Why Do We Pray the Lord is My Shepherd in Psalm 23?

In Psalm 23 we read the famous words, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” But what does it mean and how do we pray this beautiful verse?

Do you have questions about prayer? Why do we pray at all? Why do we pray Scripture? In this post we will answer those questions and more as we dive into why we pray, "The Lord is my Shepherd" in Psalm 23. Find how Psalm 23 serves as a testament to the power of prayer, offering comfort, hope, and guidance in times of need.

Why Do We Pray?

My mom would sit alongside me as I lay tucked in my bed. Each night she would pull out one of my two favorite children’s Bibles and with her beautiful German accent, read a story to me. Then, together we would pray the Children’s Prayer.

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Guard me Jesus through the night and
Wake me with the morning light.

Then we would close thanking God for our blessings and asking Him to care for those we love and those who are hurting.

It’s a memory I hold close. One that fills my heart and reminds me of all that is right in the world.

I believe that is one of the reasons why God commanded us to pray. He knew that when we prayed together, our hearts would be lifted, relationships bonded, and memories made all in His name and for His glory.

I remember a time spent in the presence of some of my dearest friends.

I met them years ago as I began blogging. Our friendships started online, but we’ve taken every opportunity possible to connect face-to-face, as well. Over one particular weekend, we bounced ideas off one another and encouraged each other. We laughed, cried, and talked long long talks. But most of all we prayed for one another. It’s the glue God uses to knit us together.

One of the reasons we pray is because it builds relationship with Jesus and with others. Prayer pulls down walls and it covers us in the love of Christ.

Why Do We Pray | The Lord is My Shepherd

Psalm 23 is a passage in the Bible many of us may recognize. It is one we turn to in times of need and one that gives us comfort and hope. But today I want us to look at it to see why we pray Scripture and why we would pray Psalm 23.

The Lord is my Shepherd: Psalm 23

The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always. He provides me rest in rich, green fields beside streams of refreshing water. He soothes my fears; He makes me whole again, steering me off worn, hard paths to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name. Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness, I am not overcome by fear. Because You are with me in those dark moments, near with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted. You spread out a table before me, provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies; You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil, filling my cup again and again with Your grace. Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me where I go, always, everywhere. I will always be with the Eternal, in Your house forever. -Psalm 23 (VOICE)

Psalm 23 is a psalm of comfort. It draws us into the Father's love. Printable 8x10 original image | #psalm23 #Godsword #scriptureimages #godslove #23rdpsalm #thelordismyshepherd
Find the printable pdf in the Library of Hope Just subscribe below to get access.

Side note: I love the intimate tone of conversation conveyed in The Voice translation of the 23rd Psalm. I do wish it used “The Lord is my Shepherd” as opposed to “The Eternal is my Shepherd”, though.

What is a shepherd?

Dictionary.com defines a shepherd as:


  1. a person who herds, tends, and guards sheep.
  2. a person who protects, guides, or watches over a person or group of people

verb (used with object)

  1. to tend or guard as a shepherd:to shepherd the flock.
  2. to watch over carefully.

Why do we pray, “The Lord Is My Shepherd” in Psalm 23?

We pray God’s Word for many reasons. I love this article about why we pray Scripture at the Gospel Coalition giving us 12 reasons why we should pray Scripture. I love the comfort praying Scripture brings in knowing that I am praying Truth — that I am praying within God’s will.

Yes, God wants to hear what is on our minds and in our hearts. It is an important piece to building a relationship with Him. But I also know that in my humanity, I get distracted and often a little self-absorbed. I get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Scripture gives me that start. It gives me focus and it ensures I am praying for things that God wants for us.

So when we pray Psalm 23, we are asking God to be the One who watches over us carefully. Because His Word tells us all these things about being our Shepherd, we can trust that He will do this for us. He cannot lie. His promises are always true.

Do you have questions about prayer? Why do we pray at all? Why do we pray Scripture? In this post we will answer those questions and more as we dive into why we pray, "The Lord is my Shepherd" in Psalm 23. Find how Psalm 23 serves as a testament to the power of prayer, offering comfort, hope, and guidance in times of need.

We pray the Lord is my Shepherd and know that:

1. God will care for us always.

2. He will provide us rest.

3. God will soothe our fears.

4. He will make us whole again.

5. He will steer us away from worn roads of poor choices and draw us to righteousness.

6. God will be with us in the dark moments providing protection, comfort, and guidance.

7. The Lord will provide for us in the face of our enemies.

8. He will pour cup upon cup of grace into our souls.

9. God will pursue us wherever we go for all of eternity.

With all this in mind, how can we NOT want to know the Lord as our Shepherd?

As we read the words to Psalm 23, how can we not want to know our Shepherd? How can we not want to know the One who makes us whole again? The One who steers us off worn and hard paths to roads of truth and righteousness? The One who is with us providing comfort, protection, guidance, and a way through our fears?

And then I must ask …

If we long to know Him, how can we not talk to Him?

Talking. It’s important because communicating is the way in which we connect with others. That includes our Savior. If we long to know Jesus, we must communicate with Him. We can do that through prayer.

Prayer is talking with God.

Prayer is getting to know God. It’s authentically revealing our thoughts and feelings even when they aren’t pretty or wrapped up neatly with a bow.

Sometimes we question the why of prayer because we believe God already knows all that will come to pass. And this is true. He is all-knowing … omniscient. Yet our omniscient Father longs for us to connect with Him in prayer. And friends, our prayers do matter and they do change things. They change us. They change the world.

