Psalm 23 is a scripture made up of 6 verses that people (whether bible believers or not) might say they have at least heard it in part, if not in total. "The LORD is my Shepherd..." is how Psalm 23 begins. It contains precious promises and important reminders to those who call God the Shepherd of their soul.
With God as our Shepherd, we boldly say,
“The LORD is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.”
However, more often than not, our broken human nature focuses on perceived lack and need. Our prayers aren't bold and filled with confidence in God. But,this is not unusual because it is broken human nature to look at God without confidence. Like sheep we wander from God, are blind to His presence, and live in fear. Psalm 23 mentions that God has to help us in that broken nature. Psalm 23 states He “makes” his sheep lie down. He has to, we are fitful and fearful sheep with souls unable to find rest on our own. What is one way He does this? Well, there is a table of fellowship prepared.
Psalm 23 mentions that table in verse 5. It says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.”
What does this language mean? First, it is language reflective of the Eastern culture it was written in. In Eastern culture, if you invited someone over to dine with you, you met them at the door with water to wash their feet, put fragrant oil on their head to honor them, and filled a cup with wine to a point that it spilled over (on purpose). All these were gestures to communicate that the guest was welcome in your home, that you respected them; and that you wanted to provide for them in abundance during their visit.
There is a scene in Luke 7 in verses 36-50 that details this. But you will notice it details a host who DID NOT welcome his guest in these ways. His guest was Jesus. Take time to read it and you will see how Jesus responds to the host. Jesus calls him out for not welcoming Him with water for his feet, giving a holy kiss, or anointing his head with perfumed oil. You will also see how Jesus sets a spiritual a table for a sinful woman who interrupted the dinner. For her courage, Jesus sets a table for her in the presence of her enemies. It is clear the "sinful" woman Jesus commends has the affirmative beliefs of Psalm 23 in her and that she is not afraid of enemies who surround her. Her total and complete focus is on the abundant life Jesus offers. She walks away being exalted and publicly justified over her enemies. She walks away forgiven of all her sin by the Good Shepherd of her soul.
This is a table only God can prepare for you. And this is the table of mercy and abundant life all are invited to. Men and woman alike are encouraged to be like the sinful woman who welcomed Jesus into her heart, who unashamedly worshiped at his feet. He will respond in supernatural ways to defend you, provide for you, exalt you in the presence of your enemies, and speak words of life that provide abundantly for your soul eternally.
At his table He will wash our weary, dirty feet. He will anoint our head with sweet perfume from His Spirit, and fill us to overflow with abundant life. After we leave that table, like the author of Psalm 23, we confidently say, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
Put in effort (more than normal) to come to God with this expectation to be filled! I offer some help by praying for you in the audio file below. God knows many need help in finding prayer language with him, that people need others to come alongside and pray for them when they feel weak. So this prayer is offered as a help. As you listen, agree in your heart when you hear something that applies to you. May you enjoy time at his table!
(Note: As I started, I felt the LORD putting on my heart that mercy triumphs over judgment. Let that truth be something you bring with you as you listen. Take that phrase with you to recall and meditate on after the prayer. Where do you need God’s mercy to triumph over judgment in your life?.
Enjoy time at God’s table of abundance! Forward this blog to someone who might need someone to pray for them and suggest they listen to the audio prayer. Blessings!
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!