1 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. 3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.[b] 4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 5 May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
This psalm, attributed to King David, is usually thought of as the people praying for King David before he goes into battle. Perhaps it was the battle with the Syrians in 2 Samuel 10 that David led. There are a couple things to note as the people lift up their King before he goes into battle.
First, they call upon the name of the Lord. They use his holy name Yahweh, and also the God of Jacob, who gave Abraham the covenant promise. May he send help from the sanctuary and the hills of Zion. The sanctuary recalls the temple where God dwelt with his people, and the hills of Zion refers to all of Jerusalem that would one day be one. So they start with remember who God is and how is with the people.
Second, they ask if God would remember their sacrifices. Sacrifices were given before battle as a sign of trusting in God. They would point to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us as we trust in Him for our battles.
My favorite part of the psalm is when they ask God to give David the desires of His heart. This wasn't his whims or fancies, because David's desire was to deliver the people through God's hands. Since David's desires were already conformed to God's desires, they knew his plans would succeed.
Finally, they are so confident of the outcome of the battle because of these preceding prayers that they already had lifted the banner of victory. This was a public banner declaring the Lord's triumph over their enemies.
What battle are you facing today? You can use the form of this prayer to help focus on what to pray for:
1.) Remember who God is and his faithfulness to you and all people who love him.
2.) Ask God to remember the ultimately sacrifice of His Son, who he promised would cover your sin and deliver you.
3.) Trust that God will give you the desires of your heart if you heart is conformed to his will and an outcome that glorifies him and his people.
After you have done this you can confidently declare the victory God will give you and trust in faith that His will be done! Amen.