The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Thank you, God, for my many blessings. I live in and have become accustomed to a lifestyle and culture of excess. I often feel as though I am lacking when I am not. Help me to be content. To feel as if I am enough. Help me not to desire more, but enough. Help me remember what enough is.
The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.
Jesus, my good shepherd, MAKE me lie down somewhere quiet. Somewhere with still waters. Somewhere without the constant drone of the voices that won’t quit telling me what I should be doing, what I should believe, and who I should be. You know you’ll have to MAKE me lie down, because I’m always so busy, trying to be more, so, MAKE me lie down somewhere quiet where I can focus on your voice, your love, your presence. MAKE me know in every fiber of my being that I am defined by you and your love, not the other voices trying to drown you out.
Restore my soul, O Lord.
Grant me your peace, so that my soul can be restored, healed, and filled with your love and grace so that I can continue to have love and grace for your other beloved children. Keep restoring it! Don’t let me give up on me, others, or you.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.
This world seems scarier than it used to be. I need peace and tranquility – even if it’s for just a second. Remind me that the world isn’t worse now than it was in the past – I just know more. I’m more aware of the depth and breadth of our communal brokenness. The peace of the past was a fairy tale, not the shalom that every child of God deserves. Help me to focus on you. Remind me that evil cannot triumph. Death cannot win. Remind me again and again, and when I start to focus too intently on dark valleys, drag me back to those still waters and green pastures, and MAKE me be still again.
You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, and my cup runneth over.
Help me to love my enemies. Anoint my head with so much oil, and fill my cup with so much of your living water that the leftovers spill over to my enemies. Help me to want good for those who I want to hate. Help me forget how to hate. Bless my enemies, Lord. Anoint their heads and fill their cups too. Help us to see each other across the table, and realize that we aren’t enemies after all, just looking at the world from different seats.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Remind me that I cannot be evicted from the places where your love dwells. Your goodness, mercy, and presence not only follow me, but also go before me and surround me always.Thank you, God, for my many blessings. Amen