The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23:1–6) - Radical
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The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23:1–6)

“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
– Psalm 23:1–6

I just want to read this whole Psalm, one of the most famous and beloved songs of God’s people throughout the centuries. So I just want to read Psalm 23:1–6 over you and then pray it over you.

Oh God, I pray your word right now over every single person listening to this. Lord, I’m assuming that the people listening to this know you as shepherd. If they don’t know you as shepherd, God, I pray that today would be the day that they would come to know you as their shepherd. And for all who put their trust in Jesus as savior and Lord and have become your children by faith, by grace through faith in Jesus, we praise you as our shepherd. We praise you as the one who satisfies our wants. God, I pray that you would satisfy the deepest desires of your children listening right now. That you would make them lie down in green pastures. You would be their rest and their refuge and their refreshing strength. That you would lead them beside still waters.

Psalm 23:1–6 Teaches Us That God Is with Us Through It All

Even if it’s a turbulent world, may they have peace in you. Guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus by your peace. Lead them beside still waters. Restore their soul, restore their strength, restore their joy, restore everything they need. Fill them up oh God and lead them. Lead them in paths of righteousness. Help them to walk today, tomorrow in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake, for your glory. Lead them by your grace for your glory, I pray.

And even when they walk through challenges, through the valley of the shadow of death, may they have no fear because they know you are with them. That they are not alone. And not only are you with them, but your rod and your staff, they comfort them. Oh God, be their comfort. Amidst whatever’s going on in their life right now, be their comfort today. Prepare a table before them in the presence of their enemies.

God Is Our Shepard

As they have attacks coming at them from different sides, God help them to feast on your grace and your goodness in the middle of it like Psalm 23:1–6 describes. We praise you for that reality. Anoint their head with oil. Cause their cup to overflow. May your hand be strong upon them. Your grace be poured out on them and follow them oh God today. All day long, follow them with your goodness and your mercy. And do it tomorrow and the next day and the next day, all the days of their life. May your goodness and mercy be new every morning, be sufficient for their every need, your goodness and your mercy as we look forward together to dwelling in your house forever.

God, we pray that you would help us to keep our eyes fixed on eternity and live today in light of what matters forever with confidence and the fact that we will dwell in your house with you in a new heaven and a new earth with you as our shepherd, satisfying our souls forever and ever and ever. All glory be to your name. God, I pray your word over those listening right now in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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