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Psalm 23 is a song of quiet trust and confidence; a psalm which helps us find our place again; and a kind of creed. There are many echoes of Psalm 23 in the Lord’s Prayer: God’s provision for us; rest and refreshment; strength and support in danger; and assurance of God’s love through all the years ahead.

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3     he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    my whole life long.

Jesus gives to his disciples this most beautiful of prayers to help shape our lives from the moment we first receive it until the hour of our death. We are meant to pray the prayer each day and to say it with others when we meet together.

The Lord’s Prayer helps us find our place again in this vast universe. We remind ourselves that the world is still imperfect; that joy lies in having just enough; that we and others are a work in progress; that God is with us even in the most difficult times; and that the future rests in God’s hands. Pray the Lord’s Prayer with understanding as the great treasure it is. So be it. Amen.

Look back over the last 40 days. What are the most important things you have learned about the Lord’s Prayer? How will you pray the prayer in this next season of your life?

O God, our sovereign and shepherd,
who brought again your Son Jesus Christ from the valley of death,
comfort us with your protecting presence
and your angels of goodness and love,
that we also may come home
and dwell with him in your house for ever.

Prayer after Psalm 23

Cut out a sheep shape for everyone. Put your name on the sheep. God is our Shepherd and God is also our Father. Say the Lord’s Prayer together as you hold your sheep. Which part of the prayer is your favourite? Put it on the back of your sheep.
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Reflections from the Church House Publishing Pilgrim Journeys: 40 Days of Reflections on The Lord's Prayer written by Steven Croft are copyright 2019, 2020 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission. Full details of both resources are available on the Church of England website.

Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2020 The Church of England, All rights reserved.

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