I will love You, O LORD, my strength.
The LORDis my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
- Psalm 18.1-3
You are my strength, Lord, I will love you, under the shadow of your wings protect me....remit the wickedness of my sin. If I touch the fringe of your garment, I shall be saved from my sin.
- The Prayers of Moucan, Irish, 8th-9th century
What does it mean to say that the Lord is our strength? What kind of strength? Strength for what?
At one level, certainly, He is our strength for anything, which is to say, everything. He upholds the universe and all things in it by the Word of His power (Heb. 1.3), so that would include everything that goes into our existing, or exerting physical strength for any purpose in any situation, every time!
The Lord, that is, is our strength to be and to do.
By His unfathomable, mysterious, spiritual power, the Lord gives strength for existence to every created thing, and He does so continually and without fail. Thus, we never have a shortage of reasons to give thanks and praise to our Lord. His spiritual power makes all life, existence, and energy possible.
It is good to be reminded that we would have no strength at all were it not for the grace of King Jesus, in Whom the entire cosmos holds together (Col. 1.17). Here is plenty to occupy your mind throughout the course of a day.
All physical and material strength of any kind is from the spiritual strength of the Lord. The material world is of such a nature that, unless the spiritual strength of the Lord were in it, pervading it, upholding and sustaining it, the cosmos would not exist.
Our material existence in the world depends on the spiritual power of God.
But more importantly, the Lord is our moral and spiritual strength. His Spirit and Word exert real power on our soul, shaping us heart, mind, and conscience; and from our soul, He expresses His strength in our bodies, transforming our words and deeds into the image of Jesus Christ. By His strength, God enables us to go beyond where we are or have ever been before in obeying His Law, growing in grace, carrying out His will, loving our neighbors, bearing witness for Christ, and all the other moral and spiritual duties incumbent upon us day by day (Eph. 3.20).
We have been created anew in Christ Jesus for just such good works (Eph. 2.8-10), and it is woefully evident how much the world needs such works today.
But we are deceived if we think we can perform any of these good works in our own strength. We need the Lord, and the strength He alone can supply; and the Lord is more than willing to help us go farther, so that we may improve in righteousness and overflow with grace and spiritual strength toward others (Jn. 7.37-39).
Exceedingly abundant strength in the Lord is available for us to engage, which is why verse 3 of Psalm 18 begins, “I will call upon the LORD.” Prayer is the venue in which the strength of God is sought and secured.
One more reason why prayer matters so much.
Let us not be so foolish as to suppose that we have any strength whatsoever for physical, spiritual, moral, social, or cultural exertion. We can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ (Jn. 15.5). But all things are possible through Him (Phil. 4.13), even exceedingly abundant good works you’ve never dared to dream or seek (Eph. 3.20; Jn. 14.12).
Strength is available such as you’ve never known before. Seek it in prayer, then live in faith by the Spirit of God.
Psalm 18.1-3 (St. Columba: How Sweet and Awesome)
I love You, Lord, my Strength, my Rock, my Savior and my Fort;
My God, my ever-shelt’ring Rock, You shield my trembling heart.
My Stronghold, Lord, my Saving Horn, I call to You with praise!
From those who Your salvation scorn You save us all our days!
Strengthen me today, Lord Jesus, against everything that threatens my pursuit of Your Kingdom and righteousness. Adapted from “Patrick’s Breastplate”
Help for your prayer life
Check out our free online course, Parameters of Prayer (click here). This will help you understand the importance of prayer, and guide you into a fuller life of prayer, step by step. It’s free, and you can study at your own pace.
As you pray…
Would you prayerfully consider helping The Fellowship? Take a few minutes today and ask the Lord whether He would have you share with us in the financial needs of this ministry. God supplies all our needs, and He does so through friends who share our vision and benefit from our ministry. It’s easy to give to The Fellowship of Ailbe, and all gifts are, of course, tax-deductible. You can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.
T. M. Moore, Principal
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Davies, p. 303.