How to Pray the Lord is My Shepherd from Psalm 23

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(If you need the reminder that God is with you and protects you, you can confess and pray the Lord is My Shepherd from Psalm 23)

Are you feeling overwhelmed by life and need the reminder that the Lord is your Shepherd?

In Psalm 23 we are assured that God is in fact our Shepherd and it shows how He shepherds us.

Yet, I used to avoid this scripture when reading the Bible.

It wasn’t the actual words of the scripture, but the way it was often used that drew me away from it. Every funeral I had ever been to, including my father’s, contained its words. Just hearing “Psalm 23” would bring my thoughts down a path that lead to death. In order to prevent the morbid thought trails, I steered clear of this Psalm.

Interestingly enough, when God began teaching me to overcome anxiety He took me straight to the Psalms.

As He began renewing my mind through His Word, I began to see this powerful scripture in a new light. It no longer represented death, but trust in the One who had conquered death. This scripture began to teach me the character of God and how He so lovingly provides for His people. In a time where I felt overwhelmed and out of control, this psalm reminded me that the Lord is my Shepherd and He will provide and care for me.

The Lord is My Shepherd

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.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.

Psalm 23:1-3

How He Shepherds Us

He makes us to lie down in green pastures

When my kids were little I enforced naps. They would argue that they weren’t tired, to which I would respond, “You may not be tired, but you need to rest.” As adults, we also need rest, spiritual and physical. I love that this verse says He makes us to lie down in green pastures. What does this mean? The Lord is so loving and kind to us, He knows that we need rest. He has provided His Word to comfort us, calm us, and give us rest in the midst of a busy, noisy world. His Word is like green pastures that nourish us, feed us, and fill us as we navigate the busyness of life.

He leads me beside peaceful streams

In South Louisiana, the summers are hot. Sitting outside for just a few minutes can leave you parched, searching for something cold to cool you off. Many times in life, especially when the heat is on, my spirit and soul begin to thirst. More often times than not, I will begin to drink from old wells. The places that used to bring me refreshment before I met Christ. I’ll watch tv, read a good book, and relax by the pool. None of these things are bad, in fact, they help me to relax. Yet they don’t fully refresh my spirit and soul. When I worship and spend time with Jesus, a full refreshing takes place. He gives me living water that sustains me through the heated moments of life.

He renews my strength

Sometimes we just want to give up. Last week was one of those weeks for me. I had a lot of running around to do, but I also had a lot of writing work to get done. Numerous tasks grasped for my attention and I was beginning to feel underproductive and overwhelmed. As I reached out to some friends to share my frustrations, they all said the same thing, “Take a step back.” And so I did. In the chaos of my schedule, I had forgotten my most important appointment–the one with Jesus. There is truly something empowering about inviting Him into our days. I had been relying on my own strength to get things done, rather than spending time asking Him to be my guide. When I laid everything aside and sat in His Presence, even for a short time, my strength was renewed.

He guides me down the right path

Recently I was stuck in a decision and I wasn’t quite sure what I should do. I went straight to my husband and friends to discuss my options. Not a bad thing, right? There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. (Proverbs 15:22) However, leaving God out of the equation is not wise. Rather than going to Him first, my tendency is to go to Him after I’ve asked everyone else’s advice. I forget that He has all the answers. When I need clear direction, I can seek Him and He always guides me down the right path.

What are you facing today?

Do you need rest, refreshment, strength, or guidance? God is more than able and willing to provide for your needs. Nothing is too big or too small for Him. What matters to you, matters to Him. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, spend time in His Presence and you will be sure to find the provision you seek.

Prayer: The Lord is My Shepherd Psalm 23

Father, thank you that You are our Shepherd. You provide everything we need when we need it. Lord, I pray Your abundant favor and mercy over all of us. Make us to lie down in the green pastures of Your Word. Refresh us by the still waters as we spend time in Your Presence. Lord, strengthen us in the hard times. Give us rest and peace in the midst of the busyness of life. Provide everything we need to get through our difficult situations. Guide us as we walk out this life. Give us direction for every decision we have to make and help us to glorify you in all that we do. Thank you that You are our Source and Provider of everything we need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Do you need prayer today? Leave a prayer in the comments below and we’ll be praying for you!

