Prayer for Protection

King David was surrounded by enemies throughout his reign. The book of Psalms is filled with prayers of protection. It is time for the Believers of the Most-High God to pray as David did for the protection of our country, for the protection of our families, and for ourselves.

6 I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray.
7 Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
By your mighty power you rescue
those who seek refuge from their enemies.
8 Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.[a]
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
9 Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
from murderous enemies who surround me.
10 They are without pity.
Listen to their boasting!
11 They track me down and surround me,
watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—
like young lions hiding in ambush.

13 Arise, O Lord!
Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!
Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!
14 By the power of your hand, O Lord,
destroy those who look to this world for their reward. Psalm 17:6-14 NLT

God, we pray for your Divine Intervention against our greatest enemy, Satan who has planted evil in the minds of men and women to have armed rallies from January 16-20th at every Capital building in the United States. You promised to be a shield for all who look to you for protection. This is your world that you created for us to live in. Therefore, it is in faith that we pray this prayer, and we claim the victory in your Holy Name. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

Overcoming the Obstacles that prevent Peace

When we plan a vacation, we choose a refreshing but serene location or an urban city that offers shopping, restaurants, and excitement. But the ultimate goal is to get away from the busyness and struggle of our routine lives. Only if it were that simple to leave our challenges and never look back, even if we leave everything behind and choose new beginnings, we will face obstacles.

The greatest obstacle facing the multiple generations that co-exist in this world: Possessing Peace of mind!

I watched a movie that documented a young man who decided that nature was his best friend. So, he left his job, took his life savings and power tools to live alone. Choosing a perfect mountainous spot was easily done due to his previous hiking expeditions. He could live off the land in a cabin that he built without running water or electricity. All was well for many years. But unfortunately, one day, he mistakenly ate poisonous berries and suffered a slow and painful death. Months later, he was found at the base of a tree with his journal in hand. Although his daily journal entries indicated that he was “living in paradise” and was extremely happy, because of one mistake, he documented that his lapse in judgment cost him his life. “I mistakenly have eaten berries that must contain a neurotoxin because I have lost all ability to move my legs. You will find me dead.” Indeed this was a heart-wrenching real-life account of someone who met a premature death—never thinking that his pursuit of peace through isolation would eliminate much-needed medical help. 

Even so, as I reflected on this young man’s life, I realize that he possessed inner joy and achieved his definition of peace of mind. It is difficult to imagine that someone would find happiness in isolation from all human contact, hunt and gather food, and live without utilities. And that is why most individuals should not be unhappy. We have so many things (needs and wants) in our lives that we are miserable. 

We are self-medicating with anti-depressants, anti-anxiety prescription medications, CBD, feel-good drugs, alcohol, food, excessive spending habits, and the list goes on and on. Our minds are constantly in motion because we are always chasing something. I remember the first time I watched a self-help podcast that recommended taking a pen and paper and making a list of the things you required to sustain your life. And then, make a list of the things you desired, compare the two lists, and tear up the list of desires. The action of tearing up the paper reinforced the elimination of the stressful desires that prevented having peace of mind.

My first list was not a list. I had everything that I needed. When I looked at the list of desires, I asked myself, “Why?” Is this what is destroying my peace of mind? Self is our greatest obstacle! Possessing Peace is not based on the process of elimination. No God, No peace. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

During this pandemic, I have been able to realign my mindset to be in sync with God. My list of priorities has gone through a significant renovation. Faith and trust in God have replaced the destructive habit of self-reliance. Gratitude has replaced the greed for needless things. 

The holiday season should not be one of sorrow. Yes, we are in another tumultuous wave of illness and death from the Coronavirus. But I encourage you to make a list of the blessings that you have received from God this year, this month, and today. Acknowledge the unconditional love of God: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

It is possible to overcome the most significant challenge facing the multiple generations that co-exist in this world: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Allow God to enter your life as your Heavenly Father. Believe and receive His promises, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:33-34

God, we ask for your help to overcome the obstacle of ourselves. The desire for needless things plagues our minds. We are seeking peace from everything else, including a location change. Yes, we have failed to realize that peace is a gift from you. Please show us how to increase our faith and trust in you. We thank you for your love, grace, and mercies of this new day. Thank you for hearing and answering this prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author. 

Please, Don’t Say That!

There are some quips and quotes that produce a downward spiral of our inner joy and happiness. Although the reality is that the words may summarize the situation, they still leave a bitter impact on the mental and emotional well-being of the person who embraces these counterproductive statements. Let’s explore a couple of examples:

    1. “Good karma versus Bad karma.” If you are kind and do good, then good things will happen to you. But if you do bad things, then you will get back worse than you’ve given out.
    2. “Bad things happen to good people.” Because our perception of what constitutes “bad” differs from our life experience, I will only give one example of a tragic event. We can certainly agree that the premature death of a baby or child ranks as one of the highest on the list of bad things.

The reality is that both of these statements can easily be disproven. “Good karma versus Bad karma.” We have been given an innate drive to provide for our basic needs. So if a child never had enough to eat and learned that stealing was a method to diminish hunger, then certainly their perception of stealing is that it is a vital part of life. These children mature into adults with a skewed value system. As we differ, so do our definitions of “bad and good.” But the reality is that suffering impacts all of us.

