When we pray through the Twenty-Third Psalm, one of the reasons why it makes such a powerful and appropriate prayer is that is isn’t an easy prayer to pray.
David begins, “The Lord is my shepherd.” David understood what it meant to be a shepherd, how thorough, how complete, how total the care of the sheep had to be, for they were helpless without the shepherd. He knew how totally dependent the sheep were on the shepherd–for everything.
If we are to pray this psalm as a prayer, we must pray from David’s perspective– one of absolute dependence. Is that how we come to our Lord in prayer? Are we willing to set aside our natural independence to come as helpless and dependent as sheep?
David also knew how well a shepherd had to know each individual sheep–how else could he tell when one wandered away? He knew the commitment, the devotion that is required, the constant watch care and provision. He knew the heart of a shepherd.
What does that say about his relationship with the Lord, that he could equate Jehovah with his shepherd? What level of tenderness does that reveal in their relationship? What did David have to give up about himself to know Jehovah in that way?
What do we have to give up to be able to honestly pray, “Lord, You are my shepherd…?”
Pray with us — Lord, help us to come as sheep to our loving and faithful shepherd, totally dependent and filled with trust. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.