Prayer power ‘A hedge of Protection’
By Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel
I heard that phrase again: “Lord, build a hedge of protection around my friend.”
I’ve noticed that we often use similar phrases in our prayers. I notice it in myself. Each week at our Adult Rehabilitation Center, the men and women who have completed the six-month program are honored and given a pin and completion certificate. At the conclusion of the ceremony, each of those who have just been recognized is invited to stand at the front of the platform and all of those present, who are former students, are invited to the platform to surround them and offer prayer.
I am always fascinated and blessed by those who come to the platform to pray. Each one has completed the half-year curriculum—some, years ago—and they come to lay on hands in prayer for those honored.
My fascination with this scene (and I’m invited to join) has been to listen to the patterns of prayer offered. I am further blessed when I realize that these special group members, sometimes numbering 50 people, have all graduated and have made a special trip to the center to support their fellow alumnae by praying for them.
Each one has a story of life without God, of ruining their life and reputation by substance abuse, in many cases for years. They now stand as clean and sober people, praying that others will know the joy and peace they have found.
I always listen to the prayers, particularly to one man who nearly always includes, “Lord, build a hedge of protection around these graduates, and keep them safe and clean and strong. May your power keep them safe and clean and sober every day.”
During World War II in Europe, the importance of hedgerows emerged. During the fighting, they protected the defenders and frustrated the attackers in battle after battle. For these rows of hedges—planted to protect the fields from high winds and erosion and to identify property lines—also kept out intruders. They were planted with heavy, thorny bushes that were almost impenetrable. They were a strong protection and shielded the defending forces from attack.
In Job 1, Satan complained to God that he was not fair in the contest for Job since God had “made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side.”
So it appears that when we pray for God to put a hedge of protection around someone, we are asking God to keep our friend from yielding to sin and temptation.
Job needed a hedge, as the fullness of time had not come—Christ had not yet come and shed his blood for his people. Christ has done this for his church, and Scripture clearly says that we have been bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:19-20), that we have the full armor of God (Eph. 6) and we are his in Christ (Col. 3:3). So if all that is true (and it is!), why do we need a hedge to protect us when we are “in Christ”?
Well, even the best hedge needs maintenance. If the hedge is not watered and is neglected, it can die out and no longer protect. We need to pay attention to our prayer life, Bible reading, practicing the presence of God and active worship of God. It is in prayer that we rebuke Satan and strengthen the hedge against temptation and defeat.
There is power in prayer!
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