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  1. Beautiful encouragement, Alisa! I love this! Overwhelmed and underproductive! Ha! That’s me about half the time. I love Psalm 23 though, and you’ve brought new insight to it. Thank you.

  2. God knows what we need and when! I love the Psalms for just what you describe here. I need His all and the words in most Psalms have the rest, the peace, the direction, that provision. Even when the psalmist is having such a time with enemies or hardship, he invariably ends his psalm with praise of God. He sees what God is doing in his life no matter what the circumstances. I love that.
    Alisa, you have encouraged me this day. Thanks.

    1. Yes, this is so true Linda! The Psalms are filled with truths of who God is and that brings peace and rest. I love how David praised God regardless of his circumstances. Thank you for reading! Have a great week!

  3. Alisa, I find I’m need provision in every one of these areas right now. And you know, you are right: He provides, I just need to gratefully accept it. It’s like a mother lovingly preparing a meal for a hungry child, and the child turns away because it’s not exactly what she’s in the mood for at the moment. I need to slow down and take what He has prepared for me, and do it graciously. Thank you for writing this. It was exactly what I needed to read right now. (Isn’t it funny how He provides that way, too?? 😉 )

    1. Wendy, I so love how God always provides exactly what we need! I just had that happen this past weekend. His timing is always perfect. Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

  4. God is good, all the time. He truly provides. Not what we want but what we need. Lovely post, neighbor. Thank you. God bless you!

    1. Thanks, Mari-Anna! That is so true. He always knows what we need and when. Have a wonderful week!

  5. I like how you compare taking naps to God bringing us to a place of rest. Such a great picture and a truth!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this today. It is a reminder that I have needed to hear for some time. God bless you in all that you do.

    1. Thanks, Gina! I just love when God sends me little reminders. =) Have a wonderful week!

  7. Love how you broke the scripture down. I call it verse mapping. And yes so many times I have avoided scary things, and I know I missed blessings because of it.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Me too, Debbie! I can tend to avoid things that seem scary rather than facing it, knowing God is with me. Unfortunately that means I also can miss out on some wonderful opportunities as well! Have a wonderful week!

  8. I’m with Randy, I like the nap-time analogy, too! So often we think we don’t need to rest and fight God in what He has directed for our best interest! We spend time wondering if we’ll be able to get everything on our to-do lists checked off if we stop to recharge. But God knows what we need. Love these encouraging words! Blessings!

    1. Ha! You are so right, Liz! I’m always “counting the cost”. I wonder if I’ll get everything done if I stop to take a break. But the break is always worth it when I actually take one!! Have a wonderful week!

  9. Kendra @ says:

    Beautiful post… love that Psalm and thanks for the reminder to take time to “lie down!” Soo needful in this busy world. Have a great week!

    1. So true, Kendra! We all need to take a time out and rest, don’t we? Have a wonderful week!

  10. Hey Alisa,
    What a great word of hope today!
    I found your post on Modest Mom this morning.
    I’m sharing it on Pinterest and Twitter.
    Hope you have a blessed day~

  11. Thank you so much for the blog post. It was encouragement I needed. This is something we ate praying about at the moment. Thank you for being faithful and sharing this.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Praying that God will give you direction and the provision you need! Have a beautiful week!

  12. Alisa, this psalm is near and dear to my heart! For many years, I ran a summer “first chance” camp, and we took the kids through the psalm experientially so they could really get a good understanding of God, all the ways he takes care of us and His deep love for each of us. You took me down memory lane, and also gave me a great comforting reminder as I get ready to send my son off to China for a few years. God will supply all he needs! Crystal~

    1. Wow, Crystal! I bet that was powerful!! Praying that God would supernaturally provide peace and safety for your son! And rest for you too, Momma! My son is headed to India on a missions trip in 2 weeks. It’s so hard to let them go, isn’t it?? Have a wonderful week!

  13. I love this article, Alisa. I’ve said Psalm 23 since I was a kid – my parents made me memorize it – but I have never actually spent time taking it apart and thinking of it in terms of God’s provision. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Thank you for these encouraging words! We all need reminded! God is a way make! God bless

  15. Bariat Hosdan says:

    To God be the Glory for this wonderful encouragement kn Psalm 23. I am at peace with myself after reading this post. Remain blessed.

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