Do we trust God? When we say we trust God, inadvertently, our priorities override our trust in God. When we face catastrophes or unpredictable situations, we wonder why bad things happen to us. And when diagnosed with some terminal disease, we question God did this happen to us. Asking such questions seems natural but in the process, we are questioning the authority of God and losing our integrity. Questioning God is not changing our situation but is wasting our time, all the while mounting tensions in our lives. Some believe that if they do not say their problems out loud or even acknowledge them, their problem would disappear. They pretend as if they do not have any sickness in an attempt to get rid of their problems. The below verse is often wrongly quoted by such people.
The tongue has the power of life and death,Proverbs 18:21
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Bu the truth is that hiding from reality leads us to a false confession. We think that speaking about bad things might invite trouble in our lives. We don’t realise that our words are not like the Word of God that makes things exist.
Praying For One Another
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.Psalms 20:1-2
The writing style of this Psalm differs from others as the writer was praying for someone else who was in distress. This Psalm does not suggest that we should hide our problems but encourages us to call on God amidst those same problems. Many people are ashamed of their situation and do not want to reveal it to others. With this peer pressure, they fail to ask God to remove their problems instead they ask God to hide them from others. This Psalm encourages us to ask God’s intervention into our problems. It reminds the acts of God that protected the forefathers and speaks about His dwelling place. It also enhances our faith by telling us the availability of the highest power.
Praying For Success
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.Psalms 20:3-4
We all are well aware that God does not delight in our offerings and sacrifices but only in our obedience (1 Samuel 22:15). God fulfills the desires of our hearts, irrespective of its moral implications. If sin conceives the desire in our hearts, the devil will make it happen. When the love for money dominated the heart of Judas, God allowed the devil to enter into his heart to accomplish the desire of his heart (Romans 7:11). The devil knows that the sin hidden in the human hearts will come to pass and does not allow us to confess them to our Father.
The author encourages us by saying that God remembers our offerings during the days of trouble. The offering is an act of exhibiting our obedience, love and faith in God. Cain’s offering did not contain these three. We treat our offerings as a barter deal with God without understanding the concept of obedience, love and faith attached to it. This Psalm tells us that the offering we give with faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). Adding all these together, the author tells us that God will make our plans successful.
A Congregational Prayer
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.Psalms 20:5-6
This is a congregational prayer that the people lifted for their King at the time of war. Here we see people who have gathered at a place to raise their voices and uphold their leader. They did not pray to God to fulfill their desires but asked to only grant the wants of their leader. This prayer of the people shows the level of trust they had in their leader. The people who had faith in God believed that He had given them their King and hence their victory was assured. With profound faith in God, they were lifting their banners in the name of the Lord.
The Name of the Lord
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.Psalms 20:7-8
As they gathered together in the name of the Lord, they could discern the foolishness of their enemies who trusted only on chariots and horses. Our circumstance pushes us to rely on sources other than God. When we become sick, we end up thinking about our financial health also or the insurance policies that we have taken up rather than asking God to heal us. We depend on treatments and forget to hope for healing. When enemies surround us, we seek for muscle power of influential people rather than seeking help from God. During our struggle, it is hard for us to believe in the existence of God but very easy to depend on His provisions. We do not believe that God exists as He is intangible but are ready to depend on His resources because they are tangible.
In the absence of our fellowship with God, we choose to put our trust in other resources. Not knowing our actual capability, we fear the strength of our enemies. Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, knew God as the God of his master, whereas for Elisha, God was so personal and real. Hence, Gehazi was unable to see what Elisha saw until the latter prayed to God to open the eyes of his servant. The god of this world has blinded our minds from seeing God, but he cannot blind our eyes from seeing His provisions.
And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.2 Kings 6:17
Victory To The King
LORD, give victory to the king!Psalms 20:9
Answer us when we call!
The congregation attributed the victory to their King and did not give credit to God who had answered their prayers. Instead, they asked the Lord to continue to answer their call in this manner. Often we take credit for ourselves when God answers our prayers for someone and forget to honour God. In this manner, we fail to dedicate our prayer life to the healing and welfare of other people. When God answers our prayers offered for someone, we should help that person increase their faith to receive the answer from God without claiming any credit for ourselves. Otherwise, by seeing our faith, they will be astonished to have that kind of faith and will be happy to worship us in their ignorance.
God, help us to pray earnestly for the well-being of others, not taking any credit to ourselves.