Psalm 20 is a prayer for the king on the eve of battle. The Hebrew word “of” can also mean “for” or “about.” It is uncertain if David wrote this Psalm or if this Psalm was written as a prayer for David before he went to war. David was a warrior king who was engaged in war almost his entire reign. This was a prayer meant to be sung by the people of God before David led the men off to battle.
Prayers for the King
The first four verses of this song are prayers offered up to God on behalf of the king. The people pray:
That God would hear the king’s prayers
That God would be the king’s defense
That God would send the king help
That God would give the king strength
That God would remember all the king’s sacrifices
That God would accept the full devotion of the king
That God would fulfills the king’s wishes
Confidence in God
In verses 5-8 the people show their faith and confidence in God’s answer. They begin to rejoice even before the battle has begun. They are already planning the celebration for the victory God is going to bring. All of their prayers will be answered; God will save His king and give him strength. Many people count the cavalry and chariots, but the people of God have confidence in God alone. The horses and chariots of the enemy will fail, but God will cause His people to stand victorious.
The Hebrew phrase at the end is best translated as “God save the King; hear us when we call.” The people of God want to see victory over their enemies and want to see God’s power on display in answer to their prayers.
All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ. In this Psalm we clearly see Jesus. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus encouraged His disciples to pray concerning His betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion. This is how they should have been praying. They should have been praying for God to sustain Christ through His battles and cause Him to stand victorious. We can praise God for Him delivering our King from death and causing Him to stand victorious!
This Psalm is an encouragement to us to pray for our leaders. We should pray for all those who are in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2.) So often we only pray for those we like, but we need to pray for right to prevail and wrong to be defeated.
This Psalm is also an encouragement to pray for one another. What an encouragement it is to hear others pray for us in our trials! We need to not just pray for others, but let them know we are praying for them.
This Psalm is also an encouragement to pray in faith knowing that God has heard and answered our prayers.
Lastly, but most importantly, this Psalm points us to our victorious King, Jesus Christ. He has defeated the enemy and rose victorious from the dead.
Will you pray for your leaders?
Will you pray for other believers?
Do you believe that God will hear your prayers?
Will you believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection?