A Soul Shepherding Experience
By Bill Gaultiere © 2011, 2012
“Come!” Jesus said to us. “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
“I am the good shepherd,” Jesus assures us. “I know my sheep and my sheep know me… My sheep listen to my voice. I call them by name and lead them. They follow me because they know my voice… I am the good shepherd. I lay down my life for my sheep” (John 10:14, 3-4, 11, slight paraphrasing of NIV84).
Healing Pictures and Meditations on Psalm 23
Come! Let’s gather beside Jesus, our Good Shepherd. Let’s open the eyes of our heart by praying Psalm 23 in special pictures and fresh words. Join me now in a special meditation as we follow Jesus on the eleven steps of the Psalm 23 journey. Let the healing images of our Good Shepherd in this beloved Psalm wash away any painful memories from your past or any stressful scenarios you might find yourself in today. (Ephesians 5:26 says that the word of God is designed to wash our minds.)
To help you meditate on Psalm 23 I will lead you through it verse-by-verse and step-by-step with a picture and a paraphrase of each part of the Psalm to help you pray it from your heart to “the Shepherd of your soul” (1 Peter 2:25).
Probably one of the Psalm 23 scenes especially describes where you are at in your personal journey with Jesus today. After you go through the meditation once go back and linger on that particular scene that you relate to: see yourself in the picture, meditate on the verse, and let my prayer for that verse guide you to reflect and talk to the Good Shepherd about the details of your life situation today.
“The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1):
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the desire of my heart always.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:2):
Jesus, you woo me to be still and rest in your loving care.
“He leads me beside still waters” (Psalm 23:2):
Jesus, your Spirit is living water for my thirsty soul.
“He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:3):
Jesus, when I am struggling you lift me up and hold me close.
“He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3):
Jesus, you know the right path for me — I follow you.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4):
Jesus, you are with me loving and teaching me in my dark trials.
Discipline / Accountability
“Your rod and your staff comfort me” (Psalm 23:4):
Jesus, your loving words train me to obey you always.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Psalm 23:5).
Jesus, I share your forgiveness so I am at peace when enemies are near.
“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5):
Jesus, I rejoice that you bless me to be a blessing to others!
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6):
Jesus, you live in me and through me so I can be a leader for you.
“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6):
Jesus, you hold me in your love always!
Some other Ways I use Psalm 23
For many years I have meditated and prayed on Psalm 23. Often in the mornings I sing Psalm 23 to a tune that I’ve made up — what joy it brings to my soul to sing to the Lord Jesus Christ as my Good Shepherd!
Over the years God has used Psalm 23 to help me participate in his peace, guidance, and strength. Also, many times I’ve used it to minister to others who are anxious, weary, confused, or in a dark valley. One way I’ve done this is by sharing with others in seminars, retreats, and counseling a guided meditation experience I wrote which puts Psalm 23 into a story with Scripture meditations, spiritual discipline exercises, Breath Prayers, and quiet reflection.
A Psalm 23 Retreat
Contact us if we can assist the Good Shepherd by providing a Psalm 23 themed retreat for you or your church group. Here are some additional Psalm 23 resources to help you exclaim of the Lord, “He restores my soul!” (Psalm 23:3):
“The Lord Jesus is my Soul Shepherd” is my poetic paraphrase of Psalm 23 to help you pray it deeply from your heart.
“The Lamb Became the Shepherd” is my reflection on the possibility that Jesus prayed Psalm 23 while on the cross.
“Walk with Good Shepherd in Psalm 23” leads you step-by-step through the journey of spiritual transformation in Psalm 23.
“Walk with Good Shepherd through the Bible” gives additional Bible verses that relate to each phrase in the Lord’s Prayer.
“Psalm 23: Translations, Hymns, and Poems” is a collection of beloved Psalm 23 themed writings, some ancient and some new.
“Soul Shepherding is for you and your ministry”
Bill Gaultiere, PhD & Kristi Gaultiere, PsyD ~ Soul Shepherding ~ Irvine, CA