Praying the Psalms

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This devotional is written by Christian Dixon.

Psalm 23

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. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Reflection

This psalm is so beautifully written, each phrase is a profound statement. Here we have a wonderful image of God's presence and his joy in walking alongside us. I truly wish everyday felt like I was lying down in green pastures, without a care in the world, feeling so close to God; but let's face it, that's often not the case! Sometimes we're in that dark valley. God's promise is that he is still there in these moments. He promises to walk with us in and out of season, through good and bad. I really wish I could get to that place where I honestly felt like I lacked nothing, I think its an incredibly bold declaration of faith from the writer. What I find amazing is that the thing we most need in life comes free of charge. A relationship with Jesus, a right relationship with God. The payment has already been made on a cross 2000 years ago. Psalm 23 is a foreshadow of that close and intimate relationship we now have with God through the death and resurrection of Christ. The needs we have in our life such as acceptance, acknowledgement, friendship, success, family and material provision are not bad things in themselves but I'm grateful that Jesus steps in the gap when we are lacking, when areas of our life are shaking, we are reminded that he is our central support. Sometimes that support comes in practical ways, sometimes God does a work deep within our spirit. My prayer today is that wherever you are today, whether it's in that green pasture or dark valley, that you feel the love and presence of God with you today. He cherishes every step he gets to take alongside you. Let him lead and guide you today.

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