Prayer for Victory: Praying Through Psalm 20

As Christians, we're constantly in a spiritual battle. Victory is found in Jesus. Psalm 20 can be our pattern of prayer for victory in our own personal battles.

As Christians, our lives are a continual spiritual battle. We are always at war. The good news is that we’re on the winning side. 

But we still need to pray – a prayer for victory – because our victory only comes through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57). 

A Formula for Victory

When we face battles of any kind, our human nature is to try to gain control. We like to strategize. We think if we just have all the right equipment, if we’re clothed in the right armor, if we do all the right things, victory is guaranteed. 

We like formulas. We like the “if-then” principle. 

If I do this, then my marriage will be restored.
If I do this, then my prodigal child will return. 
If I do this, then I will be healed. 

If I do this, then I will be protected. 

The list goes on. 

Victory Only Comes Through Jesus

But God doesn’t work that way. He orchestrates our lives for our good and His glory. That means we’re often in situations too big for us to handle on our own. We’re overwhelmed by our circumstances and simply cannot gain victory without His help. 

As much as we hate to admit it, things rarely go the way they should. No matter how prepared we are, no matter how equipped we might be, no matter how strategic our tactics, our lives are not in our own control. 

The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the Lord (Proverbs 21:31).

Why We Need to Pray for Victory

When we let go of the prideful belief that it’s all up to us, we can enjoy the great relief that comes from knowing God’s got this!

As children of God, we fight from victory, not for victory. In Christ, we are “more than conquerors (Romans 8:37)”.

And that’s exactly why we need to pray for victory even though we’re assured of it in Christ. It’s an acknowledgement of our need and dependence on Him. It puts us in the perfect position to see Him move on our behalf. 

It’s for our good and His glory. 

How to Pray for Victory

A key to effective prayer is to pray according to God’s will. 

Especially when we’re desperate, we have a tendency to pray our own will without any regard to God’s will. It’s understandable, natural. When we’re on the brink of defeat, we grasp at anything that seems like it might help us immediately. 

But God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). His victory strategy looks a whole lot better than anything we can come up with on our own. 

So, how can we pray according to His will? How can we know that our prayer for victory is in line with His plan? 

The answer is in His Word. He has shown us His will in the Bible. 

That’s why one of my favorite ways to pray is verse-by-verse through a passage of Scripture. 

Psalm 20 – A Prayer for Victory

Psalm 20 can be our pattern of a prayer for victory in our own personal battles. The context of this Psalm is that the Davidic king is going out to battle. It’s a prayer for his success – for protection, help, and God’s support.

I like to read a verse or two, then respond to it in prayer, personalizing it to my own situation. Like this:

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May He send you help from the sanctuary
and give you support from Zion!
(Psalm 20:1-2)

Lord, today is a day of trouble. We need Your protection. We need Your help and support. 

As Your child, my ultimate enemy is always Satan, the enemy of our souls. Help me to remember that my greatest battle is always a spiritual one (Ephesians 6:10-20). Every earthly battle is a part of that spiritual war, so I need to be clothed in the whole armor of God. Help me to stay vigilant. 

The sanctuary in Zion was the place where You were present with Your people. Today, I thank You for Your presence – that You will never leave me (Deuteronomy 31:6). By Your Spirit, may I know Your help and recognize Your support. May I know that I’m not fighting this battle alone.

May He remember all your offerings
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices!
(Psalm 20:3)

Offerings and burnt sacrifices were the means by which Your people received assurance of Your love and devoted themselves to You. I desire to be wholly devoted to You, to walk in faithfulness. Though I fail, though I do this imperfectly, I endeavor to seek You diligently. Show me Your favor and assure me of Your love. 

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life (Psalm 143:8).

May He grant you your heart’s desire
and fulfill all your plans!
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!
(Psalm 20:4-5)

Your Word tells us that when we delight ourselves in You, You will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). Help me to delight in You even in the midst of this battle.

Just as banners were used in battle to signal the army, may You be my Banner (Exodus 17:15). 

May You be the One I look to for direction. 
May You be on display in my life and be glorified, even now when I feel so powerless. 
May Your name be exalted. 

Mold my heart to be in alignment with Your heart. I want to be willing to go where You lead and to obey Your commands. May my steps be ordered by You, the Lord of Hosts (1 Samuel 1:3), God of the armies of Heaven.  Then I can be assured of victory. 

Now I know the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
with the saving might of His right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.
(Psalm 20:6-8)

Jesus, my Savior, You are a God who answers prayer. 

You are faithful.  
You are my Provider. 
You are my Wonderful Counsellor. 
You are the Prince of Peace. 
You are the Victor – mighty, majestic, gentle, compassionate, loving, gracious, merciful, and just. 

The more I get to know You, the more I’m able to trust You. Help me to know You more… so I will trust You more.

Thank You for equipping us with whatever we need to live out the life You’ve called us to (2 Peter 1:3). 

Thank You for giving us tools and earthly means by which You prosper us and thwart the enemy. 

Help me to keep my trust and my hope in You alone! Only then can I stay standing. May I not trust in those tools, in methodology, in other people, or even in myself – only You.

O Lord, save the king!
May He answer us when we call.
(Psalm 20:9)


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8 Responses

  1. After i dreamt , I heard a voice asking me to read Psalm 20.no knowing it was a victory Psalm. I am happy for this Psalm that I read. Thank you Jesus

  2. Had a flash of Psalm 20 & 90 and so decided to pray with psalm 20.Felt the power of the holy spirit after praying. I thank God for touching me. Amen

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