Reading: Psalm 20
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.
Now this I know:
The LORD gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.
LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call! (NIV)
There’s an old saying that’s attributed to St. Augustine, “Pray as if everything depends on God. Work as if everything depends on you.” Here in Psalm 20, in the form of a prayer David captures the essence of that thought. But David is not praying for himself. He is praying for your success. Hear his words: May he [the LORD] give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.
David’s prayer on behalf of others brings a measure of conviction to my heart. How much time do I spend praying for the success of others? I tend to be rather selfish in my prayer requests. Do I want personal victories more than corporate or team success? Am I earnest in my desire to see others grow and prosper or is there a root of jealous envy that restricts my prayers on their behalf? Do I speak words of blessing over those around me? Do I inwardly rejoice when my brother stumbles, because it leaves me looking successful where he has failed?
The opening half of this psalm is intended as a spoken blessing over the life of my brother and my friend. Take a moment right now and substitute your friend’s name into this Psalm wherever the word you appears. Now speak the opening lines of this psalm as a blessing over your friend’s life. Finally, trust in the LORD your God to work on behalf of your friend or family member. We serve a God who brings victory.
Response: Heavenly Father, I repent of jealousy and envy. Help me speak words of blessing over those around me. I trust you. You are the true source of health and blessing in this world. Amen.
Your Turn: Whose life can you speak God’s blessing into today? Are there family members, friends or colleagues that need the blessing of God?