The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:1-2
Dear Lord Jesus, Good Shepherd of the lambs of God, I need you to come to me today and make me lie down in pastures of green grace, for I have a restless, wandering heart. I need the quieting waters of the gospel for my ambivalent soul—presently the home to many conflicting emotions. I need the kind of refreshment that cannot be found in changed circumstances, only in a compassionate Christ.
Because of you, Jesus, I don’t lack anything essential. As the Lamb of God, you took away my sin forever, and now I’m “dressed in your righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.” As the Lord of Lords, you are currently working in all things for my good and your glory. You rule the whole world with your truth and grace. As the Lamp of the New City (Rev. 21:23), you have secured my place in coming world of eternal delights—the new heaven and new earth. I believe this good news with every fiber of my being. But…
But right now, Jesus, I need you to help me sort through my feelings. I need you to help me steward my emotions in line with the truth of the gospel.
I feel sad. Change is never very easy for me, and I am going through some pretty major changes—changes connected to loss. One day you will wipe away every one of my tears, come and dab just a few of them today. May my lamenting lead me heavenward to worship and hope, not inward to isolation and contempt.
I feel confused. I don’t like second guessing anything, so you know how much I hate third and forth guessing. Speak through all my conflicting thoughts, Jesus. You know my voice and call me by name. I know your name and want to hear your voice more distinctly than any other voice.
I feel angry… not angry at someone(s) in particular, but about many things in general. I don’t do anger well, Jesus, so really shepherd my anger. I usually stuff it deep—into a dark cellar where it grows like mold. I don’t want old hurts to barrel into the present situation, making it hard to stay engaged, gentle and kind. I’m certain I want to honor you more than I want to feel vindicated.
I feel loved. If I wasn’t certain of your love for me, Jesus, I would surely resort to unhealthy, even destructive choices. I’d already have a one-way ticket purchased to Tarshish (Jonah 1). But you’ve taught me well that “those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs” (Jonah 2:8 NIV). I don’t want to be swallowed by something big just to be brought back to gospel sanity, yet again. So shepherd me now, Jesus, to your glory and my growth. So very Amen I pray, in your tender and tenacious name.