Prayer for Week of February 25 — My Cup Runs Over
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” Psalm 23:5
I love this verse. It is so deep and so rich and so full of meaning–both theological and personal–for me.
Do you ever feel like you are in the presence of your enemies, be it flesh and blood or spiritual? Perhaps you are in a battle right now. A battle to stay on top of your finances, a battle for your marriage or a prodigal child, a battle against discouragement or depression? Those fiery darts of the wicked one come in all shapes and sizes. In the battle, have you ever considered that feasting may be one of your most powerful weapons?
When we allow God to prepare a table for us in the very presence of our enemies we proclaim to the devil that we believe in the goodness of God. We affirm that our trust is laid completely with the Lord and we are not worried about the outcome of the battle. The battle can be raging about us, but when we stop to sit at the table prepared for us, when we make the choice to feast, when we fix our eyes on God’s provisions and not the circumstances, it sends a loud and clear message: “We will trust in the Lord.” The enemy hates that.
In the very real battles of life, choosing joy strips the enemy of his power over us. When we choose to have oil on our heads and a bright countenance, it puts all the power in the Lord’s hands and starves the plans of the enemy.
Now how does that sound?!
There is a beautiful tradition surrounding the Jewish Sabbath, the Shabbat. At the beginning of the meal a blessing is said over the bread, “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe who brings forth bread from the earth.” and the wine, “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe who creates the fruit of the vine.” And the challah bread is broken (not sliced–remind you of 1 Corinthians 11:24?) and the wine is enjoyed. Then an abundant meal is shared. The father speaks blessings over the mother and then the children. At the conclusion of the meal, the Kiddush Cup, placed in the center of the table is filled again with wine. Filled until it literally runs over. It’s a symbol of a week that is complete, full, abundant, lacking no good thing.
Every time I see our Kiddush cup overflow my heart seems to fill with gratefulness, even if it’s been a tough week or day. Then the kids have started going around the table each stating at least one blessing from the week prior. To hear the children recall things, things that perhaps I’ve already forgotten or things I thought were so insignificant as to not matter much, it blesses me to my very core.
Maybe you are having trouble making ends meet. Maybe you have gotten a medical report that was less than positive. Maybe there are tense relationships in your family or in your church community. The enemy would love for you to have your eyes on the circumstances and people. He would love to bring fear and doubt and worry. Regardless of the challenges the past week has brought, choose joy. Choose to focus on your blessings. Choose to see in what ways your cup runs over. You may not get to choose your battle, but you can choose your focus.
Your cup runs over.
With gratitude the world is abundant.
Father, we choose to trust in Your goodness. We fix our eyes on Your face. We believe in Your provision. We believe that in You, there is more than enough for us. Thank You for preparing a table before me in the presence of my enemies. I will sit and feast. Thank You for anointing my head with oil. I will choose to let my countenance shine. Thank You for causing my cup to run over. I will choose to drink deeply from Your abundant Spirit. Amen.
Now go do something joyful. Paint your nails or eat some chocolate or read a book just for fun. It’s spiritual warfare. And we already know that the Lord wins!