Psalm 23: A Prayer Guide

Conversations with God: Speaking to God with Scripture-based Prayer

Timothy Keller in his book Prayer tells us that Scripture is God’s language. So the more familiar we are with His Word the more fluent we become in the language of prayer and our ability to converse with God.

This is the basis for Scripture-based prayer: Speaking to God in His own language.

It is not a type of prayer you come to naturally. I learned through my involvement in Moms In Prayer International, a prayer ministry encouraging moms to gather weekly to pray for their children and their schools. If you’re interested you can find out more about their ministry at

Our Thursday morning Conversations with God is a time to gather to practice and experience Scripture-based prayer. This month we are praying through Psalm 23 using a Four-Step Prayer.

  • Praise. Telling God how great He is through what He tells us about Himself in the Scripture.
  • Confession. Recognizing where we have failed to walk according to the Scripture we are praying.
  • Thanksgiving. Giving Him thanks for the things you see Him doing for His people in the Scripture and how He has worked in your life.
  • Intercession. A time to ask God to work in your life and the lives of others. As you see needs expressed in the Scripture pray them back to God.

Before each step of prayer, read through Psalm 23 then speak to God the things you notice in the Scripture. You can use a single translation or a different one for each step. Also, consider reading it out loud. Currently I’m using the New English Translation (NET).

Let’s pray.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He takes me to lush pastures,
he leads me to refreshing water.
He restores my strength.
He leads me down right paths for the sake of his reputation.
Even when I must walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and staff reassure me.
You prepare a feast before me in plain sight of my enemies.
You refresh my head with oil; my cup is completely full.
Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days, and I will live in the Lord’s house the rest of my life.

New English Translation


What attributes or character traits of God do you see in Psalm 23?
What does God reveal about Himself?

He says He is your Shepherd. What do you know about shepherds? What is their job? If He is your Shepherd, what does that make you?

Pray a prayer of praise to God for the type of Shepherd He tells you He is.

Lord, I praise You as my Shepherd. You anticipate and see to all my needs.
Your provision is perfect in every circumstance I face in life.
You are trustworthy and I can follow You without fear. You always lead me in the right direction. You are tireless and ever-present.

Lord, I praise You because You are _______________…

Re-read Psalm 23.


What in Psalm 23 turns you heart toward conviction? Places you have failed to trust God? to follow God?

Do you believe He is a Good Shepherd?

Confess your lack in prayer to God. Seek His forgiveness.

Lord, You know my failures better than I do. Open my heart to come into agreement with You about my sins against You and others.
Forgive me, Lord, for my failure to follow You well, for thinking my own way is better than Yours.
I confess, Lord, that I don’t feel like I have everything I need. I have wants and desires that seem to be going unmet. unseen. unnoticed. I’m not always sure You are trustworthy with my heart or the hearts of those I love.
Forgive me when I blame You for my failings rather than taking responsibility for my own choices.

Lord, forgive me for _______________…

Read Psalm 23 again.


What sparks a spirit of thanksgiving as you read Psalm 23?

Where in your life have you seen God’s shepherding?

Pray a prayer of thanksgiving to God.

Lord, how thankful I am that You are always with me. I’m thankful for Your provision for me and my family.

I thank You, Lord, for Your pursuit of me with Your goodness and faithfulness. I’m thankful that You are faithful even when I am not. And — Oh! — how thankful I am You are in pursuit of those I love who are wandering.

Thankful for meeting all my needs and continuing to meet them even if I can’t see them.

Lord, I am thankful for ______________…

Read Psalm 23 one last time.


How do you need God as Shepherd to intervene in your life? in the lives of those you love?

What in Psalm 23 stirs your heart to desire? What promises does He give that you want to receive fully?

Intercede for yourself and for others. Ask God for what you need according to His Word. Pour out your heart to Him.

Oh, Lord, how I long to follow You so closely that I experience the assurance of having all that I need in any moment.
Bless me with faith to trust You wherever You lead and in whatever You allow.
Help me to remember You are ALWAYS with me even when I feel like I am all alone.
Lead me, Lord, to places of rest. Open my eyes to recognize the places of refreshment You provide. Restore my strength so I can follow Your lead.

Lord, please, __________________…


We hope this guide has been helpful and might inspire you to practice Scripture-based conversations with God.

May you find yourself blessed by His Word.


Feature Image Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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