When I am in distress and feeling lost, I am always comforted by Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd. I pause, reflect, and realize again: The Lord is my shepherd!
Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd!
You are my shepherd. You are looking after me. We are with each other. I listen to you and you listen to me. I long to spend time with you often. To see you often, to hear and to feel you. You are here with me, in front of me, and beside me.
“I shall not want.”
I can place before you my material and physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. When I am before you, it becomes clear that I have everything, knowing that there is this profound fullness in you that I yearn for.
Whenever I think I’m missing something, whenever I feel imbalanced, I can trust you to take care of my needs and restore my equilibrium. I can ask you for advice, health, strength and love. For wisdom and hope. For a revelation of truth. For anything.
Rest and Refreshment
“He makes me lie down in green pastures”
Sometimes I grow weary of the demands of the world, of the physical effort or my tasks and the challenging relationships involved. You offer me a haven, a place where I can relieve this burden; a resting place where I can recover, where I can renew my strength. Lord, let me rest in this green pasture and awake as a new, strengthened person.
Let me leave in this pasture all the grudges, the confusion, the helplessness. Let me rise above these things as you rose from the grave: new, transformed, redeemed, victorious.
“He leads me beside quiet waters.”
Lord, you are my shepherd, leading me to the calm waters. Nothing else refreshes and restores the will to carry on like fresh water.
When I am immersed in work and forget to drink, I become tired. My thoughts become distracted. This is also the case when I forget to pray; I forget I have to go to Jesus for living water. In those moments, together with the Samaritan woman, I can ask, “Sir, give me [your] water, so that I may not be thirsty” (John 4:15). I can ask the Lord to pour out his Holy Spirit to refresh me.
“He restores my soul”
Lord, invigorate my soul so that I will not lean on my own strength. Rather, let me present to you all that weighs on me, all my sins and faults. I believe that your power and light will radiate throughout my being and give me new strength.
Holy is His Name
“He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
Lord, you are my shepherd, so I ask you to recall the power of Your Name. You have given your life so that all who call upon your name may find shelter in You, our refuge. Lord, let your name always be honored and revered, praised and celebrated.
Whenever I am searching for a new path, when I have to decide on one direction or another, when I have to implement a project and I do not know how, I ask you to lead me on the right path and show it clearly so that I will not wander aimlessly.
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You are the shepherd of my thoughts. So many times, I let my mind drift away on its own; I grow mad. Help me cling to the thoughts that lead to life and release the others that lead to anxiety.
Lord, lead my life so that I can focus on you and realize your ideas and plans.
“Even if I were to walk in the depths of the shadow of death, I am not afraid of evil, because you are with me.”
Lord, you are my shepherd even when I encounter danger, severe trial, or death. I know you are with me. I trust you. And I believe that all this does not end with death, but with a new beginning with you.
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Lord, you are my shepherd, my rod, my support. I can lean on you, even if there is no one else to protect me, to hear me, to understand me. You drive all evil away from me. You are my guardian in times of trial and loneliness.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”
You are my shepherd even when I am not well received among others, when they speak against me, when I am not accepted, as when I am in danger. Lord, you do not abandon me. You protect me, you preserve me, and you strengthen me so that I can advance boldly.
“You have anointed my head with oil”
When I am forgotten and abandoned, you anoint my head. You caress and nurture me. You assure me that I am loved, accepted, and precious in your eyes.
Goodness and Loving kindness
“My cup overflows.”
You fill my glass so that I can drink the best wine with you and share with me a portion of all that is excellent: blessing, grace, wisdom, knowledge, love, trust, presence, salvation.
“Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life”
Lord, you are my shepherd. Thank you for purifying me so that only grace, tenderness, and kindness remain. You grace me with these gifts always; I need only to open my heart to them and release to you everything else.
“I will dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.”
Thank you, Lord, for your truth and your love. I know I am your beloved daughter who dwells in your presence and learns holiness by your example. A daughter who receives only the best from you. Thank you for your fatherly protection.
The Lord is my shepherd, always!