He Maketh Me to Lie Down in Green Pastures

Psalm 23 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.

The “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” prayer and the 23rd Psalm were the first prayers that I learned when I was a child. The child’s prayer of “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”, taught to me by my mom, I learned before I can remember…probably when I was around 2 or 3 years old and Psalm 23 I learned when I was around 11-13 years old. I’ll be honest…I didn’t really have a clue what either of these prayers meant when I was that age, but I do remember that they both evoked a feeling of peace. I also remember that I knew Jesus was my Good Shepherd as I’d learned that at Sunday School.

My focus today in my blog is verse 2 of Psalm 23: He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

When I was a girl, I could hardly wait until the snow melted and summer came to the farm. I liked to climb to the top of the mountain above our farm and lay in the tall grass and gaze at the blue sky…the tops of the trees swayed back and forth in the wind, but where I was lying in the grass, there wasn’t even a breeze. As the clouds drifted overhead, I felt a feeling of calmness sweep over me…sometimes, I would doze off and wake up feeling safe and warm. I never really associated that time with “lying down in a green pasture” but when I look back on it, I recognize the peace it created in what was an otherwise tumultuous existence.

This trek to the top of the mountain was my escape from a dad who was an alcoholic, and a mom who enabled him. I lived in a house full of constant battles between them, between my brothers and myself (have you ever seen the movie War of the Roses?). Now I didn’t share this with you to make you feel sorry for me! Although it was a dysfunctional family, I loved my parents, who are now both deceased, and I love both of my brothers. The purpose of my sharing this with you is to share with you an example of how God will find a way to bring you the peace of a green pasture if you want and allow Him to do this for you. He already gave us His Son who is the Shepherd that cares for us beyond anything we can imagine; afterall, He died for us! What greater love is there than that? Anything we ask in Jesus’s name Heavenly Father will grant according to His Will for us…

To a certain extent, I believe that’s what this covid-19 quarantine has done for me and I hope for you too. It’s allowed me to slow down, think about my relationship with Jesus and my desire to know and grow closer to my Father in Heaven. To allow the Holy Spirit to lead me beside the still waters. Once again, I’m going to say…don’t get me wrong…I realize that for many this quarantine has been a drain on them emotionally, financially and spiritually; what I am saying is that HE’s there, just waiting for you and me to give Him our burdens.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

When we turn to Jesus Messiah – Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew Translation), he lifts the burden in our hearts and replaces it with Love, Peace and Joy. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 the Bible talks to us about how we are supposed to Love with patience, kindness, never self-seeking (don’t put ourselves first) and not be easily angered and always Rejoicing in Love by protecting and trusting and persevering.

Maybe, just maybe, Heavenly Father has given us this time of hiddenness from the world so we can re-calibrate, rethink and reassess our life. Most of us have to admit that no matter how often we talked about it or said we were ready to do it, we weren’t willing to step away from the world on our own; so maybe he has taken this bad situation and turned it to good. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing right now? Instead of feeling stressed, worried, afraid, we should be Rejoicing in Love and it says in 1 Peter 4:8, that Love covers a multitude of sins. Colossians 3:15 says that we should let the Peace of Christ rule in our hearts. Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all Joy and Peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. If you don’t have Jesus in your heart and would like to feel this Love, Peace and Joy please read my blog: https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/the-plan-of-salvation/

When we were children, we sang songs like JOY, JOY, JOY down in our hearts! I don’t know about you, but I felt that song with ever fiber of my body and actually, I still feel it today! Jesus LOVES Me is still at the top of my list of favorite songs. I remember singing those songs while playing and doing chores; when I found Jesus at a very young age (6 years old) he became my rock, I leaned on Him…it became natural to turn to Him because I could feel Him holding me when times were bad. Do you ever find yourselves singing songs about your Love for Jesus today? If you ever had any, did your JOY dissolve with your childhood? Instead of spending all of your time reading the internet and facebook articles on how bad it is…start counting your blessings today and each and everyday make the list longer than the day before. Even if your blessing is having a spoon to eat your soup with…or a towel to dry with after the nice hot shower…to be able to read and study your Bible anytime you wish to…about having a Pastor that is willing to give a Sermon via the internet, so you can be fed with the Word of God. So we need to quit looking at our quarantine as “HOW BAD IT IS” and start looking at it as “Lying down in green pastures and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us”.

