Let Justice Roll Down

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in America. I published a blog post on January 16, 2017 titled, I Have A Dream: Martin Luther King Jr Day 2017,” that opens with the following information from History.com:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) “was a Baptist minister and social activist who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. Inspired by advocates of nonviolence such as Mahatma Gandhi, King sought equality for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and victims of injustice through peaceful protest. He was the driving force behind watershed events such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington, which helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday since 1986.” Dr. King is universally known for his speeches, the most famous of which is his “I Have A Dreamspeech given in 1963. (Quote source: History.com.)

The title of this blog post comes from Dr. King’s famous I Have A Dream speech, given on August 28, 1963, and that phrase is taken from Amos 5:24. A video and text of that speech has been published today (January 20, 2020) on Newsweek and is available at this link.

In an article published today, January 20, 2020, in Forbes titled, MLK’s ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech And Rejecting Colorblindness for Today’s Children,” by Colin Seale, educator, attorney, critical thinking evangelist with degrees in law, public administration and computer science, and author of “Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking to All Students,” (publication date: April 30, 2020), he writes:

When Dr. King famously said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” the masses gathered at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom understood the context. His “I Have a Dream” speech was premised on the notion that 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, that “the Negro still is not free.” Dr. King spoke to the “shameful condition” of the United States defaulting on the promissory note of guaranteeing the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness “insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.” Almost 60 years later, this speech still provides practical guidance about what it will take for the United States to “to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The “I Have a Dream” speech proscribes a powerful hope for righting injustices facing children today: creating a world where people are not color blind, but color kind.

Dr. King’s line about not judging his children “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” is too often shamefully applied to argue against affirmative action or any race-based remedy to historical injustice. But the “I Have a Dream” speech itself contradicts this in his bold call for fighting the fight “until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Moreover, his public views before and after this speech included support of the Indian government’s special employment opportunities provided to the caste formally referred to as untouchables as a remedy for these discrimination victims, social reforms for African Americans similar to the G.I. Bill, and a call for “massive” reparations that were bold, but “less expensive than any computation based on two centuries of unpaid wages and accumulated interest.” In essence, Dr. King’s argument is not to be color blind, but to be color kind.

Colorblindness is not a solution to righting past wrongs. The fixers need awareness of the need to rectify historical injustices is especially crucial in education. In his 1967 “Where Do We Go From Here” speech, Dr. King highlighted inequity in education, noting that black students “lag one to three years behind whites” and receive far less funding. Over 50 years later, these achievement gaps still persist, rendering foolish any notion that teachers should magically “not see race.”

Being color kind requires that teachers not only see race, but work actively to create conditions to ensure the success of all students. As Ibram X. Kendi notes in How to Be an Antiracist“The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘anti-racist.’” With The Southern Poverty Law Center reporting 3,265 incidents of hate or bias in schools in the United States in Fall 2018 alone, Dr. King’s “fierce urgency of now” requires educators to embrace anti-racist efforts in their schools.

This is not a simple call to action. Massive inequities in education ranging from unfair disciplinary practices, outrageous race-based gaps in the identification of gifted and talented students, and miserably low expectations for poor students of color are grounded in hundreds of years of injustice. This is why educators cannot put blinders on their eyes become indifferent to the specific ways the color of our children’s skin has and does impact their educational opportunities. We must remain committed to Dr. King’s dream of the bright day of justice he envisioned when we can all celebrate the joy of being “free at last.” But, this requires that we stay equally committed to ensuring the “whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation.” (Quote source here.)

The following interview was published in Washingtonian on October 23, 2019, and titled, Interview: Ibram X. Kendi Takes a Hard Look at Racism–and Himself,” by Rob Brunner, Politics and Culture Editor at Washingonian. Ibram X. Kendi is “one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices, a professor of history and international relations, and the Founding Director of The Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University in Washington, DC., and a New York Times bestselling author. His third book, “How To Be An Antiracist,” was published on August 13, 2019 and it debuted at No. 2 on The New York Times Bestseller List. His next book, “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” will be released on March 10, 2020., and on June 16, 2020, Kendi’s first board book, “Antiracist Baby,” is set for publication” (source here). Here is that interview:

An indifferent student when he went to high school in Manassas, Ibram X. Kendi is today a renowned academic who founded American University’s Antiracist Research & Policy Center. How did he turn himself from an unmotivated kid into a public intellectual who’s redefining the way we think about race in America?

The answer can be found in his recent bestseller,How to Be an Antiracist.” Part memoir, part argument, the book lays out a new framework for looking at racism—and reveals, in a remarkably personal way, the author’s own struggles with ideas that he now considers racist.

We met up with the soft-spoken professor in his unadorned office at AU. The conversation was as candid and eye-opening as his book.

