The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Psalm 23:1

Jesus prayed Psalm 22 from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He also prayed Psalm 31 from the cross, “Into your hand I commit my spirit.” This led to the belief among some Christians of old that perhaps Jesus prayed straight through these psalms, from 22 through 31. If so, he prayed Psalm 23 from the cross, too. With that in mind, I have placed Psalms 22 and 23 in dialogue with one another, to show what a dialogue of heartfelt, genuine, wrestled faith might look like. When I place these psalms in dialogue with one another in this way, Psalm 23 seems to be the perfect answer to the painful question prayerfully asked in Psalm 22. These two psalms begin to speak to me in powerful, new ways when I place them alongside one another. I share them here with the hope that the same may be true for you. Every word that follows is from one of these psalms, with the italicized lines being from Psalm 23.

Praying Psalms 22 and 23 Together

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.

He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.

In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Many bulls encircle me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog! Save me from the mouth of the lion!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him. 

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

9 thoughts on “What If Jesus Prayed Psalm 23 from the Cross?

  1. This is powerful!!! For a number of years our choir chanted the 22nd Psalm as the altar was being stripped on Maundy Thursday. I could hear the solemn tone and cadence in my head as I read the words. Having them interspersed with the loving, comforting words of the 23rd Psalm was like the antiphonal singing of heavenly choirs. You did a masterful job with those verses. Thank you for sharing this.

    I told husband John, and he asked for a copy of your post. It spoke to him, as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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