Summary: Bless those who curse you... God answers prayer, rewards service, adds blessings, and inspires plans.
"May The Lord Answer You"
May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 2 May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. 3 May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah 4 May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. 6 Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He answers him from His holy heaven with the saving power of His right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. 9 O LORD, save the king! Answer us when we call!
This psalm is a prayer for God to save the king. (v:9) It is the prayer of one who prays for all that is good, and all the best to be poured into another person’s life. It reveals the heart of one who wishes to bless someone else. It stands as an example of the kinds of blessings available from the Lord. It is a sample prayer for those who wish to bless others. It is the sort of prayer we should pray for one another. This is praying for, not against, our brothers. this is a biblical form of blessing.
Look at the kinds of things anticipated here: answered prayer, sheltered protection, spiritual help and godly support, remembered sacrifices, given hearts’ desires, plans to succeed, and all requests granted. That’s quite a list.
Now, let me give you one application early - when you pray, don’t forget the Bible is a reference and resource. Many of the psalms are prayers. I don’t recommend that you always follow a prescribed form of prayer, but at times it is good to pray the Psalms. And this is a good place to start.
May the LORD answer you . . . may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May He send you help . . . and grant you support . . . May He give you the desire of your heart . . . May the LORD grant all your requests.
Talk about your blessing! That every prayer be answered. More than that, that they all be answered with a resounding "Yes!" Wow. What a way to pray for someone.
And as if he knows we will think maybe we’ve read something into it that isn’t here, he rephrases it for us in several ways; always with the same intent. "May He give you what you ask for."
The unsaved used to have a saying, "When the gods wish to punish us, they grant our requests." But that’s the heathen. They reached that conclusion because they realized that we are sometimes shortsighted and ask for things we shouldn’t have, things that are bad for us. God inspires His writer to pray that all our prayers are answered. Because He knows our hearts desire is to please God rather than ourselves. He believes we will ask only for good things, things which will glorify the Lord. This is a wonderful expression of God’s confidence in the sort of things we will pray for. He isn’t afraid to give us a blank check for two reasons. Number one: we could never write it for enough to make it bounce. And number two: He is confident that He can trust us, not only with a single check, but with the whole account. That doesn’t mean we should ask infrequently and cautiously; it simply means we won’t ask frivolously.
Look again at the things mentioned here.
May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
3 May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah 4 May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
. . . May the LORD grant all your requests
When you’re in a bind, may the Lord come to your aid. When you are backed into a corner, may you discover the Lord is in your corner.
This is the confident claim of the 23rd Psalm. Only here it is phrased as a request rather than a statement of faith: Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (v:6) By the way, if you review the shepherd’s psalm again, you will discover afresh that its requests are for good things. Great big, bold, requests for wonderful things to unfold in a person’s life.