We turn this month to a versification of Psalm 20 entitled “The Safeguards of Prayer.” This Psalm is believed to be written by David near the end of his life, and reflects what he has learned through his life about prayer and God. We notice in this Psalm the confidence that David has in God’s hearing and answering of prayer. David also speaks of trusting in God’s will and counsel. As we reflect on this Psalter versification may we find comfort as David did in prayer.
David teaches us to call upon the name of our God in the day of trouble. He speaks assuredly that God will hear these requests. We remember that these troubles have been given to us by the Lord; therefore, to Him are we to turn for comfort. The God who has made His covenant with us will care for us in times of trouble. We know that God instituted His covenant with Adam by breathing into him the breath of life and making him a living soul (Gen.2:7). God took Adam into covenant fellowship with Himself. After the fall, God continued to maintain His covenant by the words of the promise made in Genesis 3:15. God shows His covenant fellowship by caring for His people even in their distresses. As David in this Psalm encourages the people to look to God, so Christ as our mediator leads us to call upon our triune God in time of need (Heb. 13:20).
God sends His help when we call on Him from the sanctuary according to this Psalm. We know that in the New Testament we need not go to the sanctuary to call on God, but we go through our mediator, Christ (Heb. 7:22-25). When we earnestly and faithfully call upon God then does He supply our need. We know that we receive by God’s hand what He knows we need, not what we think we need (Matt. 6:8). May we remember when we call on God that we ask in accordance with His will (I John 5:14). God promises to grant our hearts desire (Ps. 20:4). This should sober us to think about our desires and to make sure they are to God’s glory. If we utter our selfish desires to God, He may answer us as He did the Israelites in the desert. We read about this in Psalm 106:14-15 “But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” We certainly do not want to bring leanness of soul upon ourselves. We are taught in Scripture that the Spirit also maketh intercession for us (Rom. 8:26,27). Therefore, we can call upon our God with confidence that He will hear us and that His divine counsel may be fulfilled.
May we think on the salvation which God has given to His people with joy. This is the idea expressed in the fourth stanza of Psalter number 44. We know that of ourselves we are undeserving of salvation. Our gratitude for this salvation is expressed by giving thanks to God in prayer and song.
When we pray we are to give thanks to God for this gift. May we be a people that prays without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17). We are called to set up our banners in the name of God (Ps. 20:5). By doing this we magnify God’s most holy name in all that we do. We must witness to the world around us of the faithfulness of our God. May we with heartfelt sincerity sing this versification of Psalm 20 remembering “The Safeguards of Prayer.” ❖