Psalm 91.1

I remember clinging to Psalm 91 while our family lived in China back in 1995 as if it was oxygen giving me my next breath. Our youngest daughter Kelly, just three at the time, battled many strange illnesses while we lived in Beijing, and I was often consumed with fear for her safety. I read and prayed Psalm 91 over her so often that I ended up memorizing it without even trying.

Years later we learned that Kelly’s in-laws prayed the same psalm over our son-in-law Cal when he was a newborn with viral meningitis. What a gift to know that Kelly’s future husband was being prayed over with the same promises from Psalm 91 when he was just a baby.

I see Psalm 91:1 as our 911 promise of rescue: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

Some call Psalm 91 the soldier’s song, as many have prayed it over their loved ones in the armed forces when they’re deployed. Others see it as a warfare psalm, teaching us how to fight the good fight against the enemy of our souls. Though no author is mentioned in the Hebrew text of this psalm, Jewish tradition ascribes it to Moses as he wrote Psalm 90, while others say David wrote it—a mighty warrior himself.  

Regardless of who wrote it, I know it was inspired by our Most High, Almighty God. It’s a psalm filled with the wonder of the different names of God, and it declares His protection over us again and again. If you’re a Baby Boomer like I am, memorize this psalm while you can still remember things, and pray it over your grandchildren. Or if you’re a young mom, pray it when fear grips your heart for your little ones.

Just in the first two verses we see four majestic names of our God:

Most High (El Elyon in Hebrew, which means the Highest of the high),
Almighty (El Shaddai, which means God of the Mountains in Hebrew),
LORD (Yahweh, built on the word for “I am” in Hebrew),
God (Elohim, most commonly used word for God in Hebrew).

How beautiful to know that “Whoever dwells in the shelter of El Elyon, will rest in the shadow of El Shaddai. I will say of Yahweh, he is my refuge and fortress, my Elohim in whom I trust” (vv. 1–2).

Recently, God used this same psalm to comfort my questioning heart about my father’s suffering at the end of his life. Soon after his death, I was dwelling in Psalm 91 one early morning, God showed me that He never left my father in the midst of his suffering. As I read the last two verses, it was as if He was saying, “Judy, even in the midst of his groaning death, I was ‘with him in trouble, I delivered him and honored him, and with long life I satisfied him and showed him my salvation’”(vv. 15–16).

Do you see what God did there? Decades after He calmed my young mom’s fearful heart for my toddler, He used the same promises to comfort my grieving heart for my father who was nearing ninety.

There’s a verse in Psalm 119 that says: “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”

That is my story.

May it be the same for you.

No matter what you are going through right now . . . cling to His Word.

Savor it.

Hide it in your heart and mind.

Pray it over your babies and toddlers —or over your grandbabies and grand-toddlers—and over your aging parents.

And, just like He’s done for me for decades, may God use His promises—written thousands of years ago—to bring hope and comfort to your frightened or grieving hearts.

If you’d like a prayer written by my father, Mark Bubeck, based on Psalm 91, please subscribe to this blog and I will email it to you! Or if you’re already subscribed, just send me a message through this website requesting the prayer, and I will email it to you.

What about you? How has God “preserved your life” through His Word? Or, please share some favorite verses that you have prayed over your loved ones when fear threatens to overtake you. 

Listen to this beautiful song “He Will Hold Me Fast” by Keith & Kristyn Getty

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51 Responses

  1. This email was SO timely!!! This morning I woke up with the thought “yay! I get to read psalm 91 today. (In fact, I was wrong, my reading schedule was psalm 71) however before I got to it a friend messaged saying she had been loving psalm 91 lately!

    And then I saw this email! Wow!!

    Thanks for sharing! I’m planning a last minute online event (to take the place of an event we had to postpone due to virus) And this chapter will have a place in the story. You were a part of something bigger in my life.💕 God showing up!

  2. Hi My Darling Friend! I happened to be in Psalm 91 the past two days … what a delight to read your piece on it. I have a habit of highlighting the verbs in my Bible. Blue for God’s verbs, red for mine. The pattern is consistent throughout … His verbs involve action, strength, power, and tenderness. Mine involve lots of waiting and trusting and knowing. Today’s was the same. God’s verbs: deliver, cover, redeem, shield, protect, give angels charge, guard me, bear me up, set me securely on high, answer me, be with me, rescue, honor, satisfy, let me see. My verbs: not be afraid, make Him my refuge, make Him my dwelling place, love Him, know His name, call upon Him. I’d LOVE to receive your dad’s prayer.

  3. Thank you, Judy! Psalm 91 is my go to, too!! Once again you bring us into His throne room in His beautiful and powerful Word. I believe you gave us copies of your Dad’s version of psalm 91 at the retreat in September. Is it also in his book? Warfare Prayer? I’ll go see.. love to you!
    Thank you

    1. Hi Sally, So great to hear from you. The Psalm 91 prayer is not in his book, but I did send it to those who subscribed to this blog at the retreat. If you don’t have it, please email me through this website and I’ll send you a copy. Thanks!

  4. This Psalm has come up so much within the last couple days. Today, I was introduced to your blog by a friend of both of ours. This blog post is inspirational, it hits me to the core of my being.
    I have been working on a book for some time now. The nudge to write this book has become too overpowering and I was considering my options about how to publish my story. For a moment, I thought I would ask my small Facebook world, what their thoughts were about publishing or self publishing a book. Mary chimed in and then called me to introduce a podcast you were on not long ago.
    Afterward, I looked up your website and found the blog “Psalm 91:1” again. I do believe The Lord, our God works everything together for His praise and Glory. I will not ignore that, mostly because I know how insignificant I tend to believe I am but the importance is not in me, it’s in El Elyon.
    I am especially grateful for the inclusion of Psalm 119:92-93, “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”
    Daily, I search to live my life in accordance with the law of the Lord on my heart, that it may only reveal the embodiment of the love and charity in others we are meant to live out.
    I was looking to subscribe to the blog but thought I would introduce myself. My name is Laura Santos. It is a pleasure to meet your work and to hear part of your story.