“Bad things happen to good people.” Tragic events happen to everyone and are not dependent upon our good or bad character traits, personality, ethnicity, social, or financial status. Death is one of the cruelest events that humanity faces every day, and death is no respecter of persons.

How Negative Thoughts Are Ruining Your Life

“Whilst we know that a person’s genetics and life circumstances contribute to mental health problems, the results from this study showed that traumatic life events are the main reason people suffer from anxiety and depression. However, the way a person thinks about, and deals with, stressful events is as much an indicator of the level of stress and anxiety they feel,” said lead researcher Peter Kinderman, Head of the Institute of Psychology, Health, and Society. psychologytoday.com/us/blog/compassion-matters/201408/how-negative-thoughts-are-ruining-your-life

“Don’t say things like that!” “Why would you say that?” “That was really a terrible thing to say.” Have you ever been told that something you said was inappropriate? It was not a slip of the tongue, nor was it based on an emotional response. Your innermost thoughts that were hidden in the deepest recesses of your mind finally erupted like a volcano. The vicissitudes (a change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant) of life will make us better or bitter. Focusing on our circumstances produces anxiety and worry, which cancels our Faith in God.

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. Psalm 103:1-2 NLT

For those who are following my blog, you are aware that I place a lot of emphasis on studying the Bible and maintaining constant communication with God through prayer. The Bible provides the way and the means for us to live a faith-based life. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15. And prayer is so vital that we are admonished to always pray, whether in times of peace and prosperity or turbulence and poverty. 

Believers in the Most-High God, this is the expectation that God has for us:

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

There is something that I love about the Bible; there are no secrets. No, we do not know the date that Jesus is coming again or the cause of the Apostle Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Nor has the physical appearance been described when the righteous receive immortality at the Second Coming of Christ. Still, the Bible is a complete guide to living a victorious life as Overcomers!

The scriptures reveal the tribulations that we must face in our earthly journey: 

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 3:3-5

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19

The trials that I have suffered have been harsh, and if it were not for my faith in God, I probably would be institutionalized from a severe psychiatric disorder. But I am not! God delivered me and gave me complete mental and emotional healing, and I am sure that in those tribulations, my faith was only the size of a mustard seed.

The book of Job tells us of the extreme, harsh sufferings that Job, a righteous man, endured because Satan challenged God that Job only served Him because of his wealth. 

9 Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” 12 “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence. Job 1:9-12

The “wall of protection” is a gift from God that we have, or Satan would cause a continuous flow of tragic events, including death, to destroy the Believers in God. While we are blinded by our circumstances, the army of angels are protecting us, For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; Psalm 91:11.

In studying the Bible, I have never found a command for self-help in the “good or bad” times. We are admonished to have love, faith, trust, and obedience in God. Yes, we will cry many tears because of the hardships in our lives. Even so, I have learned to cry and pray at the same time. While the tears are flowing, I begin to feel the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and my prayer of distress becomes a prayer of thanksgiving and praise. 

Human effort is required to remain joyful! Trust in God’s process because our times of struggle will produce necessary spiritual growth and development. After all, what is the purpose of faithfully serving God? We are eagerly awaiting our reward of Eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Make it a rule never to utter one word of doubt or discouragement. You can do much to brighten the life of others and strengthen their efforts, by words of hope and holy cheer. Steps to Christ 119, 120. Ellen G. White

God’s promise to His Believers:

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:1-3

Bible Reading: Psalm 91

God, we thank you for providing for us and for guiding us through the vicissitudes of life. We ask forgiveness for our lack of faith, focusing on our circumstances and thinking and saying negative words. We desire to live with a spirit of gratitude. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

Your Value: Priceless

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:26-27

Throughout the Bible, God expresses and validates our value to Him. We are priceless!

Yes, God knows that we are priceless, but how do you feel about yourself? We are of such high worth that Jesus Christ died for us. We have been gifted with a seed of faith that has the ability to grow at phenomenal proportions. And God never stops giving His abundant love, grace, and mercies. Would God patiently wait for us to come to him, and give us unmerited gifts if He did not value us? Believe and receive: For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9. 

It is by our faith that we become part of the family of God. Faith believes in God, at all times, in all situations. We must believe that God exists, and we are His children. And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6

During this wintry season, do not place yourself in a season of darkness. God is our Heavenly Father. In the vastness of this universe, God knows you personally: Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:7.

I encourage you to study the Bible diligently. The Bible reveals God’s character and is the Voice of God. The Bible is complete with real-life stories of humanity’s struggles, defeats, and victories. Most importantly, God consistently reveals His love for us, despite our failures and shortcomings. The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. Psalm 24:1

Prayer is vital to deepen our relationship with God. Prayer provides an ongoing connection to God. The next time that distressful emotions overcome you, begin to pray. Do not focus on the amount of faith that you have or that you do not have. It is by faith that we even have the desire to pray. When we believe, our invisible God becomes visible in various ways. We serve a God who meets us where we are and ministers to our individual needs. Prayer is powerful. Remember, it takes the human effort of prayer to tap into God’s infinite love and power.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid. John 14:27

God, we pray for the ability to see ourselves as you see us. Thank you for fearfully and wonderfully creating us in your image. Indeed, you are an awesome God! As we continue our spiritual journey, we pray for increased faith and trust in you. This prayer we ask in the Worthy Name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.

© In the Vastness poem written by Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020