Praying Biblical Prayers (#20) – Psalm 23 – You, Lord, are my Shepherd
Throughout this series we have joined some of our favorite biblical characters in the prayers they once prayed and which God has preserved for us in the Scriptures. As you ponder the variety of prayers from the Great Prayer Book, the Psalms, be enveloped by each word as if it was written directly to and for you…because in fact they were and are a gift from God for you. Praying the Scriptures in this way will bring health and vitality to your heart and soul, and great liberty to your life of prayer.
By far the most popular of all the psalms, Psalm 23 has been memorized by children and adults for hundreds of years. Often recited at the time of loss and grief over the departure of a loved one, this psalm has provided comfort and hope for generations of believers worldwide. At its core, Psalm 23 is the Shepherd’s psalm, written by David during his old age, reminiscent of his years as a shepherd boy and analogous to the Good Shepherd of his soul, the Lord himself. When Jesus comes into this world, he references the importance of the role of Shepherd (John 10), noting himself as Shepherd who knows all the sheep intimately by name and who is in contrast to the wolves of this age who taunt, trick and tire out the sheep within the sheepfold. Listen to the Good Shepherd in this psalm and be comforted and refreshed by the whispering presence of his loving concern for you…for you to be without want, to be held down in green pastures, to be led by quiet waters, to be restored in your soul, to be led down paths of righteousness, and to be present with him forevermore.
As you are comforted by the provision and protection of the Good Shepherd, pledge your heart to His and be drawn back into the safety of the sheepfold forevermore. (Psalm 23)
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Behold the splendor of the Lord – Believe the promises of his love – Belong to those who unreservedly trust him – Become prayerful in all you are and do.