Day 42: A Psalm 23 Kind of Day

Center Down

Our breath prayer for today. As you inhale, whisper, “The Lord is my Shepherd…”  As you exhale whisper, “…I have all that I need.”

Slowly read aloud the following Scripture

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows,     You find me quiet pools to drink from. True to Your Word, You let me catch my breath     and send me in the right direction. Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when You walk at my side.

Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.

You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me very day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life! (Psalm 23, MSG)

For further exploration

Video: http://psalm.live/Psalm23Meditation http://rabbi.live/Pslam23Teaching

Kingdom Prayer

Blessed Father, we thank You for loving us so much. Thank You for keeping us from all harm and watching over our lives daily. We thank You for Your angels whom You have assigned to protect and guard us. Your unfailing love is better than life itself. O how we praise You! As long as we live, we will lift up our hands in prayer to You. Because You are our Helper, we sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings. We cling to You, for Your strong right hand holds us securely. There is no one who can compare to You, Father. You are the source of our very existence. We give honor and glory to Your Name because You have been faithful to preserve our lives and keep us from seen and unseen dangers.

Almighty Father, as we go about each day fulfilling Your will for our lives, we, as a Church Family, declare that You are our Great Shepherd. Where You lead, we will follow. We declare that because we are the Godly, You will keep us and our families safe forever. We know that You hear us when we call to You. We confess that when we travel on our journeys from place to place, You give us, our children, and our possessions safety and protection. We decree that no matter how many troubles surround us, You will protect us from the anger of our enemies. The power of Your right hand saves us. We will work out the plans for our lives because of Your faithful, enduring love. We will always trust You. You alone are our refuge and place of safety. Father, our hope is in You, our help and our shield!

Holy Spirit, speak wisdom to our hearts when we are tempted to stray outside of the Father’s realm of safety. Deliver us from pride so that we don’t miss out on valuable opportunities to receive wisdom and wise counsel. We understand that wisdom is a necessary component for our safety. Show us how to secure our health, our children, our finances, our homes, and our businesses. Help us to teach our children the Word of God so that they will hide it in their hearts and retrieve wisdom as they make decisions about where to go and with whom they should associate. Help us to heed Your divine warnings and not dismiss them as trivial or insignificant. Cover those of our loved ones who are living or working in dangerous environments due to the call that is upon their lives. Don’t let any evil conquer them or any plague come near them. Teach our Church Family how to live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Father.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you any vulnerable areas in your life where you may be at risk. Pray and ask for guidance and strategy to get to safety:

Merciful Father, please forgive us for failing to seek Your will in all that we do. Forgive us for being too proud and stubborn to respond to warnings, and for putting ourselves and others at senseless risk. Forgive those of us who have been too distracted to keep our children from potential dangers. Forgive those of us who have become lazy and undisciplined about prayer.  Forgive us for the times we have acted out of rage and anger, giving a foothold to the devil. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that You have committed).

Holy Spirit, remind us all of all those we need to forgive and help us to be quick to forgive. As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that You may need to forgive. As He reveals them say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in Your soul caused by unforgiveness.)

Holy Spirit, help us not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.

Triumphant King, You are matchless! Let the whole world glorify You. Let it sing Your praise. You will march forth like a mighty hero. You will come out like a mighty warrior, full of fury. You will shout Your battle cry and crush all Your enemies. You sit in majesty in Jerusalem, exalted above the nations. Let them praise Your great and awesome Name. Your Name is holy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture References for the Written Text: Psalm 121:7, Luke 4:10,

Psalm 63:3-4, 7-8, Psalm 23:1, Psalm 37:28, Ezra 8:21, Psalm 138:78, Psalm 91:2, Psalm 33:20, Psalm 91:10, Matthew 4:4, Proverbs 3:6,

Ephesians 4:27, Matthew 6:13, Isaiah 42:12-13, Psalm 99:2-3

Concepts to Consider

Take some time today to reflect on all we’ve experienced and learned this week regarding Sabbath:  Sabbath as re-set button; extending Sabbath ethics into the world; Sabbath as trusting God;  Sabbath as justice; Sabbath as worship and rest.

As a means of enhancing your reflection, you may want to practice Lectio Divina with Psalm 23 today. It might also be interesting to create a visual, written, musical, movement, or media expression of Psalm 23 as another way of giving God glory. Use your creative time as a way of concentrating on the Holy Spirit’s ability to work through you in beautiful ways. (Avoid perfectionistic tendencies here. Creative endeavors before the Lord are not about objective perfection or someone else’s opinion of  what is or isn’t “beautiful.” It is about allowing the creating and re-creating God to heal and restore your innate creative imagination, as a reflection of His image. It is all about pure flow and expression. Just breathe and have fun!)

Further, as you move through the day, observe where you might “see” Psalm 23 around you. Go on a Psalm 23 “treasure hunt.” What words, phrases or images from the Psalm might enliven something you see, hear, or experience today?

Reflection Questions
  1. Personal Reflection. As you think back on this week, how has your perspective on Sabbath been enhanced? How will you carry Sabbath into the next week?  Into the rest of your life?
  2. Kingdom Reflection.

How can the Shalom of Sabbath we see clearly in Psalm 23 become more of a reality in our world?  Let us pray diligently for it!Pray for Sabbath peace in Jerusalem (link to prayer: http://prayer.social/JerusalemPeace); pray for shalom in the Middle-East; in the US; in the Americas; in the whole world!What creative ideas did the Lord give you this week for bringing “Sabbath impact” into our world?

(As you feel led, feel free to share your ideas with Pastor Kim Orr (korr@wvumc.com) and she will pass them on to the appropriate Windsor Village Church Family leadership.)

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