When we are hurt, we often make reactive promises. I will never speak to that person again. I will never be manipulated again. I will stand up and say no next time. That will never happen to my child. But in my own aching promises, I have been guilty of an intense overdependence on myself: In those moments, I try to become my own shield. How often have I considered how I may have hurt God’s feelings by searching outside of Him for my needs to be met?
The “nevers” of this prayer remind me that centering my life on pleasing my heavenly Father is more worthy and credible than any promise I make to myself in desperate self-reliance. Besides, it is He who gives me strength to say no, courage to resist a manipulative relationship, and grace to love the person I would rather never lay eyes on again. It is He who gives me wisdom to discern, and He also is the one who ultimately protects my children.
The prayer concludes:
“Do good to me by all Thy dispensations,
by all means of grace,
by worship, prayers, praises
And at last let me enter that world where is
No temple, but only Thy glory
And the Lamb’s.”
Therein lies our protection from hurt—a land of true, eternal safety, our “kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:28). May this prayer be our heart’s cry, all of us who call upon the name of the Lord!