Discussions about race and racism can be difficult—people don’t want to say the wrong thing. I’m a little nervous myself about having this conversation.

One reason these discussions are hard is because people believe that a racist is a bad person, that it’s a fixed category, so therefore they don’t want to be called that. People conceive of the term “racist” as an attack and also feel ashamed if they are indeed saying or doing something that’s racist. Having conversations about racism is deeply personal to people, so we have to recognize that. But at the same time, I don’t know of a way in which we can have a discussion about anything that is problematic about a person that’s going to be easy.

One of the hallmarks of white privilege is that white people feel they don’t have to have those difficult conversations—it’s somebody else’s problem. Is that starting to change?

I can’t necessarily ascertain whether white people are more likely to value and have those conversations, but I do know there is a sizable number having those conversations right now. Part of it is because they are looking out at American politics and at America’s racial polarization, and in many ways they can’t deny that some of the policies and forces and people in positions of power are there because of racism. I think that’s become inescapable for people.

Your book defines racism as ideas and policies that promote inequality. Many people consider the opposite of racism to be a lack of racism—either you’re racist or you’re not racist. You say the opposite is antiracism: actively opposing those ideas and policies. Why is that a more useful way of thinking about all of this?

First and foremost, many people hold both racist and antiracist ideas and support both racist and antiracist policies. How can you identify them as racist or antiracist in general? It’s conceptually impossible. But what we can do is, when they’re saying a racist idea, they’re being racist. When they’re saying an antiracist idea, they’re being antiracist.

In both cases, that means that “racist” and “antiracist” are descriptive terms. They describe what a person is saying or doing in a moment. People change from moment to moment. That’s more accurate, and it’s more reflective of the complexity of people as it relates to race and the complexity of humans in general. We live with contradictions.

How does the more traditional, Confederate-flag-waving sort of racist fit into that formulation?

I talk about two kinds of racists: segregationists and assimilationists. Segregationists have historically stated that black people are genetically or biologically—thereby permanently—inferior. All that can be done is to segregate them, deport them, enslave them, lynch them, or move away from them.

But there’s another kind of racist. The assimilationists would say that we’re all created equal but that, let’s say, black people are culturally or behaviorally inferior as the result of their environment, whether that environment is their culture, their oppression, poverty, or slavery. An assimilationist would essentially say: It’s our job to civilize them and develop them, and we are actually progressive because we view these people as having the capacity to be civilized. Antiracists would say: No, you’re racist, too, because you think black people are inferior, just for a different set of reasons.

How did you arrive at that idea of racism versus antiracism?

Studying the history of racism, I found that when charged with being racist, people have typically stated, effectively, “I’m not racist.” Fundamental to racism has always been denial: denying that one is racist, that ideas are racist, that policies are racist. The sound of that denial has always been :“not racist.” So clearly, to me, the term “not racist” could not truly be the opposite of “racist.”

Because racism does exist, so it can’t be that nobody is racist.

And if the racists themselves have been calling themselves “not racist,” then we probably should not use that term to describe people who are truly challenging racism. Then I came across a quote from Angela Davis: “It’s not enough to be not racist. We must be antiracist.” I’d been looking for a way to frame the opposite of racist, and I found it through Angela Davis’s formulation.

You’re pretty hard on yourself in the book, describing your own views early on as racist. Why was that important to talk about?

The heartbeat of racism is denial, and the heartbeat of antiracism is confession—reflecting on our own lives and confessing the racist ideas we’ve said, in an effort to strive to be different, to be antiracist. I thought it was absolutely critical for me to not just say that the heartbeat of antiracism is confessional but to show it.

Were you anxious about revealing yourself to that extent?

Yeah, it was difficult. I was very nervous about the book coming out because many of the most shameful moments of my life were in the book. But at the same time, people who are concerned about racial justice, sometimes we think too much about our own feelings and our own discomfort, especially those of us in positions of privilege, as I am as a university professor. My discomfort in writing the book pales in comparison to the discomfort of the millions of people suffering under the foot of racism.

When you’re talking to people about any issue that they’re struggling with, they’ll be much more open to reflecting on themselves if you approach them by saying, “Well, I’ve struggled with this, too.” The strategy of talking down to people has not worked. If anything, it’s led to more polarization in this country.

I assume you’ve gotten pushback, as anyone who writes a book will. What form has that taken?

Of course people have pushed back against the elimination of the concept of “not racist.” That’s mainly come from white Americans who imagine themselves as not racist.

People who say things like “I don’t see color.”

Precisely. And they know that by eliminating that term, they’d essentially fall into the racist category, and obviously they don’t want to fall into that racist category. Then you have people of color who believe that people of color can’t be racist, so they’ve pushed back against my challenge of that idea.

