Thursday, May 23, 2013

Psalm 20

Today's scripture is Psalm 20 (Go here to read it in your preferred version)

The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;
Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;
Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.
Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.
We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfil all thy petitions.
Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call.

This was a psalm written by David (as many of them were). If you know anything about David, you know he was a high-ranking official (a king, so pretty high-ranking!) and very well-respected. A great warrior. A great man of God. But this psalm shows that even as great as David was, he still knew who was in charge. We should be praying for protection like this. David had protection of who knows how many guards or servants but he still knew that God was/is the Protector. In verse 2 David talks about strength from the sanctuary and Zion. This is spiritual strength, strength to your inner being, and it's the kind of strength we should be praying for. If our heart and our plans are in God's will He will fulfill these things. Notice in verse 5, the rejoicing that is taking place. We must rejoice even as we pray, even before prayers are answered at times. When we pray believing, God will hear us, and it takes effect here. He gives a very real answer to our prayers, whether or not we can see it through our human eyes.

I love the phrasing of verse 6 - "saving strength of his right hand". It's just so powerful. I'm SO thankful I have that kind of God to rely on.

Verse 7 points out the difference between us and the world. Some trust in the physical things they see and they gain confidence from that. Our confidence must be in the Lord. Then we will rise and stand upright! We must trust in God and pray for His strength and protection. We must also pray for our leaders and authority - for protection and for wisdom, for peace and for godliness.

Growing up we had these prayer journals in youth group, and they had categories of things to pray for as reminders. One section was authority, and in this section you were supposed to list all the leaders you could think of - from the president of the USA down to the people on your local school board. I loved this idea and try to utilize it... unfortunately, a lot of times I am so busy praying for people's needs in my church or family or small circle of friends that I don't extend my prayers out this far... but I feel like a lot of people simply don't want to pray for those in authority because they don't like them. What a dumb concept. If I was on bad terms with my sister, would I stop praying for her? If I didn't get along with a man in my church with cancer, would I not pray for him? I think we consider authority figures differently because we don't know them, we don't interact with them, and somehow that makes us turn up our noses at them if we don't like them.

I encourage you to pray for our leaders. I wonder if they feel like all they have to trust in is "chariots" and "horses" (verse 7), and if that's the case that should make us mourn for them and want them to know the truth about God.

What did you think of this scripture? What did you take away from it?

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