Praying through Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.

     Dear Lord Jesus, you are my shepherd, my Good Shepherd. You give me everything I need and more than I want. All I need in life is you, plus what you choose to give me.

2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.

     Even the most difficult places in life are like green meadows as long as you are there; and in the desert seasons of my journey and the drought like conditions of my heart, you quench my thirst with living water and give me a peace that passes all understanding.

3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

     By your grace I’ve learned to boast in my weakness, and pose and pretend less. For when I come to the end of my strength, you faithfully meet me there—granting me rest in my weariness and strength for my tired heart and body. I am so grateful that you have both marked the path for me, and that you yourself are my Way, Truth and Life. I want to honor your name much more than I want to go my way and get my way.

4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

     Jesus, you never promised me that the journey towards the new heaven and new earth would be easy, quick, or without seasons and circumstances that are overwhelming; but you have promised never to leave or forsake me, even in the darkest valley. That’s all I really need to know—that you are close and that you love me, and that you won’t let anything happen to me outside of your perfect plan for my life. Even when you have to discipline me, the goal is my comfort and always your glory.

5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.

     Jesus, you are taking me to the feast of all feasts—the wedding feast of the Lamb; but long before that Day, you, yourself are my portion, banquet and feast—Bread from Heaven, my nourishment and satisfaction. Though enemies threaten, you feed me, anoint my life with your grace and Spirit, and cause my cup to spill over with blessings, for the benefit of others.

6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

     Absolutely nothing will keep me out of the new heaven and new earth; and, just as certainly, nothing can possibly separate me from your goodness and unfailing love—at any time or in any place. Until the Day I long for more than any other arrives, I rest in your love and trust in your grace. Jesus, thank you for your promise to never stop pursing me. So very Amen I pray, in your glorious and powerful name.