My Birthday Verse

April 20, 2013
by Pat Bell

In the book What Happens When We Pray For Our Families, Evelyn Christenson described a prayer discipline that she uses at the time of major events in her family. For example, when Christenson learns of a new grandchild, she searches for a meaningful Bible verse. She meditates on the verse, and then uses it in prayer for the child as he or she develops, is born, grows, and matures.

I celebrated a "decade" birthday recently. On a whim the morning of my birthday, as I began to read Psalm 3, I looked for a verse to memorize, meditate, and pray, as I live my sixty-first year. I found this confession of David's and took it as my own:

Psalm 3:3 – But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. (ESV)

Here are some thoughts and prayers that I have entertained about my verse:

Lord – You called Yourself "I Am". You told Moses that You show mercy with loving-kindness, and You forgive. For ancient Hebrews, only the High Priest was permitted to say Your name once a year on the Day of Atonement while inside the temple's Holy of Holies. Jesus taught us to call You "Father". Paul wrote that the Holy Spirit witnesses to our spirits that we are God's children and we cry out, Abba-Daddy! Whenever we want, on account of Christ's redemptive work, we may come boldly to Your throne of grace and call You "Dad".

A shield about me – Lord, You protect me!

My glory – A simple definition of glory is "heavy with wealth and honour". Lord, You are my "heavy". Lord, You are my wealth.

Lifter of my head – David was running for his life from his son Absalom when he wrote this psalm. Yet, David's confession was that You placed him in a position of strength. Lord, I can be confident in trouble because of what You do!

I am searching out verses to pray for each of my two grandsons. Can I encourage you to look for a verse to meditate on and pray for yourself or someone you love? Yes, please try Christenson's prayer strategy.

Prayer: Father, faith comes by hearing Your Word. Help us to hide a wealth of Your Word in our hearts so that we may keep You constantly in mind. Thrill us with Your presence and blessing, always. We ask this in the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

About the author:

Pat Bell <llebpat@gmail.com>
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for a good word Pat.


    Amen. Thank you for that wonderful prayer and reminder.


    Thank you Pat for this devotional and the prayer suggestion. Well done my writing friend. Blessings.


    Dear Pat,
    Thanks for sharing Christenson’s prayer strategy. What a wonderful way to use God’s word as we pray in Jesus’ name for our loved ones. May God continue to bless you.


    Pat, your devotional suggests a character of beauty. You express a tender devotion to the Lord and joy in his Word. This cannot help but be reflected in your life. May your 61st year and all the rest of your years bear the fruit of your trust in Him. Keep searching out verses for special occasions!


    Dear Pat,
    My library has the book you mentioned so I will check it out. Thank you for sharing these thoughts – sounds like a good idea to encourage a prayerful spirit at any age.
    Happy belated birthday!
    Peace and blessings.


    Thanks Pat! Great idea.
    I need to think of something and your method will certainly help.
    You happened to choose one of the verses I love best, where Moses has been wriggling to get out of ‘going down to Egypt to free my people Israel’ and finally asks God to tell him his name. The answer, “My name is ‘I am’ [King James version].
    This is the name by which all future generations are to call me. [Good News]”
    My Hebrew friends tell me that a better translation of Yahweh is “being” (gerund). I like to think of it as the verb “to be” in any form, or ‘existence’ or ‘everything’.
    However, the King James translators, immediately disobeyed God exactly as did the Old Testament Israelites, who allowed only the High Priest to use it. In our Bibles, there is an asterisk beside “I am”, and the footnote reads, “In this version, we will use “The Lord” (rather than follow the command to use “I am” or “Being”!)
    If one begins to read an appropriate form of the verb “to be” whenever The Lord is used, great changes become possible in our relationship with God.
    For example, Lord Martin Exeter meditated on The Lord’s prayer for many years, and developed this translation of the first line (you may search out the rest in his book Thus It Is ):
    “I am … in heaven.” which removes our entire habit of complaining about everything!
    For me, the most important lesson has been to realize that when I say:
    “I Am a man … a son, a husband, a father, and so on. I must remember that each of those roles are Holy, and so must I Be.

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