I love this quote about prayer by Watchman Nee.

“Our prayers lay the track down on which Gods power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails.” ~ Watchman Nee

Why Do We Pray?


  1. Draws us closer to God and others as it builds healthy strong relationships.
  2. Changes us giving us eyes to see the world differently.
  3. Changes circumstances as we open the road for God’s transforming power.
  4. Changes the world.

Friends, if we are living in the will of God, building healthy relationships with God and others, loving well, and accessing His transforming power, how can the world not be changed into a better place for all?

A Collection of My Best Prayer Resources

If you have more questions about prayer, just jump on over to any of my other posts on prayer. The six posts below are the best of the best, but you can find even more quality insight and encouragement about prayer in the series titled Revive Your Life With the Power of Prayer.

A series to help you grow in your prayer life. #howwepray #godslove #prayer #prayscripture #learntopray #helpmepray #prayerwarrior
Do you long to pray with confidence? When you use Bible verses to pray over your child, you can pray with the confidence of knowing you are in the will of God. But how? #prayer #prayforyourchild #prayingforchildren #prayforfamily #prayingscripture #bibleverses #prayingmom #scripture #glodslove
What is the ACTS Prayer Model and How Can It Help Me Pray? #prayer #ACTSPrayerModel #prayboldly #prayerchart #hope #Godslove
Do you or your ministry need a resource that helps you grasp the full meaning of the Lord's Prayer? This is a free practical and printable resource for individuals and ministry leaders. It includes a detailed worksheet/journal page, descriptive insight and Biblical background, and 6 printable event station posters with easy set-up instructions. | The Lord's Prayer Meaning #lordsprayer #prayer #powerofprayer #hope #prayerresource #ministryresource #printablekit
Do you need encouragement about prayer? The best place to go for is straight to the Scripture within the pages of your Bible. God has given us the reasons why we pray, what He longs to hear about from us, His promises to us, and even step by step guidance for how to pray! Read more, including 10 Bible Verses about prayer, a uniquely written printable prayer to help you get started, and more!

Books That Will Guide You in Prayer and Help You to Know the Lord is My Shepherd

***Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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  1. Hey Lori, I just love that story about you and your mom. What a beautiful memory. I know you had such a love for her. It’s a reminder of how important it is for moms to have a daily habit of praying for their kids. And I just love that picture of the group prayer. Thank God for sweet Christian fellowship. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Sometimes I wonder how I lose track. I know how important prayer is and what a beautiful, intimate gift it is. Yet still I find myself shooting off one-liners to God instead of spending time with Him.

    I am grateful for the reminder of the holy intimacy of prayer today!

  3. Prayer is always my growth point in this following life, so thanks for words of encouragement, Lori!

  4. This is such a wonderful post, Lori. The memory you shared with your mom is precious. Watchman Nee has long been a favorite of mine so the quote spoke deeply and I am writing it down to save. Thank you for sharing it! I am always blessed for having joined you each week!

    1. And I am so blessed by your visits, Joanne! Thank you for always being such an encouragement. ♥

  5. I love that you ladies met up and spent time encouraging each other and just being with each other in person! That sounds like such a wonderful time! I also love your point about prayer being a way to open our eyes to new perspectives. That’s such an important reminder as I pray not just for what’s on my prayer “list,” but also for God to give me eyes to see His will!

    1. These ladies have been such a gift. My prayer is that each of my writer friends build a tribe like these women! I wish I knew how to make it happen for all because it is such a precious gift. Thank you so much for joining me here, Emily! You are such a treasure!

  6. Ah, I remember this prayer in my home growing up also. I like to think it was a seed planted that grew and helped direct my heart toward God at a young age. Great post to reinforce the benefits both earthly and eternal!

    1. My thoughts exactly, Crystal ♥ I know my mom help plant those seeds that today have grown my faith significantly!

  7. Lori you are so right. Prayer bonds us to God and others. I think of times when people have prayed aloud with me. For me. And I for them. It is hard to describe what happens and how it knits the two of us together. Thanks for this beautiful reminder to pray more.

  8. Hi Lori,
    Yes, always my first go to for every situation in my life, I love chatting with my Lord! And the power of prayer is astounding.

    Our little ladies prayer group here in my corner of the world, has witnessed two people (we were holding up in prayer) healed from serious life threatening cancers in the last twelve months! We have a gracious & powerful God! 😀

    1. Hallelujah! What a joy to witness these healings! Thank you so much for sharing this with me ♥

  9. Lori,
    FIrst of all…this post!!! If you only knew how timely it is in my life. Thank you!!!
    Secondly, thank you so much for featuring my story of “Letting Go and Letting God”. I am completely honored!!! Thank you!!!

  10. Oh how I wish I could have been with you on your retreat! Sounds just perfect. After being out of writing for some time…I’m so happy to see that you are still here and still blogging Lori! Grateful that you are still spreading hope along the way. I just put up a post on your link. It’s somewhat different from the usual… but hey my life is rather different now too! I hope that its still ok to post here. x
    Much love

    1. Jade! I am sooooo glad to see you back here! I think of you often and pray for you. You have a place in my heart ♥ I am looking forward to catching up on your life. I pray you are doing well and that God has reached is revealing beauty in your everyday. Much love, Lori

  11. Lori, This is such a good article. I’ll be sharing it all over! I loved the quote from Watchman Nee!

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