of God’s watchful protection and availability. Twenty years later, I can still hear two sleepy little girls putting their hands together and praying this verse with me.
Sometimes I need to declare the truth of God’s word over myself. Actively reading, writing and intentionally taking it into my mind and heart begins a conversation. I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me to the treasure hidden in plain sight. The truth contained in God’s words applies to my life every single day, no matter what I face.
Psalm 4, like so many of the Psalms, takes the reader on a journey from recalling God’s faithfulness to reaching a place of complete surrender and certainty.
Using each psalm verse as a prayer prompt provides a map to peaceful rest.
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! Psalm 4:1 ESV
Lord, I thank you for hearing me. You are always available, day or night. You help me when I am afraid. You overflow with grace to me, and you have a never-failing track record.
2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Psalm 4:2 ESV
God, sometimes it feels as if those around me are mocking me and trying to reveal my faults and failures. As they continue to seek flattery and things that are not true, help me refocus my attention on who you say I am. Flood my mind with truth.
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. Psalm 4:3 ESV
Thank you that you have set me apart for your purposes. As I walk in that, you are always close by my side and ready to hear my calls of confusion, distress, fear, and cries for help.
4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Psalm 4:4 ESV
Lord, please help me. When anger tries to rule my heart and lead me into temptation, guide me back to you. Please teach me how to hold my tongue. It is far too often the weapon used against me. Help me to practice the discipline of silence and rest.
5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. Psalm 4:5 ESV
Show me what is pleasing to you. Help me give up and give away what is not needed, even when I think I want it. I know you alone can satisfy all my needs when letting go of something. Help me put myself and those I love in your hands every minute of every day.
6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” Psalm 4:6 ESV
Help me to testify to your goodness. Help me point others to all the ways you’re working and displaying masterpieces before our eyes. Help me daily to see your face.
7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. Psalm 4:7 ESV
While others may feast on food and wine, let me find all my soul sustaining satisfaction in you, alone. You are my abundant provider.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
As I lie down tonight and surrender myself to your care, help me to demonstrate how amazing it is to trust you even in my slumber. Only you can keep me safe in this world and into the world to come, forever.
For over thirty years, Anthea Kotlan has served as a women’s ministry leader in the church and community. She has a passion for discipleship and encouraging women to walk confidently in their God-given calling. She designs women’s retreats, teaches Bible studies, writes, and enjoys speaking at events. Recently, she began serving on a church plant team in Conroe, Texas with her husband, a bi-vocational priest. Every chance she gets, she spends time laughing with her two adult daughters or snuggling her two grandchildren. Check out Anthea’s blog for weekly soul-tending devotionals from the Psalms. antheakotlan.com
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