Psalm 23 is one of the more well-known and popularly quoted Psalms. And most likely for that very reason, I have tended to avoid quoting it or even committing it to memory. That is until this past year.** I’m suddenly taken with this short soothing psalm-like a child’s prayer or a night-night lullaby.
I did not set out purposely to memorize this Psalm, however, I have pondered the words and made them my own personal prayer over so many days and nights I feel the words have inscribed themselves upon my heart. I am grateful!
Psalm 23 is tethered to the phrase I’m living in and learning about during 2017 – feast on joy. Continually I am seeking Father for understanding, wisdom and a new level of faith through this phrase, so I have accepted His invitation to the table He has set for me in the presence of my enemy – the liar, the devil. And on occasion, I have written out a letter of love and devotion to my Shepherd for choosing me to be His lamb.
I pray through this letter you are refreshed in a desire to know Good Shepherd and in awe of being chosen as His lamb:
You are my Shepherd. I’m ecstatic You chose me to be a part of Your flock. Sometimes I just can’t believe how fortunate I am to get to be in Your pasture…to belong to You as Your lamb.
You are the BEST! You have given me a safe pasture with boundaries guarded by Your presence. You are so good to me. I shall never want for anything as long as I remain in Your good pasture…in Your presence.
You, because You love me, make me lie down and rest. You lead me to drink from the clear, clean still waters. You walk with me on Your path, guiding me on the Way of righteousness. Only You know the Way You have marked out for me, so today I gratefully choose to follow You.
I am Your lamb. I belong to You. I am marked with Your name.
Oh, and even when You say we must walk through the valley of dark shadows I will stay close to You so I won’t be afraid. I know You will never send me into the valley by myself. You will never walk me through the scary place of evil where the enemy prowls about except that You corral Your lambs with Your staff. I know You are ever alert to the plans of the prowlers for destruction, but with Your rod, You protect Your lambs.
Good Shepherd, my Shepherd, You prepare for all Your lambs the best foods – no matter the pasture land. And I get to come to Your banquet table to dine with You in Light, Peace, and JOY because You Shepherd have commanded the enemy to stand at bay while we feast together.
Oh Shepherd, my Lord, how can it be? You anoint my head with oil. You take time out, with all the lambs belonging to You, to care for my personal needs. You touch me and heal me and set me on my feet again.
How I thank You for Your goodness to me – Your little lamb! Truly, my cup overflows!!
How can it be precious Shepherd? I have been chosen to bear Your name; to be known as a lamb in Your flock. Surely goodness and mercy surround me wherever I go with You. I will journey with You Good Shepherd all the days of my life and I will dwell with You forever…
Wherever You are so shall I be…
You are my Shepherd and I am Your lamb.
Thank You forever…thank You for choosing me and all Your precious lambs. Thank You for giving me the love in my heart to love You back.
I give thanks to You, God, for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever and ever and ever.* Amen!
- Psalm 23 is full of the character of a good and caring Shepherd. Which of these characteristics of Jesus, Good Shepherd, comforts you most?
- Have you ever written a Psalm or another section of scripture as a prayer or a letter to God? Would you be willing to share your favorite prayer or letter scripture?
- Have you been encouraged to ponder a section of scripture as a long term devotional? as a prayer? for memorization?
- How will you express your delight in the idea of getting to be His lamb and He your Shepherd?
*1 Chronicles 16:34
** A special thanks to W. Phillip Keller for the blessing of his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23