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Psalm 23: 1 – 3

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!  I decided to donate today’s devotional to Saint Patrick. Did you know St. Patrick was a shepherd? His story reminds me  of David who was also a shepherd boy. Patrick was abducted from his home in England and sold into slavery to an Irish land holder. There, much like David, he spent his youth tending sheep.

I wrote to you recently about feeling alone. I said you are never really alone because God is always there with you. There is a big difference between solitude and loneliness. These two lads, David and Patrick, spent much time with only the company of God and sheep. In that solitude with God, their faith was forged. They learned how to be by themselves without ever truly being alone. In their shepherding, they met THE shepherd, the great shepherd. In this famous psalm, David portrays, beautifully, the characteristics and manner of the shepherding God.

Patrick said that in his solitude, he grew closer and closer to God. The time he spent watching sheep was also spent in prayer. The more he prayed, he said, the more the Spirit grew in him. He was not bothered by cold temperatures nor was he plagued by fear.

As I ponder these two shepherd boys who grew to be giants of faith, I realize how little quiet and solitude most of us enjoy. Sometimes I feel we are a lost generation. We are either too busy, filling our days with every kind of distraction, or we are lost in loneliness when we should be reveling in time with our beloved. How is it that neither Patrick nor David fell into despair in the night watches?

Do you long to know Jesus as they did? Do you hunger for the kind of confidence in God they knew? It is for all of us, but there is a price. We must spend time in prayer and in seeking. What did their prayer look like? They were out in the fields for days and weeks. Did they pray like we have been taught, or did it take on the tone of conversation? Did they praise and worship God?

We have an opportunity to never be lonely again and to grow in the strength and confidence of the Lord. It takes humility, which I understand, can be a stumbling block. None the less, we can know what Patrick’s development looked like if we would begin our own journey in prayer. It begins with opening your heart and then your mouth to God. Begin to speak to Him. When we have spoken with Him for hours, then we shall find it possible to pray for days.

Did you ever wonder why the great shepherd leads us beside quiet waters? I think we have found the answer.

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