PRAYER FOR GRACE
Psalm 23: A Psalm of David
(1) The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
(2) He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
(3) He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
(4) Even 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.
(5) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
(6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
[Psalm 23 ESV]
Every week I have a phone call with Betty Honnor who is unable to attend our Sunday morning worship gathering because of her health challenges. The both of us grew up memorising Psalm 23. Therefore, we recite Psalm 23 together over the phone. I end the phone call by praying that God continues to look after her. God is truly our shepherd and we shall not want. In other words, God is our shepherd and we lack nothing. God makes sure that we have everything we need.
Who wrote this Psalm? It is King David, the king of Israel. He wrote this Psalm based on his experiences as a shepherd looking after his father’s sheep. He writes from the perspective of being a sheep. He regards, Yahweh, the LORD God as his shepherd. Because Yahweh is his shepherd, he will not want. In other words, he will lack nothing in his life.
There are 3 areas in which Yahweh will lead the sheep David:
- To pastures green and to waters still; places of restoration (Psalm 23:2-3)
- Through valley of the shadow of death, his rod and staff comfort David (Psalm 23:4), and
- Through the anointing of David’s head with oil (symbol of the Holy Spirit) as he meets with enemies (Psalm 23:5)
David refers to God’s home in the final verse. God’s home (surely goodness and mercy) follows him all the days of this life, and yet he dwells in God’s house forever (Psalm 23:6). Although God’s house moves with him, he dwells in it as a place of security. David lives in God’s house. Yet God’s house moves with him.
My mother made sure that I memorised this Psalm since I was 8. I have carried it in my head and heart all my life. It is certainly a prayer for God’s shepherdly grace to be with me wherever I go in life.
The LORD is your shepherd no matter wherever you are in life. He leads you into pastures green and waters still.