Scripture: Psalm 20
I. You can pray with confidence when you pray for righteous causes.
A. Psalm 20:1 makes it clear that Israel needs God’s help at this time. Before a particular battle King David has gone to the tabernacle to pray. And while he prays to God at the corner of the altar for victory, Israel gathered in the courtyard to pray for him. The people prayed that God would accept David’s offering (vs. 3) and give to David the victory Israel needed. When can you pray with confidence? When you know that you are praying for God’s will.
B. When you know that you are praying not for the satisfaction of your individual desires, but that you are praying for the satisfaction of your king’s desires you pray with confidence. We are praying today not for King David, but for King Jesus. When Jesus is satisfied, we are satisfied. And when we pray for Jesus to be satisfied, we can pray with confidence. Notice the confidence of the people of Israel as they pray for King David in verse 5.
II. You can pray with confidence when you meditate on the nature of God.
A. You can have faith like David if you also trust in the name of the LORD our God (vs. 7). This name represented to Israel all that God was known to be, his nature and reputation, revealed in his acts. It refers to all of God’s attributes. The LORD revealed some of the attributes associated with His name in Exodus 34:6-7: The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” When you pray, do you only tell God about your problems or do you tell your problems about God?
III. You can pray with confidence when you keep praying until the victory is won.
A. David was confident after he prayed. And the people were confident of victory as well after they prayed. But the people did not stop praying until the victory was won (vs. 9). It was not just David who prayed with confidence. It is Jesus (the anointed one of vs. 6) who prayed with confidence of victory. John 11:41-42: “And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.’” And Jesus wants us to be confident in prayer. John 14:14: “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
Have confidence in praying in Jesus’ name.
Commentaries by Allen Ross, James Hamilton, J.A. Motyer, Gerald Wilson, Christopher Ash
Sermon Discussion Questions
1) Why is it tempting to read Psalm 20 as if it were addressed primarily to us rather than King David and King Jesus?
2) How might realizing that the Psalm is addressed primarily to God’s King change your desires and change how you pray?
3) In what areas of your life do you need to put Jesus’ success and victory above your own?