Today’s Key Scripture

“When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me.”

— Psalm 56:9

Ira D. Sankey (1840–1908), after serving in the U.S. Civil War and several government positions, became well-known while traveling as a singer and worship leader with evangelist Dwight L. Moody. He was also the noted composer of more than 1,200 songs, including “The Ninety and Nine,” “A Shelter in the Time of Storm,” and “Faith Is the Victory.”

Christmas Eve of 1875, as he traveled by steamboat up the Delaware River, he was asked to sing. Instead of a Christmas carol, he was led to sing the “Shepherd Song” (“Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us”).

Afterward, a man stepped forward and asked, “Can you remember if you were doing picket duty on a bright moonlight night in 1862?”

When the composer nodded, the stranger told of serving in the Confederate Army that same night, raising his musket and taking aim at the Union soldier who began singing that song. That night, by the time the singer reached the words, “We are Thine, do Thou befriend us, be the guardian of our way,” the musket was lowered and a life was spared.

Deeply moved, Sankey threw his arms around the man who could have ended his life 13 years before, except for the guardian prayer sung during that fateful night.


A Prayer for Today

Father in heaven, I praise You because You are my Shepherd and Refuge. I ask for Your protection, knowing I have nothing to fear, for You are always with me. I ask You to continue to watch over me and my loved ones so that no evil will befall us. I ask that You keep evil away from us, even when we aren’t aware of the danger. Lord, open the doors of heaven over me and my household, even as You supernaturally close off anything that would harm us. Above all, keep me holy, pure, and true, as I continually draw closer to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.


*All Scripture references are NKJV unless otherwise noted.