Picture: Sheep (downcast, dispirited)
Scripture: Psalm 38:6-10; Matthew 9:36; Psalm 42:5-11
Write any phrases from the selected Bible verses that speak to you:
Read and meditate on this excerpt from Daily Bread: “In his classic book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, W. Phillip Keller gives a striking picture of the care and gentleness of a shepherd. In verse 3 when David says, “He restores my soul,” he uses language every shepherd would understand. Sheep are built in such a way that if they fall over on their side and then onto their back, it is very difficult for them to get up again. They flail their legs in the air, bleat, and cry. After a few hours on their backs, gas begins to collect in their stomachs, the stomach hardens, the air passage is cut off, and the sheep will eventually suffocate. This is referred to as a “cast down” position. When a shepherd restores a cast down sheep, he reassures it, massages its legs to restore circulation, gently turns the sheep over, lifts it up, and holds it so it can regain its equilibrium. What a picture of what God wants to do for us! When we are on our backs, flailing because of guilt, grief, or grudges, our loving Shepherd reassures us with His grace, lifts us up, and holds us until we’ve gained our spiritual equilibrium.”
Have you ever been, or are you currently, downcast or dispirited? Explain.
Do you know others who are downcast? Write their names here and pray for them, as well as consider writing them an encouraging note.
Write a prayer using the above verses as a reference.
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. Philippians 4:13
Help us to not view praying as a waste of our precious time. On the contrary, may we humbly realize that prayer multiplies our time because when we lift our requests to you, you do things more powerfully and efficiently than we could ever do on our own. The extra blessing is that we gain peace in our hearts and minds. So today Lord, with thanksgiving, we will take time to pray...Amen.