Read aloud Psalm 23. You may want to refer to one of these resources to help explain the meaning of the psalm to children.
- Understanding the Twenty-third Psalm (for ages 4-12)
Provides the words of this Psalm with suggestions for explaining them to children.
- “Talking with Your Child About the Twenty-third Psalm” by B. David Holm
Provides a simple explanation for younger children on the meaning of this psalm.
Ideas for discussion
Each part of this Psalm tells us something about what the Lord does for us.
- What does a shepherd do? (They take care of sheep.)
- Why is the Lord called a Shepherd? (He is always with us, taking care of us.)
- What is our “green pasture”? (The food we need for our minds and bodies.)
- What are “still waters”? Have you ever seen a gentle stream of water or small lake with crystal clear water? What about a muddy river or rushing stream? Which water would you rather drink? The still waters are the truths of the Lord’s Word.
- In this psalm, valleys are like difficult times in our lives.
- How is the Word like a shepherd’s staff? (A shepherd uses a staff to guide the sheep and keep them safe. The Lord’s Word tells us what we need to do to be spiritually safe and happy.)
- What is meant by oil? (Oil is like the Lord’s love, and it is neverending.)
- If we let Him be our Shepherd, we will “dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Read more about this Psalm
- The Lord Is My Shepherd by Patrick A. Rose (ages 18 and up)
The teaching that the Lord is our Shepherd is powerful and comforting. The relationship between the sheep and their shepherd involves a sense of trust and security.
- The Lord’s Rod and Staff by Stephen D. Cole (ages 7-14)
This family talk explains what the Lord’s rod and staff are in our lives, and how He uses them to comfort us.
Projects and activities for all ages
- The Twenty-third Psalm Poster (for all ages)
Print and display this lovely poster with an illustrative color border.
- Make a Twenty-Third Psalm Book (ages 8 and up)
Illustrate the literal meaning of the psalm or its application to life.
- Experiencing the Twenty-Third Psalm (ages 2-10)
Ways to use the five senses in helping children learn how the Lord cares for them.
- The Lord Is My Shepherd Shoebox Diorama (ages 4-7)
Young children may enjoy making their own little dioramas to display as a reminder of the Lord’s unceasing care. Includes a color picture of the Lord as our Shepherd.
- The Lord Is My Shepherd Coloring Page by Eudora Walsh
The Lord with His flock all around Him.
- The Twenty-third Psalm Calligraphy with Illustrations
This calligraphy of Psalm 23 (KJV) is pictures the Lord as our Shepherd and His Word.
- A Shepherd and His Sheep Project (ages 7-10)
Use oil pastels or wax crayons to make a picture of the Lord our Shepherd, then make little lambs around him.
- Shepherd and His Sheep Diorama (ages 7-12)
Make a representation of the Twenty-Third Psalm, making sheep and a shepherd out of pipe cleaners, wool or cotton batting, and fabric. The shepherd and sheep can also be used to illustrate other stories in the Word about shepherds.
When the Lord is with someone, He leads him and makes provision so that all that happens, whether sad or joyful, may bring him what is good. This is Divine Providence (Arcana Coelestia 6303).
In His providence, the Lord looks out for our eternal welfare. Whether guiding us beside still waters or through difficult valleys in our lives, the Lord loves us and carries us close to Him.
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