For the music director; a psalm of David.
20:1 May the LORD answer you when you are in trouble;
may the God of Jacob make you secure!
20:2 May he send you help from his temple;
from Zion may he give you support!

Help from his temple – ‘“Help from the sanctuary” (like angelic support) enabled Christ to accomplish his work on the cross (Ps. 20:2; Matt. 4:11; Luke 22:43; Heb. 5:7).’ (Gospel Transformation Commentary)

20:3 May he take notice of your offerings;
may he accept your burnt sacrifice!

‘Prayer must happen in the context of the sacrifices God has authorized, i.e. for us, prayer resting on Calvary.’ (NBC)

‘God’s remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice earned “favor” for sinners (Ps. 20:3; Isa. 61:2).’ (Gospel Transformation Commentary)

20:4 May he grant your heart’s desire;
may he bring all your plans to pass!
20:5 Then we will shout for joy over your victory;
we will rejoice in the name of our God!

‘As God answered the “heart’s desire” of godly kings, the people experienced the joy of salvation, recognizing by faith that each deliverance moved them closer to God’s eternal purpose (Ps. 20:4–5; Eph. 3:11).’ (Gospel Transformation Commentary)

May the LORD grant all your requests!
20:6 Now I am sure that the LORD will deliver his chosen king;
he will intervene for him from his holy heavenly temple,
and display his mighty ability to deliver.

‘The Lord’s undefeated record of saving his anointed (Ps. 20:6) assures the believer that God will answer when he calls—because he is united to Christ the King (v. 9; Acts 4:26–29).’ (Gospel Transformation Commentary)

20:7 Some trust in chariots and others in horses,
but we depend on the LORD our God.
20:8 They will fall down,
but we will stand firm.
20:9 The LORD will deliver the king;
he will answer us when we call to him for help!

‘Immediately in focus is the Davidic king (in this case, David himself), but these petitions are so theologically supercharged that they can only be answered fully in the last “anointed” one, the Messiah (v. 6; John 1:41).’ (Gospel Transformation Commentary)

The psalm as a Christian prayer

‘As liturgy, the psalm leads us into the strange position of praying for the saving victory of our Messiah, who has already been given the victory over sin and death for our sake. But we worship and pray while the end has not yet come, “when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power” (I Cor. 15:24). Through the psalm we may join our prayers to the intercessions of Christ for us in hope and anticipation of the consummation of his victory.’ (Mays)