So why do people use the phrase hedge of protection when praying? What are your thoughts?
It's the same reason why Pagans use the circle...to protect from anything negative from getting close during a time when you are open spiritually to god or the universe, etc.
Been a Christian for a long time and have never heard that phrase before.
I've heard this expression used many times in prayer, especially if the person being prayed for is in or going into a dangerous situation. The person praying is just asking God to surround the individual being prayed for and protect them from any harm. A hedge is merely a barrier; hence a hedge of protection is a barrier that separates one from coming to any physical harm.
In ancient times, and in many places up to today, thorn bush hedges were planted to serve as both fences and defensive walls. It was practically impossible for an enemy or a predatory wild animal to get through a thick one. The hedge being a familiar sight and concept to everyone of the day, the word is used in the Bible as a metaphor for protection against evil. Examples are Job 1:10 and Matthew 21:33.
The old Irish Christians took the concept of the circle from the Druids to represent the same idea. St. Patrick recorded some of his prayers, and a famous one asks that God draw a circle around him as he sleeps, keeping good within and evil without.
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