Earthquakes in various places, violence in our communities, humanitarian crises, family distress, personal woes and confusion over identity and purpose – these are but a few issues that face the average person today. In times such as these, you may feel crippled to even pray for your own internal struggles, let alone the world in general.
Psalm 20 is the perfect Psalm of David for helping us to pray during uncertainties and confusion. David, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, sings a song of great assurance, protection, power and rest for the person who rests in the Lord.
Psalm 20 (NKJV)
The Assurance of God’s Saving Work
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
20 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob [a]defend you;
2 May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
3 May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah
4 May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your [b]purpose.
5 We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
6 Now I know that the Lord saves His [c]anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
8 They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.
9 Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call.
Before we begin to pray this encouraging Psalm, let’s take a few minutes to look at some heart-swelling truths to focus our minds on Christ during trouble. In verse 1 in the NKJV, David pens, “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob [a]defend you;” If you read this passage and see the phrase “day of trouble,” you may think that it is referring to one great big, terrible day, like a natural disaster. But, in the original language, this word day can mean a time period, which could even be a year, or a long period of time. You may be walking through a difficult trial without end in sight. During this wilderness, the promises in Psalm 20 about the character of God and his heart towards his people apply to you through your entire difficult journey.
The NASB does a vivid job translating verse one in this way, “May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high.” The Hebrew literally means that the believer is, “elevated so unassailably safe, beyond the reach of attackers; (figuratively) to enjoy maximum safety and security because inaccessible, i.e. removed from danger when the approach is (literally) too steep to climb; unassailable stronghold, lofty refuge.” (Discovery Bible Software.)
I love that the Hebrew not only speaks of our protection – it gives us a picture of how his protection actually works. In the name of the Lord – we are lifted up into a place that is untouchable in the spirit realm. While we may be physically and emotionally buffeted on every side by trials, our souls are safely hedged in in the heavenly realms. This is why the scripture teaches us to fix our eyes on Jesus and to put your minds on things above. Our eyes and our thoughts need to be in agreement with our spiritual reality. A.K.A. Look in the right direction.
Ephesians 1:18-20 says, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”(NIV)
The prayer of Paul is that we would know the hope of being hidden in Christ in heavenly realms. This hiding place is high above every evil power that comes against us, in the physical or spiritual realms. Ephesians 2 says that “because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
God loves us! He made a plan for our redemption in his Son Jesus Christ, which provides for our not only our redemption, but our eternal protection in the heavenly realms, and even our physical protection here on earth. In the name of our God – the name of his Son Jesus – we are lifted up to a safe place of shelter.
“Father God, in the name of your Son Jesus, answer me in the day of trouble. Hear my cry during my trials and testing. I testify that your name – the name of Jesus – defends me, and that I am seated in the heavenly realms with Christ, high above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked now and in the future.
Lord, I pray that you send help to me and to my loved ones out of your sanctuary- your place of protection, in Jesus’ name. (Take time to pray for specific people.) Support us, sustain us, hold us up from Zion – from your holy mountain. Thank you for being a God whose nature is to support your people.
Remember, Oh Lord, the sacrifice of Jesus for my sin. Remember the blood of your own Son, which speaks a better word than Able and a more powerful word than the blood of the lamb that the children of Israel put on their doorframes when the angel of death passed by. This is the sacrifice that I trust in, Lord. Also, Lord, remember the sacrifices that I have made for you. I have, through the power of your Spirit, dedicated my life to your service. I know that nothing compares to your Son’s sacrifice, but it is through his death and resurrection, and by the power of the Spirit that I have given my life to your work.
Lord, may you grant me according to my heart’s desire, and fulfill all my purposes in Christ. My desire is to please you. My heart is to walk in your calling for me. Bring about your anointing power on my life to fulfill what you have called me to, Lord. I rejoice in my salvation and will fulfill this purpose under that banner of your name! Answer my petitions and my prayers, Oh Lord. Encourage me by your powerful intervention in my life.
I know that you save your anointed and that you hear me from heaven with the saving strength of your right hand. Jesus is your arm that is strong to save. He is seated at your right hand interceding for me right now. I am so thankful for this blessing!
Some people trust in chariots, horses – in military and physical strength. I trust in the Lord my God! I remember your name. The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run in and are safe.
Others who oppose you may have sunk down and fallen, but we will rise up! In Jesus’ name we will stand upright! I am so blessed that you have given us the ability to rise again from the ashes of death and defeat through your Son.
Save, Oh Lord! May the King answer us in the day we call. In Jesus’ name. Amen!”