Psalm 20 KJV

1 The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;

Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;

Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.

Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.

We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfil all thy petitions.

Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call.

King James Version

Psalm 20 Explained

Psalm 20 is prayer before a battle, and Psalm 21 is prayer after the battle, a song of worship and victory. One of the secret methods to winning in our spiritual warfare is prayer. By breaking down the psalm, we see King David having a prayer outline:

David’s Prayer for Protection (Psalm 20:1 kjv)

People are calling out to God during troubled times, and God is always faithful to answer the prayers of the righteous children of God in a crisis. What we see here is the power of a praying Church, and the fulfillment of God’s promise to his people that: “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1)

David’s Prayer for Provision (Psalm 20:2 kjv)

This is a prayer that asks God to open up the heavenly blessings and shower them upon his people. God provides, and He wants to show us this. Never be afraid to pray big prayers to our big Saviour.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20)

“The sanctuary” here means to the location where God is worshiped and honored among His people. What we see here also is that David did much more than worship God, he also sought God’s wisdom and for David’s will to be undone, and God’s will be done.

Prayer for Practices (Psalm 20:3 kjv)

“Offerings and sacrifices” refers to our devotion to God. When it comes to answered prayer, God blesses faithfulness of His servants. 

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9)

Prayer for Prosperity (Psalm 20:5 kjv)

You can feel the confidence build as this Psalm continues, as God’s people would raise the banners signaling victory before the battle is even finished. As Christians, our real battle is already won, Jesus Christ has conquered death and satan, His resurrection proves that He is who He said He is.

King David begins to end his Psalm with these words:” Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7 kjv)

Where do we fit in in this story?

Where do we place our trust? Chariots and horses is an illustration of our possessions and wealth. It is true that these are useful in everyday life, but they do not give us security in times of trouble.

“Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.”

Psalms 20:4, 8 KJV

Those who trust in their chariots and horses can be “bow down on their knees and be counted as fallen” but those who trust in God will “have risen and stand upright” (v. 8).

In a world of change, we can trust our unchanging God.

David’s trust was not in numbers of his soldiers, it was not in chariots of war, which today would be our tanks, missiles, and guns, but his confidence was in God. The enemies would fall, but David and the people of God would rise and stand upright. God does not give victories to people who are dirty and filthy.  He does not give victory to people living sinful lives. He blesses the upright “My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” (Job 1:8)

David was a man of prayer, and he surrounded himself with prayer warriors. 

He prayed and he wanted people praying for him. There is nothing that will make a leader more powerful as when the Church is praying for him. It is through prayer that God will provide success, protection, prosperity and blessing in the warfare. 

Ultimately, this Psalm also has in view the prosperity of Christ and His Kingdom, being typified as Israel and its King. It is about the success of God’s will in the world and in our lives. 

“But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalms 20:7)

It is easy to have a terrible spiritual memory when we are in crisis, we forget how many times God answered our prayers before. We forget who we are in Christ, forgiven and cleansed, we forget the eternal promises of God, and we don’t remember God’s awesome power and His unfailing love. So we try to overcome temptation in our own strength, using the wisdom of this world. But true servants will remember. I will Paraphrase the last verse of this Psalm, save us Lord, and answer our prayers when we call upon you. Amen.

Psalm 20 Meaning:

"It is about the success of God’s will in the world and in our lives." 

Psalm 20 and today

All one has to do is look at the latest news to see that we are living in troubled times. There are persecutions of all peoples, Christians and non-Christians, there are horrible human rights abuses on every continent of the world. Because of recent developments from sickness, to wars, the world has become less accessible to missionaries who want to bring spiritual light to spiritually dark places. There are more brutal and wicked dictators today in the world than there is democracy where the people have a legitimate vote and are able to participate in their government without fear.

What this all means is that we need prayer, Churches need to get their priorities straight, and learn what it means to see God answer prayer!

In order for God’s faithful leaders, pastors, and ministers to have victory and blessing in battle, there must be prayer from the Church.

So many faithful Christians today are asking the questions, how can we help? What we need is advice from Psalm 20, where we learn that God’s help is only a prayer away. 

“The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;” (Psalms 20:1)

King James Version

Common questions about Psalm 20:

Psalm 20 is attributed to King David. It is the 20th Psalm in the Book of Psalms.

Since Psalm 20 is believed to be attributed to King David, we can assume that it was written sometime around 1000 BCE. King David was born in 1040 BCE and died at the age of 70 in 970 BCE. However, we do not know exactly when the psalm was written.