Psalm 91 is usually recited after family devotions in some houses. The whole prayer assures us of God’s protection when we are in Him. The chapter is explained below.

Psalm 91 prayer explained

Explanation of the Psalm 91 verses:

Psalm 91, Verses 1-2

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."

We realize from the first line that there is a secret place of God that we can live in. A shadow means an area protected by an obstacle. So we are confined to that area of the Almighty.

Refuge means a state of safety, protection, or shelter, while a fortress is a place of security. Here the writer describes God as a safe place.

Many people do not realize that apart from being a mere Christian, there is a secret place of God. This secret place of God can only be unveiled through faith and trust in Him.

Just as refuge means safety and fortress security, it shows how believers can enjoy God’s protection if we trust Him.

For a believer to trust God, he has to have a certain level of intimacy with Him for that trust to be built. Hearing God’s deeds and reading and meditating on His promises form the foundation of faith.

Verses 3-4

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 

Psalm 91 verses 3-4 are about the benefits of the secret place mentioned in verse 1 and the ways God protects His people. A snare is a trap, while a fowler is a hunter of wild birds.

This is used metaphorically in relation to how a hunter sets traps for birds. The fowler’s snare here represents the devil and his numerous traps to get the believers.

The perilous pestilence represents dangerous illnesses. When everyone is contracting certain diseases, the believers who are in this secret place are usually exempted.

God covering us with His feathers and us taking refuge under His wings can be metaphorically represented as a hen who uses her feathers to shield her children.

Verses 5-6 

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, not of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that late waste at noonday. 

If God is our refuge, then we have no reason to be scared. Terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day can represent any calamity that comes in different forms.

It may come at any time as disease or destruction. This is an assurance that God will shield us from the enemies’ plans. 

Verses 7-8

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. 

This is an assurance of God’s protection in every believer’s life. The reward of the wicked implies the ill fortune that is expected to come upon the wicked for their evil acts. 

Verses 9–10

Because you have made the Lord, who is your refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. 

Here, still repeats God’s promises that no evil nor plague shall befall anyone who has made God their refuge. 

Verse 11-13

For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. 
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra. The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. 

Giving His angels charge over us describes another method God can use to protect us. I believe when we pray and seek God’s protection, He commands the angels to defend and be by our sides. Treading upon lions and serpents implies victory and deliverance from harm. 

Verses 14–15

Because he has set his love upon me, therefore I will deliver him. I will set him on high, because he knows my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him. 

God now speaking His promises to those who love Him. To set our love upon God is to willingly love God without any extra thoughts. Loving God is an act (intimacy with Him).

Psalm 91 verses 14-15 are powerful verses in times of trouble. Having a relationship with God brings deliverance from Him and honour to us. For God to set us on high is to distance us from the reach of our enemies.

Verse 16

With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation. 

These words are personally stated by God. In this Psalm 91 verse, God promises us long life. This is why in any circumstance, we should hold unto God’s promises.

This promise of God is only restricted to those who love God, trust Him, and have faith in every single thing He does. 

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