A Psalm for the sunless valleys in life


Psalm 23 is possibly the most well known Psalm.

It is difficult to say exactly when David wrote Psalm 23, but it has been suggested that it was written when Samuel anointed David as a young shepherd (1 Sam 16v1-13; cp Psalm 23v5). There is, however, another suggestion given the extent of life experience in the words of these verses that could point to David being older than just a lad – facing situations of death (v4) and having enemies (v5). Some suggest that Psalm 23 was written while David was in Mahanaim (2 Sam 17&18) and the battle between his forces and those of his son Absalom were taking place, some of David’s darkest days. Perhaps this is when he chose to sit down and pen these inspired words of faith and trust in Yahweh as his shepherd.

Regardless of when these inspiring words were penned, we can only marvel how many faithful sheep of Yahweh’s flock have been comforted and strengthened in times of great loss or heartache through these timeless words – and today we hope to find that very same comfort and strength in our meditations and prayers around these words.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:1-6‬ (Take the time to read the Psalm in several different translations):

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
for ever.

EXAMPLE of S.T.E.P Meditation:


Copy out one little section of the Psalm at a time.

As an example:
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want”


Write down as many biblical truths you can think of from these words.

As an example: 
God cares for us like an ancient shepherd did his flock.
When I follow the shepherd faithfully I need not fear any want.
God provides for all my needs,


Meditate on and write down the personal exhortation that is relevant to you today.

As an example:
I need to come to recognise His voice – the voice of His word.
I don’t need to worry about my problem of __________ – God will provide.
God always has and always will provide everything I need – for eternal good.
If there is a spirit of want in my heart – I need to be satisfied in God’s provision.
I am just one of the sheep in God’s great flock.
I have no need to fear where my Shepherd is leading – I can trust Him.


Start to compose your prayer based on the words of this first verse.

As an example:
Give thanks to God for being my Shepherd – a Shepherd who provides for all my needs.
Praise Him that He knows where and when to lead the sheep.
Ask Him to help me with any “spirit of want” in my heart.
Ask Him to teach me to be satisfied in His provision.

Continue to walk in these “S.T.E.P.S” through Psalm 23, composing your prayer as you go.  This can take as much time as you need – depending on your life situation.  The important part is that we spend the time sitting quietly in the presence of our God and coming to know the voice of His word.

When you have finished your S.T.E.P. Meditation for all the verses of Psalm 23, read through each prayer section in succession as a prayer offering to Yahweh, our faithful Shepherd.

Further Suggestions: 

  • Consider having a spiritual friend – who you can do this together with – perhaps not at the same time in the same place but to provide accountability and encouragement.
  • Consider sharing your prayer with God in the presence of your faithful friend.
  • Copy the Psalm and keep it in a place that you can see during your day.
  • Write out your prayer in a prayer journal so that you can go back over and pray those words again.


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