Pegs, Prayer, and the Power of a Word Picture
Are you a tenter? I've become one. To be honest, for years I had no interest in camping. That's because years ago when our children were small, we lived on a small island in the southern Philippines and, even though we lived in a nipa hut, we lived so simply that it felt like we were camping all the time. But then 12 years ago, when we returned to live in Canada for a time, we bought a tent. I was sold.
If you've ever tented, you know there are certain things you can't leave behind, or your tent won't stay up or won't stay put.
Tent pegs are one of those things.
A couple of days ago, I read a Psalm and then the commentary on two of the verses that spoke to me--two verses that reference tent pegs.
Psalms 65:1,2 in The Passion Translation says this:
"O God in Zion, to you even silence is praise! You who answers prayer, all of humanity comes before you with their requests."
Then this commentary on the word "prayer" in these verses:
"The root of the Hebrew word for 'prayer' is palal, which also means 'tent peg.' Jewish tradition views palal prayer (intercession) as a means of attaching yourself to God. In the same way a tent peg establishes a tent and fastens it securely, so palal prayer fastens the soul to God. Palal prayer is when you grab hold of God and attach yourself to him in surrender and humility. Hold on to God like a tent peg holds on to a tent."
Whoa! What a powerful word picture. I considered my own tent pegs: Were they made of strong enough material? Were they pounded in well? Deep enough to stay secure? Would they hold up to the storms of life?
I must confess: I've been floundering in my prayer life. I knew my tent pegs had weakened. And yet, I chose NOT to do anything about it. But this word picture convicted me.
And that's what God's Word does. It convicts--it convicts in a way that speaks to our hearts. Word pictures do that for me.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." (2 Tim. 3:16, NLT)
But what it DOESN'T do, and what God doesn't do, is condemn! Romans 8:1 says, "There is now NO condemnation in Christ Jesus." We seem to be fine at condemning ourselves without God's help. Plus, the enemy enjoys accusing us too.
BUT GOD doesn't condemn. He doesn't leave us out in the storm with a blown-over tent IF we listen to His gentle voice and ask for help, that is.
It was time to strengthen my tent pegs. I went back to those same verses in Psalm 65: "...to you, even silence is praise." So I spent time in silence. And, of course, God showed up with His joy and peace and a new-found desire to spend more time delighting in Him.
The intercession comes, but that pure "delighting in Him" is foundational. And, it fastens me to Him. I am secure! Full of hope!
And for that, I am thankful. SOLI DEO GLORIA.