    1. Laura, How lovely to meet you here! I am so glad you were encouraged by this post and pray that the the truths in Psalm 91 continue to wash over you, especially for such a time as this! Under His Wings, Judy

  5. I read this one at 3am last night. Afterwards, I listened to Psalm 91 on my Bible app. I just wanted to spend time with Jesus and it turns out He wanted to spend time with me too. Today on this Easter morning in the midst of COVID-19, I realize I love Him more, I love my loving husband more, and I love my precious boy more.

  6. Hi Judy! Powerful words here. I will read Ps 91 over and over as I travel this new journey of breast cancer. I would love the prayer written by your father!

  7. Judy this was so good!!! Comforting and encouraging in the midst of these difficult days. I’ve been thinking about my grandkids and kids and praying so much for them lately. This verse is one I will incorporate. I would love to have your dad’s prayer Judy. Thank you so much for writing this! Love to Rick.

    1. Dave! Great to hear from you! And grateful that this encouraged you. Jan just subscribed so I sent the prayers to her just now, but I’ll send them to you as well. We hope to connect with you guys when we are in Arizona for this coming winter! : )

  8. JUDY,

  9. Judy, Loved this blog as we, too, have been reading Psalm 91 every day at noon. We began joining other believers in Switzerland who were praying Psalm 91 at 7 pm every day (noon was the same time with them.) It has been such a comfort during these troubling times. Then a few months ago when our son was diagnosed with Melanoma, we are praying it over him. Thank you for sharing. I would love the prayer written by your father. Thanks.!! Blessings to you and your family.

    1. Penelope, So grateful to hear how Psalm 91 has been encouraging you as well during these times. I will be praying for your son as well. I just emailed you the prayers written by my father. Blessings!

  10. Judy, what a beautiful story! When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I clung to Psalm 91 daily. My son, who has a booming bass voice, sang it to me in a recorded voicemail. Past cancer, I often listen to the words which are alive and powerful in my life. Not just black ink on white paper, they literally carried me through cancer!

    1. Oh, Kathi, How wonderful to have that recording of your son singing Psalm 91 over you, and that God used the Psalm to encourage you through your journey with cancer. I hear you about the words not being just words on the paper, but powerful and alive! Blessings! Judy

  11. I love the 911 connection!!! This brings me a lot of comfort because I kept seeing that number as a warning or alert, but now… a promise of protection. Thank you for this!!!

  12. Wow, it’s definitely no mistake that God led me to read your blog this morning. What amazing and powerful Truth. As so many, I also cling to the promises of this Psalm and I’m so comforted by the sustaining, powerful names of God.
    Thank you, Judy, for sharing how God has used His word to comfort and encourage your heart. Your story is an inspiration to us. ❤️

  13. This chapter is so familiar – that I missed El Elyon and El Shaddai. He has shown me afresh in the last few months that this is who He is. Thank you for pointing this out. It has a whole new meaning when you look at it like that. What comfort. Thank you.

  14. Judi, I really appreciated your thoughts on Psalm 91. I have been thinking about what you wrote for a little while. What strikes me is that being in the shadow of the Most High (the “Highest of the Highest”) means that I rest in the shadow of the Almighty (the “God of the Mountains”). It has made me sense in a new way His presence as both the Highest of all and His shadow being the widest. Such amazing protection for those who are His! What a great God! Thank you for sharing this blog post.

  15. I love this message. Just this week I was prompted by God to pray the 91st plasm over myself, our sons and our marriage. I was reminded of the year our son served in Afghanistan. My cousin had sent this psalm to me and encouraged me to pray it over Kyle I did that for an entire year. Kyle came home and I continue to pray it over him and am believing God for his complete healing.
    Thank you Judy for sharing your journey and honoring God as you testify to His faithfulness.

    1. JoannA – I am so grateful you have been also been impacted by Psalm 91. And thank yo for the sacrifices you and your son have made for him to serve in the military. I will send you my father’s prayer based on Psalm 91 to your email given. Blessings! Judy

  16. Dear Judy, I recently saw you on Deeper Walk International’s Spiritual Warfare Conference, and was very blessed by all you shared. I would love to have a copy of the beautiful prayer written by your father, Mark Bubeck, based on Psalm 91. Thank you and God bless you and your family.
    Melody Carriere 🙏🏼

  17. Thank you for providing this prayer to us so generously. Please send me the Psalms 91 prayer written by Mark Bubeck.
    May the Lord richly bless you as you have blessed others.

  18. We received news yesterday morning that my 27 year old daughter’s best friend from high school lost her 2 year old son. He didn’t wake up after his afternoon nap yesterday. His Dad did CPR and paramedics worked on his little body for an hour. How do you respond to millennials that were raised in the church but don’t walk with Jesus. So heartbreaking. Then i listened to you on Cynthia Cavanaugh’s Faithful Living for Lasting Influence last night and clung to Psalm 91 while I slept. Each time I woke up and thought of the devastated young mom I repeated Ps 91:1. So timely. Thank you. Please send me your father’s prayer

  19. Hey Judy I wrote you an email asking to get the prayer from your father based on psalm 91. I tried to subscribe as well but it will not allow me to for some reason. Is there a way to still receive that 🙂
    Thank you!

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