through His Word
The poetry and metaphors of Psalm 23 have comforted hearts of every generation. Picture the psalm as you read it below.
“The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
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 runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
(Psalms 23:1-6, NKJV)
At a church I once attended, the pastor preached through this chapter showing 4 R’s of our relationship with God: rest, renewal, refuge, and reassurance. When we depend on God as our Shepherd, He provides the rest and renewal our souls desperately need. His presence with us becomes our refuge as we walk through life’s most dangerous valleys and as we face fierce enemies. We have the reassurance that His goodness and mercy will be with us all of our lives. What part of that rest, renewal, refuge, or reassurance do you need today?
Based on what this passages means, here’s my prayer modeled after Psalm 23. Does any part of it resonate with you? Tell me in the comments below, and may you find everything you need in the Shepherd. He is always with us.
Dear God, the LORD, the self-existing One,
You are my Shepherd, the One who knows me and loves me, the One who stays with me and takes care of me. I know I won’t lack any good thing today.
Lead me to the places where my soul can find rest and strength—in Your Word, with Your people, and in those quiet moments in my routine when I can pause and pray.
Lead me in the paths of righteousness, where truth flourishes and love thrives, where hearts are built up and not destroyed, where wandering souls are finally found and made whole. Lead me for Your name’s sake, so that I may reflect the nature of my Shepherd—Your goodness, strength, and honor; Your love, justice, and mercy.
Though I walk through life’s darkest passages, I find in You my refuge and protection, the rod that steers me and the staff that pulls me back from harm.
You abundantly provide for me, as if setting a feast before me. Though my enemies—Satan and his forces—watch on, I will sit with confidence at Your banquet table, taking in Your abundant blessings, ever grateful and in awe of Your provision and power.
I know that Your goodness and abundant love will be my companions through all of life, and I will stay close to You, dwelling in Your presence forever.
The LORD is my Shepherd. I indeed shall not want. Amen.
© Copyright 2015 by Katy KauffmanBible prayers, God’s provision and protection, Praying Psalm 23 from the Heart, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies