“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.” Psalm 23:1-2
Lord Jesus—compassionate Shepherd, make us lie down in green pastures of grace, for we are restless, anxious, and disquieted. Take us to the calming waters of the Gospel, into refreshing pools of mercy and grace. Give us the peace that isn’t dependent upon anything or anyone changing.
As your lambs, none of us lack anything essential; but we need you to help us sort through our feelings. Shepherd our hearts, Jesus.
We feel vulnerable. We’d love control over disruption, pain, and outcomes. This makes us thankful to know you are “the Lamb at the center of the throne” (Rev. 7:17)—not just any throne, but the place of absolute sovereignty and working-in-all-things-for-our-good kindness (Rm. 8:28).
We feel sad. We have friends who have never been in more pain, some who have never been in direr straights, some who have never been less able to feel your presence. Thank you for your promise, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you” (Heb. 13:8).
We feel angry. Some of our anger is in response to the atrocities in Ukraine, every form of human trafficking and slavery, the porn and drug-addiction “industries.” Some of our anger, however, isn’t as noble. People hurt us, and we hurt them back. Help us steward our anger, Jesus.
We are loved, and therefore we have hope. Jesus, if we weren’t certain you love us—that you, yourself, are our “righteousness, holiness, and redemption” (1 Cor.1:30), we’d stay stuck in a cycle of anxious fearing, restless meandering, and foolish medicating. Thank you, Jesus. So Very Amen.