Lent: Surely Goodness and Mercy Will Follow Me – Psalm 23

Psalm 23

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.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
  • Come and sit by the water.
  • Sit in Christ’s presence.
  • Set other cares aside so that you can sit and be with the Lord.
  • Notice what it feels like to sit and be with the Lord.
  • From this place of love, let the Lord lead you.
  • From this place of gentleness, let the Lord lead you.
  • From this place of peace, let the Lord lead you.
  • From this place of surrender, let the Lord lead you.
  • From this place of goodness, let the Lord lead you.
  • From this place of mercy, let the Lord lead you.
  • Hold this place of love, gentleness, peace, surrender, goodness, and mercy.  Breathe in this place where you dwell with the Lord.  Carry it with you today.
  • Breathe in this place before you make decisions.
  • Breathe in this place before you speak.
  • Breathe in this place before you act.
  • Let Christ lead your day.
  • Take time to reflect at the end of the day.  Where did Christ lead you?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received. Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 22, 2020, the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year A)

1 Samuel 16:1-13
Psalm 23
Ephesians 5:8-14
John 9:1-41

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction training, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

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