How to Pray Psalm 23 When You Need to Rest in the Shepherd

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So, how well are you resting?

With all the discussion about the importance of self-care and taking time to rest…

I wonder, how’s that going for you?

I’m guessing that you, like many others, struggle to actually relax and rest occasionally … that’s why so many articles are being written and people are talking about it so much!

We’re exhausted and we don’t know what to do about it!

With more and more people being prescribed medication for anxiety and sleep problems, I imagine you and I could probably find plenty of people with whom we could share our problems at 2 AM … if we knew who and where to find them.

How you can pray Psalm 23 and learn to rest in God's provision and care, let go of anxiety and worry, and get the rest you desperately need. #Psalm23 #Prayer #Bible #Faith #CountingMyBlessings

I used to call my mom, “the healthiest sick person I knew.”

She was a breast cancer survivor who lived with arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, and severe osteoporosis. And those were just her health issues. She was a mom and seriously, what mom doesn’t worry about her kids and grandkids.

Like all of us, she had plenty of reasons to stare at the ceiling each night pondering the problems of the day.

But she didn’t…

My mom, would pray Psalm 23.

And as she did, she would put her problems in the hands of her Shepherd.

She would tell us she never got through it the third time … as she always fell asleep first.

I love praying Scripture. And for years, I used to simply recite verses in my head as a way of praying them back to God. The Psalms are great for that.

But in recent years, I’m discovering the joy of praying Scripture by taking a verse or section and praying not only the words but what they mean to me. Making my prayers personal more than recitation.

And today, I’m doing that with Psalm 23 because I need to put my problems into the hands of the Shepherd to find peace and be able to rest.

I’d love for you to join me…

How to Pray Psalm 23 When You Need to Rest in the Shepherd

How you can pray Psalm 23 and learn to rest in God's provision and care, let go of anxiety and worry, and get the rest you desperately need. #Psalm23 #Prayer #Bible #Faith #CountingMyBlessings

The Lord is my Shepherd;
    I have all that I need.

Psalm 23:1

Lord God, Your Word says, your “sheep listen for Your voice and follow You.” (John 10:27) That is my prayer! To know and listen to Your voice in a world that is loud and constantly clamoring for my attention and focus.

You are my Shepherd. And when I listen and follow, I have all I need.

Everything I need! Everything!

Forgive me for confusing my wants and my needs. Help me trust that if You have not given me something … I either don’t need it or the time is not right. May I recognize that in those moments I am listening to the wrong voices.

Please help me know Your voice, help me trust Your provision … help me rest in your loving care.

He lets me rest in green meadows;
    He leads me beside peaceful streams.

Psalm 23:2

Lord, hungry sheep don’t rest but those who are satisfied do! And in You, I am satisfied. My needs for today have been met and I trust You, knowing that they will be met again tomorrow. I can lie down and rest because I am content and at peace.

Your life-giving water gives me that peace. Your Spirit leads me and guides me … filling me with Your perfect hard to understand peace. And even when the world around me is chaotic and crazy, I know I am safe, secure, satisfied, and still.

    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to His name.

Psalm 23:3

Father God, thank you for Your gift of forgiveness. I will forever thank and praise You for washing me clean and for healing my brokenness. You restore and strengthen the very core of who I am.

And because I am Yours, forgiven, restored, and renewed, I have all I need to trust and follow Your will for me … not to earn Your favor or polish my crown, not to impress the people around me but simply to bring glory to Your name. Because I want everyone to know the joy of living under my Shepherd’s care.

Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for You are close beside me.
Your rod and Your staff
    protect and comfort me.

Psalm 23:4

Lord, even when the way is dark and the road is rough, I will trust You to be with me and give me everything I need. Why? Because You have faithfully done so every day of my life.

You held me close and protected when life was hard and circumstances seemed unbearable. You healed my broken heart, filled me with hope, and gave me joy. You have been faithful to Your promises in the past and I know You will continue to fulfill every promise in the future.

I am not alone. You are with me.

Your rod protects me and Your staff guides me. I have nothing to fear. Through any crisis, You will give me hope, strength, courage, comfort, and protection. And even when I wander … You will gently draw me back into Your loving care. You always fight for me. I am safe and I am not afraid.

You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.

Psalm 23:5

Father, You have given me so much. You pour so much grace and mercy into my life … I can’t help but share it with others. Your love and forgiveness have been so abundant in my life that I have everything I need to forgive others, even those who would consider themselves my enemies. I am able to forgive because I have feasted on the blessing of Your forgiveness.

You anoint me with holy oil preparing me for life in Your presence both today and eternally. You pour blessings and gifts into my life with such abundance that I am able to bless and serve others.

You are so extremely generous! And as I remember Your blessings too numerous to count … I enjoy a peace that only You can give. I have no need to worry … I am in Your care.

Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23:6

Father, With Your help, I will trust Your goodness and unfailing love every day of my life. And thank you for pursuing me when I am tempted to wander and worry.

With Your Spirit’s help, I will live each day confidently knowing … I am safe in Your care. I am forgiven and loved. I have everything I need.

I am secure under the cover of Your promise. I believe…

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever.

Psalm 16:11

Thank you, Lord! Your grace, mercy, and love cover my life with everything I need. Amen.

How you can pray Psalm 23 and learn to rest in God's provision and care, let go of anxiety and worry, and get the rest you desperately need. #Psalm23 #Prayer #Bible #Faith #CountingMyBlessings

Pray Psalm 23

Whatever is keeping you awake and making it hard to rest, remember…

Your Shepherd loves you.

Your Shepherd leads you.

Your Shepherd provides for you.

Your Shepherd fights for you.

When the Lord is our Shepherd, you and I have everything we need!

Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.

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25 thoughts on “How to Pray Psalm 23 When You Need to Rest in the Shepherd

  1. I started praying through the book of psalm for this year. It is something that I have actually never done before and it has already been such a blessing to me. When it came to doing ch 23 I intentionally took more time to pause because I knew that with it being so familiar that I wanted to really digest it little by little. Such a blessing to me and you gave me some more thoughts to think on. Thanks Deb 🙂

  2. Psalm 23 is definitely my go-to prayer as well. I have no idea how many times I’ve prayed through it. And I know God hears every time and answers every time. Thanks for sharing about your mom, Deb! She sounds amazing.

  3. I have spent so much time studying Psalm 23, and it is near and dear to my heart. God reveals so many aspects of himself and his character in this psalm to draw us to him. Thanks Deb for starting my morning off with such a beautiful picture of God’s love, care, and protection.

  4. I was so happy to read this post, because I’m teaching Psalm 23 to my preschoolers in Sunday school. They amaze me–and it’s challenging to break down concepts for their little hearts.

  5. What a gift you were given in your mom! Thank you for sharing about her. It blesses and encourages me to read of faithful parents inspiring deeper relationship with Christ in their children.

    And Psalm 23! It was the first passage of Scripture I learned to pray through. It has sustained me, strengthened me, and soothed me countless times. Your prayer is beautiful, and I say, “AMEN!”

  6. What a great post! I’m sharing because I think all of us could benefit from praying like this over the difficult trials that arise. Thank you for such a practical application of the Psalm. And thanks so much for the feature. I pray it helps and encourages not only those struggling from depression but also those who love them.

  7. Amen! I will join you in this. I often list off to God all the things I’m thankful for, when I can’t sleep. Instead of counting sheep, I count my blessings. He helps me not to worry and to find rest.

  8. Hey Deb!

    Thanks for the blog post. I’m always so comforted when I am reminded that Christ is my Chief Shepherd. He is always leading and guiding us!! Even through the valley of the shadow of death…he’s there beside us! We’re not alone.

    Have you heard this recent Getty song about Psalm 23? It’s so good!! I can’t post the link but search it up on youtube: The Lord is my Shepherd – Keith and Kristyn Getty.

    God bless!
    George and Eunice

  9. I love praying Scripture too, Deb. I think God infuses more power in our prayers whenever we use His word to craft and offer up our prayers. I’m going to be pinning up a storm on this one! 😉 Thanks also for the shout out! I really appreciate it and you, my friend!

  10. Yes, yes, yes! So true! God does give us everything we need. Maybe not everything we want, but definitely all that we need. This Psalm is the perfect prayer to remind us of that.

  11. Thank you for this beautiful breakdown of Psalm 23. Your momma sure was a wonderful example. I see you have followed into her footsteps. Thank you for your consistent example of going to the scriptures. Maree

  12. Deb, thank you so much for allowing me to remember your Mom, today. She was such a gracious and classy individual, in spite of all of her earthly ailments!

    Thank you, too, for your clarity and daily application of the 23rd Psalm! May God continue to Bless your mission and your “gifts!”

  13. I’ve been reciting the 23rd Psalm often recently…and many times in the middle of the night! It is so comforting to remember how much the Lord cares for us! I often go over the psalm line by line, focusing on certain words such as “through” (from “go through the valley”). That word tells me I am not stuck…I am moving forward with Him. Another word that I often focus on is: “Restores”. (“He restores my soul”). That tells me He is giving me back my life following trials or strain. Each line of the psalm has words of comfort that always bring me peace!

    Blessings, Joan

    1. I pray the 23rd Psalm often during the night. My mom used to pray it as well. There is so much comfort in knowing He provides, guides, and protects His children. Blessings, my friend. I so appreciate your kind encouragement.

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