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Trusting in prayer and psalm 20
submitted Oct 08, 2012 | by Joseph Jagde

Psalm 20 reads as follows from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible:

[0] To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
[1] The LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
[2] May he send you help from the sanctuary,
and give you support from Zion!
[3] May he remember all your offerings,
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! [Selah]
[4] May he grant you your heart's desire,
and fulfil all your plans!
[5] May we shout for joy over your victory,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the LORD fulfil all your petitions!
[6] Now I know that the LORD will help his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with mighty victories by his right hand.
[7] Some boast of chariots, and some of horses;
but we boast of the name of the LORD our God.
[8] They will collapse and fall;
but we shall rise and stand upright.
[9] Give victory to the king, O LORD;
answer us when we call.
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Initially this psalm is giving a vision of a place and time that is ongoing where the psalmist has answers to his prayers that are fulfilling, that does match his plans and address his plans.

The psalmist is giving a picture of a journey that includes fruitful, productive and meaningful prayer highlighted by closeness to where the answers are going right to the depths of his desires and deepest wishes.

When defining what prayer is in this psalm, it wouldn't be just asking, while it is inclusive of that, things are just too mysterious and there are too many unknowns to even know what to ask for and help is needed at all points including on what to ask for.

The key is to keep the communication, alive and ongoing.

While it is fantastic to have this relationship available, and the recourse to prayer available, it is not to be taken lightly or looked at as a nice thing to do once in a while.

It is all a matter of trust.

If I am not praying or trusting in prayer, according to this psalm, I am not a true blue believer as I am putting my faith in something and trusting in something else.

There could be two camps of thinking on this, one is people who are praying but who are having an erosion of their prayer walk and prayer efforts and they are involved to a lesser or greater degree a drift on their prayer efforts.

In this case, there might be the tug back by the Lord, where he will allow the waters of an individuals circumstances to churn a bit, and will ease this as the individual prays more.

It can be simply a case of not praying enough and not praying enough becomes at its core a lack of trust..

The way this psalm is structured, it is implied in that if this is happening, then the trust is just reformulating into a trust that is going elsewhere and this trust needs to come home to prayer.

There is that saying, "You got to believe in something" and if you are not trusting in prayer, then trust tends to be apportioned elsewhere and adopted elsewhere, even for those who are claiming their trust is nowhere, and in nothing, the reality is that everybody is apportioning trust, for better or worse.

It talks later in this psalm about trust going towards what seems to be a increasing stockpile of horses and chariots and while a praying person back then would want to have a little trust in their horses and their chariots, it would not be to the extent that it would displace the center of their trust which was in the dialogue and consultation with the Lord.

And again, prayer is much more in the context of this psalm that just petitions, is a personal placement, where you in a sense have access to the inner circle, and this includes some accessiblity to others in the inner circle, not only human but angels..

Meditation would be inclusive of prayer, as a way to access the presence of the Lord and his angels, and meditation as well as prayer should be directed into the presence of the Lord..

And we simply do not know enough, have enough expertise, nor do we have enough control over things to even know what precisely we should be emphasizing in prayer, but this could also be the subject of prayer, where you can ask where the discussion should go, and look for leadings within prayer itself, and to a degree there can be lots of room in prayer as to where you could go prayer wise, and if you are on the not the best tracks, the Lord may help you as you redirect prayer efforts, especially prayer efforts that are more so outward from your own circumstances and extend in the manner of intercession to the greater world out there.

Another mistake might be to have some inklings that you are subject to possible condemnation, as if you feel you are condemned than this might hinder your prayer walk.

And this camp of thinking, can delay or hinder prayer walks that otherwise should be traversed. Nobody irregardless has their act fully together and it is not your duty to have some extreme makeover before you commence additional prayer efforts. This in itself would only backfire into a lack of trust and this is the most importance lack you are are trying to allay, that is the lack of trust in prayer, and self comdemnation will have leadings into a lack of trust in prayer.

Romans Chapter 8 verse 1 says:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,"

But these people are in Christ Jesus, meaning they are in the inner circle.

Your consultations with the Lord should be on the side of good, as he is looking out for others as well and if your intentions are to say rob, you don't consult the Lord as to how to best do this.

In today's society, it might not be horses and chariots but trust is put out there in so many ways that have some equivalency to idea of trusting in horses and chariots in a way that is substituting for a trust in prayer..

Society operates with the need for a degree of trust. If I step on a plane or train I am trusting that it is going to its supposed destination. If I buy food, I am trusting that it is prepared properly.

If I go to the beach, I am trusting that a tsunami is not going to show up out of the blue.

I am trusting in some of my abilities and rightfully so.

I wouldn't bother playing baseball if I wasn't rather good at the sport and I don't expect suddenly not to be that great, where my great arm strength is suddenly not there..

But I can't let anything get to be center of my trust other than in the prayer relationship, all these other trusts need to be off the center, out of the center and on the periphery of my trusts.

All this other stuff has to be moved to the periphery and remain on the periphery, otherwise I am in danger of going into the second grouping of people in this psalm, who trust totally in the horses and chariots which eventually fade and fall apart on them

And anything can fade or fall apart other then that prayer relationship but that can be maintained and does lead into the eternal even while commencing the prayer itself as the prayer goes into eternal elements..

I might have trouble in this day and age getting by without my ipad, my texting, my cell phone, and so on, as these things can get so inscribed in our lifestyles and you wonder what the ramifications might be is the satellite went out on these things for many people.

It can't be said that these new technological devices are inherently wrong, as they come about maybe from the grace and goodness of the Lord

But it is always proper and correct to identify from where this grace is coming, especially those personalized gifts and graces, and even a technogical device can be part of the broader swath of personal graces, experienced and still unfolding in more grace.

