This week we wrap up our series on prayer. In every prayer we have looked at, the focus is on God. Prayer is not to focus on ourselves but to focus on God. When you meet someone, what is one of the first questions you ask? “What’s your name?” That is how friendships and relationships begin. Most of us have more than one name. We have a first, middle, and last name. We have names that speak of relationships: I am Tammy’s husband, Dad, and G-daddy. In Genesis 1, God revealed Himself as Elohim, Creator. In Genesis 2, He is Jehovah, LORD God. His names reveal who He is to us. He is a covenant keeping God. There are eight covenant names found in Psalm 23, one of the most loved and known passages in the Bible. As we look at this passage today, let’s look at a fresh way of praying like David.
My Shepherd – Jehovah-Rohi
Psalm 23 begins, “The Lord is my shepherd….” A shepherd does not ask people where they want to go. He leads them where they need to go. Jesus is the good shepherd (Jn. 10:10), the great shepherd (Heb. 13:20), and the chief shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4). Everyone is following someone. Who is your shepherd?
My Provider – Jehovah- Jireh
David continues, “…I shall not want.” You may be a widow, single mom/dad, senior adult, or college student, saying, “I don’t know how I am going to make it.” If the Lord is your shepherd, He will meet your needs! If you have the Lord and you need something, just go to Him. There is no problem, no need you have that God cannot meet.
My Peace – Jehovah-Shalom
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” There is nothing like a good meal and a good mattress. Green grass is not just something to graze on but to snooze on. It is a place of rest. Most of us don’t like to lay down. Parents know you must make most children go to bed. God will sometimes let you get into some hot water, and He will allow the trials of life to apply pressure, in order to make you lie down and rest in Him. When you are resting at night He never sleeps. God is always working. He gives His beloved rest.
My Healer – Jehovah-Rapha
“He restores my soul….” God still heals today! Do you have a physical ailment? Do you need to forgive or be forgiven? Are you struggling emotionally or mentally? We serve a God of miracles who cares more about you than you could ever imagine.
My Righteousness – Jehovah-Tsidkenu
“…He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Jesus is our righteousness. Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” We all like sheep have gone astray. We make wrong choices when we listen to wrong voices. It is OK to not be OK, but it is not OK to stay that way. God will lead you in the right path.
My Companion – Jehovah-Shammah
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me….” You are not alone. Don’t run or quit but keep on walking. If you fall, get back up. We go through things that do not make sense and that we do not understand. Notice that David said we go through the valley. Valleys have an entrance and an exit! God is with you. Ask Him for strength to keep on walking.
My Defender – Jehovah-Nissi
“Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” God never shows up empty-handed. He has a rod in his right hand. God is bigger than anything that threatens us. He has a staff in his left hand to pull us back in line. There are enemies everywhere you go. An enemy is anything that threatens you, but the table of God is a place of love and safety.
My Sanctifier – Jehovah- M’Kaddesh
“…You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” Insects drive sheep crazy. When they get near the head, they beat their head against the ground. Ever feel like you are beating your head against the wall? Stop letting people get in your head! God will give you the oil of gladness. Anointing is a special touch for a specific task. David was left out by man but set apart by God. You don’t need the approval of man. You need the anointing of God. You don’t need a greater title/assignment. You need greater touch/anointing!
David ends this Psalm, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” This is not a question mark, this is an exclamation mark! When you pray prayers based on who God is, the outcome is clear. You may not know the details, but you can know 100% that His name and His promises will never fail.
Pray First– Chris Hodges
The Names of God – Hemphill
Names of God– Nathan Stone
The Power of God’s Names– Evans
Parenting Your Parents– Ethridge