In the USA, it may be bad for some, but wake-up people – that’s the case for many even when there isn’t covid-19 to deal with (homelessness, loneliness, child abuse, alcoholism, social security check that doesn’t even start to cover necessities of life) on and on I could write.

The majority of us, however, we are doing okay. We may have to think about things and do things a little differently, but we’re a long way from facing major sacrifices. Thankfully, most of us don’t yet know anyone who’s died of this hideous virus, much less know anyone in the hospital fighting for their lives and let’s all pray that because of our quarantine and social distancing we will never see the results touch our lives. And yes, my head isn’t in the sand…I recognize that there are some areas of the country hit mighty hard by this and God only know why…we can’t begin to guess or second guess the reasons behind the virus. Right now, a lot of us are focused on conspiracy theories and hate rhetoric and missing out on an opportunity that may never come again in our lifetime. A time to “Lay down in a green pastures” and commune with God.

***I’ve been receiving a magazine “The Voice of the Martyrs” from this website for many years and reading it will open your eyes to how good we have it in our country. https://www.persecution.com/

My Prayer Song

I was inspired to write this song in celebration of the Birth of Christ.

I play it on my guitar, so if anyone is interested in the melody, just message me… I led the congregation in singing it at the church that I attend and they found the melody fairly easy to follow. Blessings In Christ

My Prayer

C                            Em

Heavenly Father hear our prayer

F                         Em

Create in us a heart that cares

F                                     G7                        C        G7

A heart that serves, a heart that truly loves.

C                            Em

In this world we are so blessed

          F                               Em

Thru love and grace we pass your test

      F                                    G7                       C        G7

You sent the earth Your love from up above.

C                                G

Our trust in You, it will endure

Am                                 Em

Because Your love is kind and pure

F                                    G                           C  G7

You fought our fight and Your Glory won

        C                                     G

You showed us you’re the God of Love

Am                                 Em

We’re the ones your thinking of

F                                          G                        C  G7

You sent to earth Your Light, your only Son

C                                           Em

Your Promise kept our hopes alive,

F                                       Em

We knew your son when He arrived,

F                               G7                                 C       G7

Our lips sing your praise, our hearts do sigh

C                                Em

The star it came to light the skies

          F                         Em

Our Savior came, to light our lives

      F                               G7                      C    G7

 “Believe in Him” will be our lifelong cry 

C                              G

Today we have the Hope of Life

Am                                    Em

We know there is an end of strife

F                                          G                                C  G7

The Prince of Peace will heal a world that’s torn

        C                                     G

The Angles sang their song of Joy

Am                                 Em

As Mary held her baby boy

F                                          G                  C  G7

The King of Kings, the Son of God is born

Hear My Prayer

This is my prayer for this shaken and confused world…

PLEASE Heavenly Father I pray that people will be drawn to the Love and Peace of Jesus Christ as the only Hope for Humanity. Be kind to one another with compassion and honestly care for one another…May their hearts and minds look to God for answers and not to man.

In Jesus’s Name I pray AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!

Power of Prayer

I’m going to share with you “the most powerful tool” in your arsenal: PRAYER

I’m talking about earnest, subservient supplication in the name of Jesus (Yeshua – Hebrew translation).  By no means, am I dishonoring the blessing prayer before a meal or the safety prayer when we get in our car and all the other moments that we seek Heavenly Father’s love and protection.  However, what I am talking about is the “down” on your knees (I know… not everyone can get down on their knees) displaying honest humbleness before the Lord as we rejoice in His presence and take the time to listen for His answer to our prayer.  We should spend time in prayer every day; it takes putting aside the world to feel at one with or be in touch with and get to know our Father in Heaven!

