The hidden power of the 23rd Psalm
King David spent much of his early-adult life running from King Saul. Even though David had been ordained King, Saul was left in place as King. That is something that God allowed for years even though Saul “did evil in God’s sight” and was probably mentally ill. It was in those years of trying to live a God-inspired life while honoring King Saul and still fearing for his life and the lives of his men, that David learned the value of speaking declaration prayers.
David was living under the law. He was not “under grace” the same way that we are in the New Covenant. He lived centuries before Jesus came and atoned for our sins. Yet, he wrote one of the greatest grace-filled prophetic declarations in the Bible. It still stands as a go-to example of comfort and strength for believers (and non-believers) today in every area of our lives. However it is often overlooked in this particularly helpful area: Declaring the truth of God’s word to His people – especially when we don’t yet see it in the natural.
Psalm 23 (NKJV)
The Lord the Shepherd of His People
A Psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
Notice that the entire Psalm is in the present tense? Does that mean that David wrote this when ALL things were good for him at that time - in the present tense? No, it is most likely that things were not good at the time that he wrote this. David was speaking to the future as if it were the present.
We can’t talk about faith without talking about prayer. Prayer is the pipeline for faith. When we speak the declarations that line up with God’s Word and His principles, it is prayer. We are speaking these things, in faith, to God.
Too many people are praying in the present. They look around at what is wrong and they pray against it. The most powerful prayers are those that pray into the future. That is what the declaration is. We are establishing a baseline or framework in the present for everything that happens in our future. Right now we are living what we prayed for in the past. If we haven’t prayed into our future, using biblical principles, we are leaving our future up to the devil.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
We are to sow into the future. The way to do that is through the spoken word. This accomplishes 3 things:
- It puts the spiritual realm on notice
- It increases our faith
- It establishes the Word and will of God as a substance – it makes it real
Yea, 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.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Praying through a laundry list of present problems only accomplishes one thing: It gives the devil his “to do” list. Speaking the answer over the situation – before it happens -puts the full force of the Kingdom to work on our case.
As we see here, the declaration is not necessarily to keep us from going through hard times or to keep us comfortable. The declaration will help us to go through everything that God leads us to.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
When we take the Word and the principles of God and speak them in the present, we establish them forever. It will fix it unalterably for what is needed in the future. It is the firm foundation that lasts forever. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “My words will never pass away”. That means it is for us too.
The 23rd Psalm: A Declaration Prayer for Every Situation
As we found in paragraph one, David learned to speak powerful declaration prayers as he went through his time of waiting to be King. His life was in danger most of that time. He and his men had to hide in caves, fight and move from town to town to stay away from King Saul and his men.
Yet David didn’t stop once he became King and the danger passed. He knew the value in praying and speaking declarations daily. Our faith goes where our words take us.
David wrote many Psalms which contain declarations. However he wrote one that gives us a declaration for every circumstance. It acts as our “Daily Declaration”. It is the 23rd Psalm. Most people go to it for comfort and it most definitely is very comforting but it is so much more than that! The 23rd Psalm contains 20 declarations that we can say out loud every day that will bring us into greater faith, help us to walk in more victory and let us live a life of fullness and prosperity as God intended. It is how David lived and walked in his own life, having lived through both great adversity and great prosperity.
Here is the Daily Declaration to speak, based on Psalm 23:
- (vs. 1) The Lord is my Shepherd.
- (vs. 1) The Lord will always provide for me.
- (vs. 1) I lack nothing.
- (vs. 2) The Lord gives/causes rest for me.
- (vs. 2) The Lord provides a fertile environment. I am abundantly productive.
- (vs. 2) The Lord is my perfect leader. He leads me on a perfect path.
- (vs. 2) The Lord provides “still waters” (peace). He will always lead me into peace.
- (vs. 3) The Lord gives me restoration for each part of my soul. He has brought me back to the place of my original condition. (This is the essence of grace)
- (vs. 3) The Lord is the provider of my righteousness because of Jesus and His name.
- (vs. 4) Even though circumstances might look bad, I won’t fear. Fear has been vanquished.
- (vs. 4) The Lord is always with me.
- (vs. 4) The Lord always has a shield of protection (the rod) around me. This brings me comfort.
- (vs. 4) The Lord guides (the staff) me in the way that I should go. This gives me comfort.
- (vs. 5) The Lord has prepared a place before my enemies. There is always provision placed for me by the Father ahead of time.
- (vs. 5) The Lord will vindicate me in the best possible way for my situation.
- (vs. 5) I am blessed head to toe with spiritual blessings (anointed with oil).
- (vs.5) I am blessed beyond measure.
- (vs. 6) Goodness (grace, generosity, integrity, kindness, honor) will result from my relationship with Him all the days of my life.
- (vs. 6) Mercy (divine favor, blessings) is the result from my relationship with Him all the days of my life.
- (vs. 6) I will live in the house, the family line and the heritage of the Lord forever. Everything that is available to Him as a Son is available to me as well.
When we say these every day, in good days or bad, our lives, our thinking and our faith will soon match up with these great truths. We will see every one of these 20 truths start to manifest in our lives in a greater and more powerful way, just as David did.
Blessings and favor to you in the name of Jesus!
the watchman's call
© Copyright Anne Schickowski, 2016
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