A Prayer to the Shepherd of My Life

Earlier this year, my wife and best friend Nanci was diagnosed with colon cancer, and is now beginning a combination of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. (You can read more on her Caring Bridge page; we would really appreciate your prayers.) Nanci recently wrote a prayer based on Psalm 23. It spoke to me, and I hope it speaks to you too, as you reflect on your heavenly Shepherd and the ways He leads and cares for you through every circumstance. Read Psalm 23 first, then enter into Nanci’s prayer. —Randy Alcorn

Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
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.

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.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Nanci Alcorn’s prayer:

Please, Shepherd of my life,

  • Cause me to want nothing more—not even good health—than to have you as my Shepherd.
  • Reveal to me that the pastures and waters to which you lead me are green and still—because you are there!
  • Engage my heart to receive the restoration of my soul by your Holy Spirit.
  • Renew my conviction that, for your name’s sake, righteousness is the direction of each path you have for me.  
  • May your Holy Spirit—the Comforter—banish all my fears of evil (being out of control, letting pride inflate me, weakness, pain, loss of plans) as I walk through this valley—because you are with me!
  • Open my eyes and my ears to the protection and comfort of your rod and staff. Don’t let me miss those things and people which you have provided me for this purpose.
  • Help me experience the table you have prepared for me in the presence of this cancer.
  • Don’t let me overlook—or fail to ask for—your every healing drop of oil on my head.
  • Keep my perspective on my daily overflowing cup of your goodness and mercy.
  • Direct my longing toward my place in your house, forever!

Photo: Unsplash

Randy and Nanci Alcorn were married in 1975. They have two married daughters and five grandsons. In March 2022, Nanci went to be with Jesus.