Chapter-a-Day Psalm 20

In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.
    May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
Psalm 20:1 (NLT)

The other night as Wendy and I sat at the I-Cubs game, the score was tied at 1-1 going into the bottom of the 9th inning. On the park’s video screen they played a montage of 40 different locker room and pre-battle speeches from famous movies. As the scenes, some familiar and others less so, played on the music swelled underneath. It was the pre-battle music from one of my favorite movies: Henry V. The crowd began to cheer as the music and words combined to pump everyone up for the bottom of the 9th (though it took the Cubs three more innings to score the winning run).

The first thing I noticed about the lyrics of today’s Psalm is that much of it is not directed as a personal prayer to God, as most of the Psalms are written. The voice of Psalm 20 is directed as a prayer of blessing and encouragement to another person. In this case, the song was sung to bless and encourage the king as he prepared to go out to battle. Psalm 20 is an ancient locker room speech set to music.

Every day can feel like a battle. In fact, Jesus warned every follower to be on guard because our spiritual enemy and the spiritual forces of darkness are constantly on the prowl to devour and destroy. That’s one of the reasons I’ve made a habit of starting my day this way. A chapter-a-day is often my spiritual locker room speech and battle cry before I enter the day’s fray.

Today, as you enter your own daily battle, receive this blessing from one wayfaring stranger to another:

In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.
    May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
May he send you help from his sanctuary
    and strengthen you from Jerusalem.
May he grant your heart’s desires
    and make all your plans succeed.

May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory
    and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers.

Now go out there and win one for the Gipper!

7 thoughts on “Chapter-a-Day Psalm 20”

  1. Telling or Listening
    Herbert Alphonso, SJ

    “Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am. I must listen for the truths and values at the heart of my own identity, not the standards by which I must live–but the standards by which I cannot help but live if I am living my own life.”
    Source: Discovering Your Personal Vocation

    After looking at your Chapter A Day reference today talking about waiting for the Lord and his goodness to rise up in the land, I thought this is a good reminder that we can only rise up and truly defend and defeat when we know who we are and WHOSE we are. True strength and ability to do GOOD things comes from knowing we are warriors of the KING and we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us.

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