A handsome sum of wealth might be nice, but it is not the actual hand of grace that gives this wealth in the firstplace and there can be a misidentication as to the sources of graces, including wealth, health and all these other good things which aren't going to manifest other than from the hand of grace..

The hand that gives this grace, might and probably does have other graces, so if you hold on to this grace so tightly as if it was the last one coming down the pike, you aren't being alert in prayer to other graces that might follow or indeed are right there included in the package of graces.

The trust goes to the hand of grace, and while the chariot might be from that hand of grace and the horse might be from the hand of grace, it is not the horse or the chariot that becomes the point of trust, it is the hand of grace that extends the graces for the horse, for the chariot and for many other graces, diversified and ongoing.

The graces might differ greatly, include many areas and you really need to ask the Lord where these graces are at times, as they might not be where we expect and in what form we expected, and a narrow view always needs to be amended towards openness to what the Lord might have, a lot of which can arrive out of mystery..

People might ask where is Chicago, but you need to continually ask the Lord, where are the graces? Meaning, not where they are in that they need to show up, but where they have already and are already arriving and unfolding.

Anything you are trusting in other than prayer does leave you bereft in one central area and that is the area of the personal..

It, that is the it you are trusting in, doesn't know you personally and is not looking out for you personally and cannot act powerfully and continuously on your behalf as an individual with common yet also unique situations and circumstances with the loving eye and protective staff of the good sheperd of psalm 23.

I might think I am in for a win win for just about anything, if I only get this great firm and this reat job, according to my own projects as to my personal future and where my trust needs to be for that personal future..

But that firm, just like the markets as a whole, doesn't really know you to the core, as the Lord your creator knows you to the core and to trust the supposed good fortune of getting in with this great firm, and indeed this might be good to great, doesn't ride to the level of a guarantee and is just another thing that can fade potentially and indeed fade rapidly, so while I might put some trust there, it is still not wise and proper to make this trust central.

In the gospels there is the story of the rich guy who wanted to stockpile extra barns, within the same concept as stockpiling horses and chariots and he figured he would be setting himself up by doing this.

In his case he was wrong because his assets were going to outlive him.

The proxy message of that story is with this, that assets like barns will outlive the individual, but the good prayers do not outlive the individual, these are goods that should be stockpiled first and foremost.

Had this already rich man kept his emphasis on prayer, whatever happened to him, good bad or indifferent, would not take away his good prayers.

There is the need to be diligent and put good effort towards whatever you are doing, but this psalm is saying to ease up on actual trust in these tangible things, save yourself the thought, worry, stress, and aggravation of putting trust into things that could potentially amount to quicksand and the Lord still holds perogative as to allowing the sands to come in those strong winds and ride away with what you had so carefully crafted your trust in.

As it also says, in the gospel, if you build you house on sand, it might not hold when the storm comes..

If the trust really is going elsewhere and slipping away the best strategy to counter this is to apportion a lot more time and effort towards prayer,

Don't monitor results, just monitor trust.

With the exhortation to bring this trust in prayer to the center according to this psalm, we can be a little bit more demanding in prayer.

But just a little bit.

If I am standing at Cape Canaveral, watching a rocket launch, I am beholding a technological marvel to where even if I am one of the rocket scientists, there needs to be some deference to the overall expertise and complexity of the operation.

While I might know a lot, and have a lot of skill for which I can give the Lord thanks, there is still deference to the Lord as having the ultimate power and the ultimate expertise for whatever I am dealing with.

I might not know enough about the operation to be just asking all the time, I can't discuss the inner workings for example of the rocket I am watching launching into the sky if I don't have full expertise.

The Lord might perform wonders right in front of me and I am deferring to his expertise within these wonders.

It is not that I am a peon in the sight of the Lord as he himself is giving forth the invitation to this prayer relationship, but to a degree I am consulting with the Lord as well as petitioning and prayer indeed my be more so a consultation combining with a mix of petition.

I am imbued with capacities to do this, as well as to petition and as the relationship draws close as it is meant to, it is also a matter of consulting the Lord with the overall picture of the expanded definition of praying.

Anything we might or could experience is fodder for prayer.

I might have world wide concerns and that is a matter for prayer as I am experiencing news from abroad. Even though the news is quite a distance a way from me, it also can count as a personal concern of mine.

I might have these smaller issues, little issues but since it is in my experience, in some way, it is valid as a subject for prayer.

Sand in my shoe isn't earth shattering news, but it matters at least a little bit to me and I can pray even about small matters like this.

It seems like this psalm is saying that those who trusted in the chariots were completely out of the prayer relationship, and that didn't work and then they might have missed so much as well by doing that.

Then of course there are those, just about most of us, who might be straddling the fence of going into trust elsewhere, and we need to reorient and recommit to prayer, realizing there is ultimately no other recourse as everything else uncoils and reveals as ultimately not wholly trustworthy.

If it is not going to be prayer that is that hope and trust, then ultimately there is no lasting hope and trust to be had.

This psalm does give a secure picture of a fulfillment found through and in prayer and the mysterious dynamics of the prayer relationship between the Lord and the individual soul, a beautiful picture of trust painted on the canvass of the pesonal relationship uniquely formed by you with the Lord as for this prayer you might be the one and only..

While moving towards this picture of fulfillment, it might be better to loose and let go a bit of some of these other trusts, held onto way to tightly as it can obscure and hinder the view of these great graces that the Lord might have for us, but these graces need to found in the center, not on the periphery, and in that space of prayer that brings an open view and a trusting view that goes wider and brighter than anything else can or ever will..

Let go, let God, let power, let grace, and unfold fully into presence and prism of prayer at the center and in the center.


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