A scream tore through the night. I woke up suddenly and realized the scream was my own. The bad dream I’d had left me shaking and scared.
My dad came running from my parent’s bedroom. He sat on my bed and took my small hand in his big soft hand. He prayed I wouldn’t be afraid. He prayed I wouldn’t remember the bad dream anymore.
Then he said, “Remember Psalm 23. Say it quietly and picture what it says.”
I was still shaky and afraid but I did what my dad said. I squeezed my eyes shut and thought about sitting on bright green grass. I thought about resting next to a bubbling stream with Jesus, my Shepherd, watching over me. Soon I was sound asleep.
God gave us–that means your kids too!–psalms to help us express our thoughts and feelings to him. He gave us the psalms to show us what he is like and help us trust. So use the steps below help your child protect their mind and hide Psalm 23 in their heart this week.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Read or listen
Before David used his slingshot against Goliath the giant, before he fought in Saul’s army, before he was king of Israel, he was a shepherd. He spent days looking for green grass and cool water for his sheep. He fought lions and bears to protect the sheep. David is the one who wrote Psalm 23.
- What does the shepherd do? How many things can you count? (Hint: Listen or look for verbs, “doing” words, like “makes me rest,” “leads”)
- What do the sheep do? (Hint: look or listen for the word “I”)
- Sometimes what’s at the very middle of a psalm tells us what the main point is. What’s the verse in the middle of this psalm? (Hint: It starts with “I will..”)*
- Where is the shepherd?
- Why does the shepherd take good care of the sheep? (Hint: Last verse – Because of his ___ and _____)
Jesus is your Shepherd; he always takes care of his sheep!
Godly meditation isn’t emptying your mind but filling it up with God’s truth. Say it slowly and think it over.
“Jesus is my shepherd; I am his sheep. I can always trust him to take care of me.
Journal with pictures or words
Draw a picture of a shepherd taking good care of their sheep. Or, write what a shepherd might do to take good care of their sheep.
How could you tell if a shepherd was taking care of the sheep or not?
John 10:10 says the Good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Draw a picture or write one way a shepherd might put his or her life in danger to rescue the sheep.
Jesus, you are my Shepherd. I have everything I need. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for taking care of me. Amen.
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep–and Jesus did. You can trust Jesus to watch over you.
*David M. Howard Jr., “Psalm 23:4,” in NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2018) p. 900.