There are memories that last for a life time and this is one of them. As I was leaving Trinidad to take up residence in the U.K., the school choir, ably and well-trained by Miss Robin, a musical genius, sang the 23rd Psalm. Hearing those sweet, angelic voices in their rendition of this well-known psalm wafted me on my way onto a heavenly plane. Many nights subsequent to that day, before dropping off to sleep, I would hear those beautiful, young voices and relive the experience once more. I determined that that would be my daily prayer, as well as The Lord’s Prayer. After all these years of keeping my promise, I now write what I held so dear for so long.
My Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. There is nothing that I need. Matthew 6:8 says “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” He has provided me with sustenance, strength and the wherewithal to keep me from distress and hardship. He has given me wisdom to know that I must follow Him, that I need to depend on Him for I can do nothing without Him (John 15:5). There is contentment and peace knowing that my Shepherd watches over me, He who feeds the ravens and sent the raven to feed Elijah in the cave (1Kings 17:6). In John 10:11 He says “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. Who else would lay down his life for me?
He has brought beauty into my life as I lie down in pastures green. My eyes rest on His creation and enjoy the colourful display of flowers richly perfuming the air with their varied fragrances. The trees and plants showcasing them gracefully bow in worship as if to acknowledge this gift of bearing such exquisite delight. I consider the lilies of the field, how they neither toil nor spin and our heavenly Father takes care of them (Matt. 6:28). The pastures provide nutrients for life and for living abundantly. That is what the Good Shepherd came to give me a rich and abundant life.
Where He leads I will follow, beside the still waters that quiet my soul as they give rest and peace, and restore and refresh me with renewed energy and purpose. He also leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake, so that I can look at wrongdoing with disfavor and with dread and His name will be forever revered by me and etched in my mind. I will do nothing to cause others to question my actions regarding His name.
No matter where I walk, even in death’s dark vale, no fear shall overcome me for He is with me. The shadow of death will not overtake me or have power over me; no evil can scare me or take away His protection. His Rod and Staff provide comfort for, as one of His sheep, I enjoy the comfort of His guardianship. He uses them to protect me from the wolves, even those in sheep’s clothing. With His rod He drives evil away and with His staff He draws me back if I wander too far afield.
My Shepherd prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Those who are not of His flock will look with envy at my lavish provision and wonder why and how I am so favoured. My table lacks nothing because my Lord has provided all riches and glory that are His for the giving. My cup is brimming over because of the abundance of His love and care. I can share with others who are in need and who are reaching out for His grace. I receive more than I need, as there is an overflow of blessings always coming to me. Goodness and mercy shall follow me wherever I go for He will never leave me or forsake me and He has promised that He will come and take me to Himself, so that wherever He is I shall be also. Therefore, I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever, and that is eternity.
Phyllis, I got cold chills when I read this version you wrote. It thrilled my soul! I would like to use this in one of my sermons if you would allow me...with credits to you. I am so moved by this article. Thank you so much for sharing it. God bless you, precious.