Find someplace to pray where you won’t be interrupted so you can truly focus on your time spent with God!  If you’ve seen the movie “War Room”, you will have an idea of what I’m referring to… Matt 6:6 (HCSB) Jesus said, “But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

  1. Prepare yourself for prayer, like David said in Psalm 66:18, God will NOT listen if we’re cherishing our sins.  When we read our Bible daily, we learn what God abhors: lying, thieving, adultery etc.  Once we have Christ’s blood covering us as a result of our enduring faith, we are saved, but that doesn’t mean that God likes our sin any more than he did before we found faith in Jesus.  Romans 8:1-8 (HCSB) Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, 2because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
  2. Don’t forget that Satan will do everything in his arsenal to keep us from praying: the phone will ring, the kids will need something, unexpected company, worries about our jobs, not enough time, random thoughts that flutter around in our minds to distract us from our attempt to spend time with God!  Satan knows how powerful we are when we’re in prayer and that God listens to our every prayer.  Personal thought…I’m quite certain that every prayer we’ve ever spoken has been heard and remembered by God.
  3. Always pray “that HIS will be done” and then submit to it!  When we can’t put into words what we need to say, the spirit will speak for us.  Luke 12:12 (HCSB) For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what must be said.
  4. Realize that God can and will say NO!  Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me–nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42 (HCSB) God said NO to Jesus so He willingly went to the cross and suffered for our sins.  God said NO to David when he lay prostrate in prayer for the life of his child with Bathsheba.  God said NO to Elijah when he asked God to strike him dead.  God said NO to the people who built the Golden Calf and didn’t allow them to go to the Promise Land. God said NO to Moses for striking the rock twice instead of speaking to it, so Moses was allowed to see the Promised Land, but he didn’t enter in.  God said NO to Paul when he asked Him to remove the thorn in his flesh.  Our Father’s will not ours will be done; He has a plan and He knows what’s best for each and every one of us!

Prayer Life

Psalm 95:6    “Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.  Isn’t it wonderful that our Bible has an entire Book dedicated to songs of praise and prayer to Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit?  Book after book, chapter after chapter, the Bible tells us to praise God and pray…there are so many verses about prayer that I couldn’t begin to count them.  Jesus prayed to His Father in Heaven.   I’ve chose some of my favorite verses to share with you and I know that you have specific verses that speak louder than others to your prayer life. 

WOW! “Prayer Life”!  What an awesome certainty we have in Heavenly Father that he listens.  The Bible tells us over and over again to have a conversation with God and that He’s listening!  The more often you pray, the closer you become with the Father, and with time, you’ll find yourself in a state of prayer from morning to evening and sometimes even in your dreams.  Prayer will become so integral to your existence that you think of going to God immediately with every hurt and with every joy of thanksgiving; it becomes non-stop conversation.  How fantastic is it to know that someone is actually listening to you and that you don’t have to repeat yourself over and over again because HE got it the first time? 

Your “Prayer Life” can have so many different connotations: we can pray for others whom we know are experiencing a time of joy or struggling because of sickness, etc.  We can pray for ourselves expressing heartfelt desires and repenting of our sin.  We can commune with God and say/sing prayers of praise and thanksgiving to Him.  I truly believe that it doesn’t matter what we pray for, he’s listening.  1 John 14:5   And this is the confidence that we have in him: if we ask for anything according to his will, he listens to us.    

Jesus went off alone to pray to His Father frequently and in Matthew 6: 7-9, He answers his disciples when they ask him how to pray:  And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. So then, this is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,…

Then there’s the “Power of Prayer”!  Have you ever thought about the fact that when you’re on your knees praying, you’re actually sharing in God’s power? John 14:13,14 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son…Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Mark 9:29  And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Now that we know that He listens to us, because the WORD tells us from beginning to end that this is the case, we need to learn to listen to HIM!  You may think that your prayers were unanswered because the result wasn’t what you wanted or expected.  Keep in mind, we need to learn to discern whether or not, we’ve actually followed what he wants us to do.  The message that I’m trying to share with you is this…don’t rely on yourself and don’t rely on others to have the answers.  Go straight to God in every aspect of your life!  He’s always there and He’s always listening.  Understand that when you think that you didn’t receive exactly the response you wanted…HE knows what’s best for you in your life.  Be still and listen!  Reflect upon this and ask yourself the question are you giving everything to God in prayer and are you listening?  Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus