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Psalms 20

  • May the LORD hear you in the day of trouble
  • the name of the God of Jacob set you on high
  • Some trust in chariots, and some in horses
  • but we will remember the name of the LORD our God
  • They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright
  • My help comes from the LORD, who made Heaven and earth
  • The LORD shall keep you from all evil
  • The LORD shall keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore

Pray for the future

The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;Even the first verse is teaching us to pray for what will happen in the future, for the days of trouble are coming. We don’t really know how to pray for that, because we can’t see even tomorrow. So few would pray like Psalm 20. For better understanding, lets assume there are two believers. One has been praying all 150 Psalms every day for the past ten years. This will result in him praying hundreds of times for the coming troubles. The other would pray each day according to what he likes, in the end when real storm and persecution arrive, these two will be facing a different world. It is not that hard to figure out why. Today even the unbelieving population can see the coming storm of unprecedented magnitude. The signs of the end-times in Matthew 24 are unfolding right before our eyes, one by one. Many of our brothers and sisters still don’t know how to pray for these events. But in 150 Psalms, the word “enemy” was mentioned 99 times , “wicked” 100 times, “trouble” 59, “affliction” 19. The severity of the trouble may well beyond imagination. Very few can see Psalm is God’s grace for protecting His people. For example, Psalm 121,The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall keep you from all evil; He shall keep your soul. The LORD shall keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore. Unfortunately, not many people will ask the Lord for protection if they don’t see the disaster. But now is the time to wake up and obey Eph5:17-19,for the time is running out.

Where is The Enemy

Pay attention to psalm 3:7, Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.。Here the “cheek bone” and “teeth” are not human bones and teeth. For it is written; ;For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.。(Eph6:12)The Spirit is teaching us how to fight spiritual war., If we pray Psalms, just as the believers did in Acts 4:27, it will actually putting on the armor of God, and did what Paul said in Eph6:11;Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. The “bad guys” on earth are not necessarily the enemies; they are only used by the enemy against us. The real enemy cannot be seen by our eyes, they can only be defeated by the Word of God. When tempted, Jesus set the perfect example by saying, “It is written,”. We must imitate Jesus and be familiar with the scriptures, otherwise we cannot defeat them.。For only the word of God is the sword; Eph6:17,18;And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Everyone seems to know this truth, but in real life, if we don’t practice “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” then we will miss it easily, as if it’s not there. Verses 17 and 18 have several meanings;

  • “The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” is the only weapon against the enemy. Taking the sword is an action, which means taking the Word of God as the guide for everything we do, regardless if we understand the reason or not. Live according to what the Scriptures say, and the truth will gradually be understood. Our mistake is merely seeking to know the meaning, not obedience. Jesus’ position in the many people’s heart is only a good “teacher” not a Lord, because they choose for themselves what to do and what not to do.
  • “Praying in the Spirit” is telling us not to pray based on our own thoughts, and not to speak whatever is in our hearts. It is written that we do not know how to pray, but the Holy Spirit Himself prays for us with inexpressible sighs. Obviously, prayer can only be done by the Holy Spirit, so do not be wise on our own eyes. Think carefully how the Holy Spirit has taught us how to pray. The whole book of Psalm is full of revelations from the Holy Spirit on how to pray, and many other prayers in Paul’s epistles are also inspired by the Holy Spirit. Praying according to the Psalms and the Scriptures is praying by the Holy Spirit, and only when one’s spiritual maturity grows to the point of being filled with the Holy Spirit on a regular basis is it possible to pray directly following the leading of the Holy Spirit. The specific practice of being filled with the Holy Spirit is found in Ephesians 5:18, 19, Be filled with the Holy Spirit; speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.
  • The Psalm is a prayer book, also the Word of God. When we repeat Psalm in prayer, we are taking the sword of the Spirit. When a person prays in his own language, he is not taking the sword of the Spirit. One more important thing, need to walk the prayer out. One day when I finished praying the last verse of Psalm 27, “… wait, I say, on the Lord,” and was about to start 28, I suddenly felt the Spirit reminded me I needed to actually wait for the Lord. At that moment, the audio player stopped by itself for a while. I have to admit I was full of hypocrisy.
  • “Pray always in all prayer and supplication”, which can only be achieved by praying with the Psalms. The 150 Psalms are a complete collection of prayers needed in all situations, beyond human imagination. It seems yo me the only way of “praying always with all prayer” is to pray after Psalm and other scriptures, otherwise we can’t find that many things to pray.

Don’t know why I have never sought the Lord for how to take up the sword of the Spirit and pray in the Spirit. Jesus said in (Mat 7:24-27) “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Obviously I am not that wise. May we all learn from this lesson and be wise, and to focus on “doing” the Word of the God, not merely knowing the words and become foolish.

Fear the Lord

The name of Jehovah God alone can protect us! psalm 20 verse7,8 says, Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stand upright.. Many have cried out to the Lord for healing but no results. Is the Psalm outdated? Or because we have never honored the name of Jehovah, our God. Have to examine myself, doesn’t seem to have much fear of the Lord. In Isaiah 66 verse 2, But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. Have to admit I never tremble at the Word of God. I liked some verses, others maybe not, or have no intention to obey. Although knowing the importance of Psalm 90 verse 11; Who knows the power of your anger? Who knows your wrath according to the fear you deserve? But somehow I still lack real desire to pray like this.

I start to think of Ezra chapter 9 verse 1 to 6 how the Israelite think about the word of God; When these things were done, the leaders came to me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, with respect to the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. “For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the holy seed is mixed with the peoples of those lands. Indeed, the hand of the leaders and rulers has been foremost in this trespass.” So when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked out some of the hair of my head and beard, and sat down astonished. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel assembled to me, because of the transgression of those who had been carried away captive, and I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice. At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God. And I said: “O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens. … It is not difficult to see that those who trembled at the word of God, like Ezra, repent and confess their sins against God’s words, and are ashamed to lift up their faces to God. Look again at Nehemiah 9 verse 1 to 3; On the twenty-fourth day of the month the children of Israel were gathered together with fasting, clothed in sackcloth and covered with dust. And the children of Israel separated themselves from all the Gentiles, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. A fourth part of that day stood in their place reading the book of the Law of their God, and a fourth part confessed and worshiped the Lord their God. They spent a quarter of a day, about three hours reading the Law of Moses, three hours of confession and worship. Compared with them, we do not fear the Lord, no one trembles at the word of God. There is very little discussion of how to repent, a topic that has almost completely disappeared from the lives of believers.

In chapter 9 verse 33,34, Nehemiah confessed; Our Kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law; they have not obeyed your commands or your warning to them. They did not serve you in the great kindness You gave them in their own country, in the great and fat land you gave them, neither did they turn from their wicked ways. In chapter 10 they resolved to repent, and entered into a curse and an oath to keep the Word of God (10:28,29): Now the rest of the people–the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and understanding– these joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes: I have to admit I am always not that serious about repentance, and lacking self-control. Psalm 81 caught my attention;

(Ps 81:8-14 NKJV) Hear, O my people, and I will counsel you; O Israel, would you listen to me! There shall be no other gods in you; And thou shalt not worship foreign gods. I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people do not listen to my voice; Israel ignores me. So I gave them up to be hardened in heart and to walk in their own counsel. Oh that my people would listen to me, and Israel would walk in my ways, that I would quickly subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their adversaries! I realized I have repeated a similar sin, ignoring Jesus’ teachings and following my own counsel as they did. The Scripture says (James 5:14-17); Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. But nobody seems listening, never practice “Confess your trespasses to one another,” and rarely admit lacking of faith. Many have deliberately forget what is written (1 Cor 11:28-30) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. And the result is we rarely examine ourselves. In John 5:14 ;Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, You are healed; do not sin any more, or something worse will happen to you.” Jesus made the relationship between sickness and sin very clear. Why are we so afraid of telling the truth? Afraid of offending people but not the King of Kings? May we seek the Lord’s instruction always;

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Return, O LORD! How long? And have compassion on Your servants.
Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!

Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes.
With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth.
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches.
I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.
I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word.
Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.
I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me.
My soul breaks with longing For Your judgments at all times.
You rebuke the proud–the cursed, Who stray from Your commandments.
Remove from me reproach and contempt, For I have kept Your testimonies.
Princes also sit and speak against me, But Your servant meditates on Your statutes.
Your testimonies also are my delight And my counselors.
My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.
I have declared my ways, and You answered me; Teach me Your statutes.
Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.
My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.
Remove from me the way of lying, And grant me Your law graciously.
I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.
I cling to Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame!
I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart.
Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.
Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness.
Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way.
Establish Your word to Your servant, Who is devoted to fearing You.
Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your judgments are good.
Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your righteousness.
Let Your mercies come also to me, O LORD– Your salvation according to Your word.
So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me, For I trust in Your word.
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, For I have hoped in Your ordinances.
So shall I keep Your law continually, Forever and ever.