“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NRSV)
I suppose each person has favorites as far as the scriptures are concerned. By far my favorite book of the Old Testament is Psalms. Among my favorite Psalms are these: 8, 23, 46, 90,100, 103, 121, 139, 148, and 150. I have named those without even looking at my Bible, so that fact attests to my great love of the Psalter. If I depended solely on that book, I would miss the stories of Abraham, Noah and the Joseph series found in Genesis. If I read only Psalms then I would miss the story of Moses and God’s giving of the Ten Commandments found in Exodus. If I read only Psalms I would miss the words of the prophets.
When I consider the Gospels, my favorite is the Gospel of Luke. Of course, I must accept that without the Gospel of Matthew, there would be no Beatitudes. Without the Gospel of John, we would have no record of the “I am” sayings of Christ. While Luke is my favorite gospel, I would sorely miss Matthew, Mark and John and the ways that they enrich my knowledge of Jesus Christ.
When I reflect on the epistles of the Apostle Paul and other New Testament books, Ephesians and Philippians are among my favorites. One of my favorite Bible verses is: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) That verse coupled with the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner,”) have comforted and encouraged me in a variety of situations. I have uttered those words under my breath or silently repeated them when preparing for and undergoing dental/medical procedures. I have whispered those words to myself while facing some challenges … when I was acutely aware that my own strength was not enough. I have found that this scripture and this prayer have been of immeasurable help to me on many occasions. I have felt anxieties subside. I have been encouraged that I could withstand.
So from my own experience, I would commend both the scripture verse from Philippians and the Jesus’ Prayer to you, so that you too might commit these two to memory.
O Lord, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105) We thank You that we can commit to memory scripture verses and prayers that will serve us well when we do not have Your Word handy. As we silently repeat or whisper the verses and/or prayers, we can be comforted and strengthened, we can be reassured that You are with us, and that with You on our side we have nothing to fear. Thank You, Lord.. Amen.