Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr.
We are at war.
We are in a spiritual battle, and it won’t be an easy road to travel. As we continue to step into 2022, we must be diligent in becoming aware of all that the enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy. We must stand firm, look satan in the eyes and declare, “You can’t have my family. You can’t have my finances. You can’t have my faith. You can’t touch my career, my destiny, or my ministry. You can’t have anything!” We must remember that anything the Lord has for us is ours and cannot be stolen.
David and His Call for Prayer
David, Israel’s ruler, was on a mission. His eyes were on the journey ahead as he attempted to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant from Obed-Edom and planned to bring it back to Jerusalem. You see, the Ark of the Covenant wasn’t just any chest. It was the sacred trunk that held the ten commandment tablets and was known to host the presence of God. It was widely known that wherever the Ark of the Covenant was, people experienced the favor of God. Unfortunately, this wasn’t David’s first attempt. He initially tried to collect the Ark, but because of an executed plan gone wrong, David lost one of his soldiers. Luckily his second attempt was successful, and now he was preparing for war. The twentieth Psalm is a prayer, written by David, for the people of his kingdom. David wrote this prayer so that they could support and pray for him as he went into battle. And that is just what they did.
A Prayer for Battle
Brothers and sisters, just like David, I want to challenge you today to make Psalm 20 your battle prayer. Not only does the Lord want us to stand firm against the schemes of the enemy, but He is calling up prayer warriors to intercede for his kingdom. So let’s dive into David’s prayer for battle.
“1 May the Lord answer you when you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
2 May He sends you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
3 May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice.
4 May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
5 We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all of your petitions.
6 Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.”
Psalm 20:1-7, NKJV
- Answer in the Day of Trouble (vs. 1)
Nothing can be more devastating than for someone to reach out to God and receive no answer. David is praying that God would answer in the day of trouble. He is asking the God of Jacob to answer, which in Hebrew is commonly interchangeable with the word respond. Psalm 116:1-2, NKJV says, “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.” Be encouraged that He hears you. God, when we come into difficult moments, we want you to respond. And we know that while there are seasons of silence, Your word declares that You will not leave or abandon us.
- Defend You (vs. 1)
God never promised that we would be without attack. We should expect resistance to come. But we are praying that the same God who defended Jacob amidst his troubles would do the same for us. The Hebrew word for defend is defined as being too high for capture or being safely set on high. Does that encourage anyone else? God, set me in an inaccessible place where my enemies cannot hurt me. Put me in a place where they can’t harm me, reach me, or damage me. Be my defense, Lord.
- Send Help From the Sanctuary and Strength Out of Zion (vs.2)
In this Psalm, David said we would need help and strength. And what has captured my heart about this is that I will need help, which is assistance, and strength, which means support. Assistance and support are coming from the sanctuary and out of Zion. Both places represent where the Lord Most High resides. It is where He hangs out, where He takes refuge, and where He hangs his hat. And do you know that God loves hanging out in the sanctuary? In the Old Testament, the people of God looked to the sanctuary as God’s dwelling place. When you read about Zion, it always represents the dwelling place of God. And here is some good news for somebody – when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you become the sanctuary, and you become Zion! You become the place where God hangs out. His sanctuary is now in the very depths of your spirit. And when you ask for help in times of trouble, He sends aid from your soul. Some of you may be asking, “But how do I know that God is dwelling with me?” Here’s how you know: He dwells on the praises of His people. Therefore, God is looking for those willing to celebrate with Him. Those eager to thank Him and honor Him regardless of the situation!
Are we praising Him whether or not things are going our way?
Are we honoring Him whether or not we are getting the things we want in life?
Are we glorifying Him whether or not the circumstances bring good or bad news?
You see, anyone can praise God when things are going well. It is easy to give God glory when the bills are paid, when we have a job to go to, or when the scans come back clear. But are you willing to worship Him when all hell breaks loose? He will send help and strength if you know how to worship and praise Him in the midst of wherever you are.
- Remember Your Offering (vs. 3)
Our tithes are not the same as our offerings. Let me explain. Tithing gives God what is already His, the 10% of your first fruits. Therefore, when we tithe, we honor what belongs to the Lord, and we have decided not to steal from Him. An offering is anything you give back that goes beyond the tithe. They are our willfully surrendered gifts, tributes, and expressions of gratitude. Psalm 20:3 asks God to remember the offerings that His people have brought into His presence. And here is the good thing about the Lord – He sees everything we do. What have you brought before the Lord? Where have you given above and beyond in your tithe?
- Give You Your Heart’s Desire (vs.4)
David, a man after God’s own heart, is encouraging the people to find delight in the Lord, that He may grant them the desires of their heart. Psalm 37:4, NKJV says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” This may sound a little greedy or arrogant, but it is not. It is simply what you ask for or seek. God is a good and faithful Father who wants to give his children the desires of their hearts. He wants to open doors that you want to see opened. What is your heart’s desire? What is it you are pursuing His throne about? Do you believe He is a God that has the capacity and willingness to incline His ear to your heart’s desire? Listen, the God I serve has in the past given me my heart’s desire, and I don’t believe He will stop doing it now.
- Fulfill All Your Purpose (vs. 4)
Your purpose is simply fulfilling whatever God’s plan is for your life. It is stepping into whatever God has created you for. You are not just an accident, a result of an encounter between your mother and father. Be encouraged that God had you in His thoughts before the creation of the world. And in that remembrance, He already had a purpose for you in mind. You have a divine assignment, and it matters. Lord, help me fulfill the purpose you have created me for. And may I bring to completion everything You have assigned my hands to do. Amen.
7, Fulfill All Your Petitions (vs. 5)
Throughout Psalms 20:1-7, there are multiple references to a petition or a request. What I love about that is that David understands the very nature and heart of God. He knows that through our relationship, God enjoys answering our requests, responding to our prayers, giving us our heart’s desires, and fulfilling our petitions. Verse 6 declares that we know that God will save His anointed and answer from His throne. And here is some good news, if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are His anointed. He will hear you, and He will respond!
Finally, here is something to consider: God thought this battle prayer to be so significant that He had it recorded in His Holy Word as a model for us. And because His word never fails, we know that He will be faithful to hear us. Some trust in chariots, some trust in horses, but for us, we will remember the name of the Lord our God!