The following is a prayer based on Psalm 23 that I wrote for a funeral; a prayer I prayed before preaching the message:
O Lord, you are our shepherd, therefore we shall never be in want; for you make us lie down in green pastures, you lead us beside quiet waters and you restore our souls. Thank you, Oh God. We ask now that you may guide us in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake; for we want to give you praise and glory.
But during this time of mourning, Oh Lord, it feels as if we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. We ask that you may comfort us with your presence, keep us from fear and protect us from the evil one.
May we feast at your table in complete peace and comfort and security as You anoint us and fill our cups to overflowing.
Oh Lord our God, thank you, for your goodness and love follows us all the days of our lives, and through faith in Jesus Christ we are confident that we will dwell in Your house forever.
Don’t get me wrong here. I am not trying to re-write scripture. I just enjoy praying through scripture and using scripture to give my prayer a voice…and what better place to do this than in the Psalter.
When my wife and I were freshly grieving our failed adoption I immediately started reading in the book of Psalms. I found those places where the psalmist was crying out to God; asking how long; wondering where God was at. I was thankful that the psalmist gave me words to pray as I “borrowed” his words. I was also thankful for the reminder that God is faithful. The psalmist may have been crying out to God but he usually ended with words of praise for God. I need those words too…so I “borrowed” them as well.
What a great diversity in the book of Psalms. No wonder Martin Luther called the Psalter a “little Bible”.
So…if you need some words for your prayer today…try the book of Psalms. If you don’t needs words right now…go to the Psalms anyway. You will need them eventually.
Praise be to God!
The pastor -|—