Psalms – Prayers of Honest
It is said that when we finally come to the end of ourselves, God shows up. What I have found is, God has been there all along. I just needed to realize His Presence and fall back from what I think I need to control, plan, manage and balance. God is my everything. I need nothing else.
God is not only our source of strength, He IS our strength. He keeps us going when we are drained of our human strength. When we feel strong it is because He is guiding and directing and we let Him.
God knows when we need rest and provides it. God knows when we need to stop and reflect on His goodness and provides that as well.
Yes, David’s beautiful relationship with our God who was, is and is to come is summed up in this popular, well read Psalm of honest gratitude.
Psalm 23, The Message
A David Psalm
1-3 God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
4 Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
6 Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
SOMETHING TO CHEW….
Certainly this psalm has a message for the sorrowing, but it’s unfortunate that it’s used primarily at funerals, because Psalm 23 focuses on what Jesus does for us “all the days of [our] life” and not just at death (v. 6). It’s also unfortunate that people tend to spiritualize the psalm and fail to see it in its true setting. They see David, a “young shepherd boy,” lying on his back in the pasture and pondering the things of God, when he probably wrote this psalm late in his life, possibly during the rebellion of Absalom (2 Sam. 13–19).
In it, David deals with some of the difficult things he experienced during his long walk with the Lord. While people of all ages love and quote this psalm, its message is for mature Christians who have fought battles and carried burdens.
I remember memorizing this prayer as a child in public school along with another popular psalm. Yes, I had a 5th grade teacher who gave extra points for memorizing portions of the Bible…”a piece of beautiful literature”, she would say. Maybe saying it that way kept her from scrutiny. We also prayed after the pledge to the American flag. I know, right?
Now that I am more mature, have lived a lot of life with God it is even more meaningful and precious to me, NOT because of the words but because of knowing God more and more. The words remind me that God is the most important relationship I will ever have in life here as I prepare for eternal life with Him there. Let us be careful not to worship the words, but worship the God of the Word.
In good times and challenging times, God is there. I don’t need anyone else but God. He stops me when I go ahead of Him in a direction that is not good for me. He provides rest when I over plan by canceling engagements on the calendar. He allows me to “catch my breath” when situations are overwhelming. He gives wisdom. He provides peace in the middle of confusion. He still calms the waters with “peace, be still”. When He does this, he is not only talking to His created nature, He is talking to me, His beloved.
Where are you today? Do you feel like God is all you need? Why? List ways He helps you in life right now. This is a way to put Psalm 23 in your own words, making it more personal between you and God.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you. Thank you for leading me through the dark times to a place of rest and reflection. Thank you for always walking with me. Thank you for Your Holy Presence in our lives. Thank you for saving our very souls. Thank you for an open, intimate relationship with You. Continue to lead, guide and direct every day of our lives. With You, I shall not want.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe