Recently, I asked God to give me an encouraging word for a group of intercessors with whom I was going to be meeting. He responded, “There is safety in the secret place.”
I continued to pray about what He meant and was directed to Psalm 91:1 — “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” — a very familiar verse to many of us. As I sought the Lord for more understanding, I felt He was bringing to my heart that dwelling in God by just enjoying His Presence and listening to Him in prayer is something He wants to bring us, especially His intercessors, into in greater measure.
Keeping safe through being in the secret place also depends on dwelling in the Scriptures. He further prodded me to look at Psalm 91:4 — “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings shall you trust. His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” Jesus said to His Father, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Dwelling in God’s Word, through reading it, pondering it carefully, savoring it, and treasuring it, wraps the shield of His protection around us.
We are safe through His Word in a couple of ways. First of all, living in it causes us to stay doctrinally sound. Secondly, we find safety in His Word by declaring portions of it over our lives — not just every once in a while, but increasingly, continually. Declaring Psalm 91 over your life and the life of your loved ones is a great place to start.
Abiding in the secret place of the Lord’s Presence involves listening at His feet, as Martha’s sister Mary did in Luke 10:38-42. Sometimes we intercessors feel pressed by the urgent needs all around us. We charge ahead to get the job done by firing our requests heavenward, not feeling there is time to just stop and spend time with Jesus. We tend to be Marthas in the prayer realm. It is not easy, especially if we have a limited amount of time that we can devote to prayer, to use that time in just being with the Lord. (“But Jesus, if I don’t pray about this, the whole situation could go down the tubes!”)
But if the Lord Himself is calling us to extended time of listening at His feet, He will see to it that our intercession is effective. We may spend less time in petitioning Him, but He will cause us to accomplish more effective intercession in fewer words — because He will show us exactly how to pray. The Spirit is a Master Wordsmith. He knows how to be concise and still get the job done excellently.
Abiding in listening posture is a high form of worship. Even if the Lord doesn’t speak to us, ministering to Him by waiting upon Him in the secret place is still enough, if that is what He is desiring. Lovers aren’t always conversational.
In John 15:7, Jesus gave us a promise and a pattern for receiving answered prayer that many of us have not yet ascended to, but it is important that we get there. I have not yet attained to it as I ought to, and maybe some of you are still in the process as well. “If you abide in Me [that’s the secret place of dwelling in His Presence], and My words abide in you [that’s letting the Scriptures dwell in us], you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you [that’s the effective intercession part].”
As we consciously abide in the Lord in prayer and in the Word, staying in the secret place becomes a habit, even when the designated time for prayer is finished and other tasks are before us. Prayer and meditation upon the Word become woven into our thought processes, and our days flow in communion with the Lord. In that place of continually staying under the Almighty’s shadow, we are kept safe from every harm. Like an eagle with its young, He wraps His wings protectively about us, so that “there shall no evil befall us” (Psalm 91:10). It’s the best of places to be.