January 20th, 2023 - Asking for Others

Asking for Others

As we come to the end of this week, let’s take a moment to prepare our hearts to welcome God’s presence.

Maybe even as we begin this time, let’s reflect on all that we have learned about God’s presence throughout this week of devotions.

So let’s slow down, set our minds on the things above, and open our hearts to allow God’s presence to take over. Right now, in this moment, God wants to meet with you and draw near to you. All we have to do is prepare our hearts for him to do so.

Father, you are holy, righteous, and seated in heaven; sovereignly looking over every aspect of our lives. However, at the same time you are present right here in this moment with me. Father, I ask that as I draw near to you, you would draw near to me.

Our Scripture for today comes from Psalm 20.

Before going any further, we need to set up an important piece of context for Psalm 20. Psalm 20 was a “National Anthem” of sorts as David, and the Israelites, were preparing for war. Specifically, Psalm 20 was a song that the people would sing for David, their king, as he was going to battle.

So as we read this Psalm, ultimately we will see that this Psalm was a prayer of the people in Israel on behalf of David, their king. So essentially, Psalm 20 was prayer from the people for God to protect their king and bring him victory. This is what is known as intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is when we simply pray to God and lay requests before him on behalf of other people, and that is exactly what Psalm 20 demonstrates.

With that being said, let’s read.

1 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May 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 fulfill all your plans! 5 May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions! 6 Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. 8 They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. 9 O Lord, save the king! May he answer us when we call.

Psalm 20:1-8

After understanding the context of Psalm 20, we begin to see how as we pray intercessory prayers over others, we are ultimately inviting God’s presence into their lives. And not only do we begin to see God’s presence in their lives, but we also see God’s presence in our lives as we pray on behalf of others.

In the first 4 verses, the people are praying fervently for David. They are praying for God’s presence and power to go before David. They are praying for David’s protection and success. They are seeking the favor of God on David’s behalf.

This Psalm shows the beauty, love, and power that is found in intercessory prayer. God is pleased when we seek him on behalf of others, because sometimes the best way we can love someone is to pray for them. And as we pray for others, the power and presence of God is ushered into their lives. This is why there is so much power in intercessory prayer.

However, as the Psalm goes on the people begin to praise God themselves. In verse 5 the people begin to shout for joy and begin to declare their trust in God! It’s almost as if they are reminded of God’s goodness, power, and faithfulness as they are praying petitions for their king.

I believe this Psalm speaks to the truth that as we pray for God’s presence to be made known in the lives of others, we are reminded of his presence ourselves! This is yet another reason why intercessory prayer is so powerful and vital as we follow Jesus.

So as we continue to reflect on this Psalm and go about our day, let’s be intentional about praying on behalf of others. Let’s be intentional about asking God to make himself known and deliver others from whatever trials or battles they may be facing. Let’s stand strong in faith and “trust in the name of the Lord our God”. As we commit to praying for others, let’s also expect God to move in our own lives as well.

Spend some time asking the Lord, who in my life desperately needs prayer? Who in my life is in a difficult season of life and needs deliverance? Who in my life is facing health issues and needs healing? Who in my life is living in addiction and needs freedom? Who in my life is an enemy that has wronged me but needs forgiveness? Who in my life has never experienced your presence, Father, and needs to experience it for the first time?

Who in your life needs prayer on their behalf right now?

As the Lord begins to bring names and people to mind, pray prayers of intercession for them in that moment. Go to the Lord on their behalf, and make petitions for them! We are so bad about knowing people need prayer, and even telling people that we will pray for them, but we never actually spend intentional time in prayer for them. Let’s not make that mistake today, and let’s spend time praying for these people, by name, right now.

Pray: Father, you are sovereign and in control of all things. You know exactly what is happening in each of our lives, and you know what we are going to pray before we ever speak a word. But right now I want to lift up the names of people you have placed in my life who desperately need you to work and move. I pray that your presence would meet them exactly where they are at, and I ask that you provide whatever deliverance, healing, freedom, or salvation may be needed. I trust in the power of your name Lord, and I believe that you can do far more than all I could ever ask of you. Amen.