Summary: Psalm 20 was a prayer for the king who was going into battle. But this psalm applies to us too. In Psalm 20 we see love, care and concern as well as encouragement, faith and trust. It's a good psalm to focus on, take to heart and pray.
PRAYING PSALM 20 (part one)
Last week I talked about getting alone with God in silent solitude. Obviously when we do that we are going to spend at least some of that time in prayer. We pray for what's on our heart and we pray for others and we pray for our town, state, country, world. Someone sent a text to me recently that mentioned praying Psalm 20 over me. I thought that was special and when I reacquainted myself with Psalm 20 it meant even more.
Psalm 20 was written to be prayed for the king who was going into battle. People have come to use it as a prayer for church leaders. But when you look at this Psalm it's easy to see how it applies to every Christian. In Psalm 20 we see love, care and concern as well as encouragement, faith and trust. Psalm 20 is a good psalm to focus on, take to heart and pray.
Within this psalm are concepts that are probably familiar to us regarding what we know about God. But they are things we need to be reminded of because we are regularly in situations where it will help us greatly to have these principles in our minds. Today we'll be looking at the first 3 verses.
1) God answers and protects.
Psalm 20:1, "May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you."
In these verses we see some key words; some things that God does for us. The first is answer. To be in distress is to be in a tense and unnerving situation. It could be a troubling, dangerous or difficult situation. Some synonyms-pain, sorrow, anguish, agony, misery. So distress means I am suffering in some way.
It can also refer to being concerned, worried or upset. We could be in distress after we receive bad news or when something unexpected happens. It can also happen when a bad memory or a fear causes sudden emotional distress.
When we're in distress we call out to God. We look to the Lord to respond to our cries. We ask for relief; we ask for him to quiet the raging storm. And God answers that call. He calms our spirits; he quiets our fears. He brings us back to a state of peace. God sends help when we're in distress. If you've ever been in a situation where you've experienced God doing this for you then you understand the great benefit God's relief is.
We also need to remember the times when we didn't cry out to God in our distress and we tried to deal with it ourselves. Mainly this was before you came to Christ. Maybe you were a worrier or easily stressed about things. If you were a pessimist you understand. How did you handle those situations before you knew Jesus? How were you affected by not having Jesus to turn to?
Now that we're able to trust in God coming to our rescue, we need to thank him immensely for the soothing comfort he brings when we're in these situations. And we need to pray for those we know who are vulnerable to becoming anxious or panicked when distressing things happen to them. We pray, "May the Lord answer you when you are in distress."
The next word we see in vs. one is protect. It's interesting that it says, 'may the name of the God of Jacob protect you'. How does a name protect me? I've talked about this before; when it says the name it encompasses all that God is. Doing things in the name of Jesus signifies all that he is and all that he's about.
So when David prays, 'may the name of God protect you', he's asking for all of who God is to protect you. In other words, "May the all powerful, all knowing, all loving, all wise God watch over you and protect you". How great is that? If we are going to have protection then who better than the one who sees all, knows all and can do all?
God doesn't protect us in the sense that he prevents every bad thing from happening to us; he doesn't prevent-he protects. But that doesn't mean part of his protection is not prevention. However, there are many things he does prevent from happening to us. The reality is that we won't know all of what he prevents.
There are some that we do witness. Close calls, for one. Have you ever seen those videos that show narrow escapes and near misses? Most of those situations are so close that just a fraction of an inch or a split second difference would've meant sure death. Those are God's prevention miracles.
But aside from God's preventative protection, when he does allow bad things to happen he still protects us. His comfort and peace protects us from totally losing our mind. He gives us his wisdom and discernment that protects us from having knee-jerk reactions and making bad decisions.