Sunday, February 14

Praying the psalms

Scripture: Exodus 39-40, Psalm 20, Acts 21

Psalm 20:1–5 

1 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. 

4 May he give you the desire of your heart 

and make all your plans succeed. 

5 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.


In this royal psalm written by King David, the people pray for the king as he leads them against their foes (v. 1-5), express their confidence in God (v. 6-8) and conclude with a final prayer (v. 9): “Lord, give victory to the king.  Answer us when we call.”


This morning, I prayed this prayer (v. 1-5) over several people who are fighting battles, whether physical illness, relational struggles, or work challenges.  I know that is not its original context, but I don’t think the Lord minds if I “borrow” this prayer for people I love.  I changed a few words to make it more current (from “Zion” to “His people”; from “sacrifices” and “burnt offerings” to “prayers” and “offerings”).  

It’s powerful praying the psalms and making them your own!

Prayer: See above.