I thought it was interesting that you don’t like the term “micro-aggression,” preferring to just call it racism. To me, it’s been a useful lens through which to examine my own ways of interacting with people. Do you think by removing that as a tool, it makes it harder for people to self-reflect?

When a person thinks of micro-aggression, they’re primarily thinking about the perpetrator: I did a minor sort of thing. But from the standpoint of the victim, if those things are happening to them 10, 20, 30 times in a day, then it operates very differently than the term actually connotes. It operates more as a form of abuse. Now, if you have, let’s say, 50 different [perpetrators], each of those people isn’t necessarily being abusive. But as a collective, they’re being abusive.

As I ask these questions, I realize how much they’re all from the point of view of a white person. It’s so hard to step out of your own experience when talking about this stuff.

I do think it’s critical for people who are white to be able to understand the way racism operates from the perspective of people of color. Obviously, it’s difficult to really think about things from the standpoint of other people, but like with anything else, that’s what allows people to be empathetic. One of the things I try to do in my book is to sort of de-center whiteness in the discussion on race.

Whereas I’ve been basically doing the opposite here.

Even people of color often center whiteness. What I mean by centering whiteness is centering white perpetrators as opposed to centering victims, or people of color. When we center the victims, we begin to see the perpetrators as white—but also some of the perpetrators as people of color. It’s critical for us to be able to see all perpetrators, and we’re better able to do that if we center the actual victims of racist policies and ideas.

You went to high school in Manassas and now have returned to the area. How does gentrification in DC fit into all of this? Are the forces that have transformed the city over the last 20 years racist in the sense you use the term in the book, of creating inequality?

Yeah, I think the gentrifying forces in DC primarily harmed black poor and working-class people. It’s driven them out of the city. Who’s benefited has primarily been white people as well as wealthier people of color. Generally, the poorer you are in this country, the less political power you have, the less of an ability to fight against developers or gentrifiers.

In the book, you write about “space racism”—the idea that, say, predominantly black neighborhoods are inferior to predominantly white neighborhoods. When people talk about DC’s “bad old days,” is there a sort of “time racism” at play? In the same way people look down on black spaces, are they looking down on the period when DC was majority-black?

If people are essentially creating a scenario in which the blacker it was, the more dangerous and violent it was, and the whiter it’s becoming, the safer and better it is, then certainly that’s a function of space racism.

AU has been in the news in the last couple of years for several racist incidents on campus, one of which was seemingly directed at you, or at least the opening of the center. How has it felt to be in the middle of all of that?

I mean, we live in the United States, and this nation is deeply racist. There are many people who want to display their racism. There are many people who want to send signals that they don’t like that we’re building an Antiracist Research & Policy Center. And I expect that. Because historically, when we’ve made antiracist progress, there’s been a reaction to it. It’s deeply hurt our students and many members of our community, but for me, it’s something that I expected. If nobody is not liking what I’m doing, then probably I’m not doing anything impactful.

What kind of feedback have you gotten to the book? Are you getting emotional reactions from people?

Oh, yeah, quite a few people have contacted me privately or publicly and told me they were really moved by the book to reflect on their own ideas. There was an 83-year-old white woman who came up to me after an event. She had just read the book and said she didn’t realize the ways in which for eight decades she had been raised to be racist—it’s only now that she’s beginning to reflect on herself and change. For somebody that age to confess that and to begin the process of changing themselves, that was moving to me. And if an 83-year-old can do that, the rest of us should be able to do it, too. (Quote source here.)

What an excellent interview to share on Martin Luther King Jr. Day today. And as Kendi states in his last sentence in that interview, “If an 83-year-old can do that…

The rest of us . . .

Should be able . . .

To do it, too . . . .

YouTube Video:  “Bleed the Same,” by Mandisa featuring Kirk Franklin and TobyMac:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here
Photo #3 credit here
Photo #4 credit here

A Psalm for 2020

We are now several days into the new year of 2020, and this is my first blog post for the year. To start the year off, here is a psalm that is a great way to get it headed in the right direction. It is, appropriately, Psalm 20, a psalm of David. Here is that psalm in several different Bible versions:

Psalm 20 (NKJV)–The Assurance of God’s Saving Work

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob [a]defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,

And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,

And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.

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.

Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call.

Psalm 20 (ESV)–Trust in the Name of the Lord Our God

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!
May he remember all your offerings
    and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah

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!

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.
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.

Lord, save the king!
    May he answer us when we call.

Psalm 20 (NLT)

In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.
    May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
May he send you help from his sanctuary

    and strengthen you from Jerusalem.
May he remember all your gifts
    and look favorably on your burnt offerings. Interlude

May he grant your heart’s desires
    and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory
    and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers.

Now I know that the Lord rescues his anointed king.
    He will answer him from his holy heaven
    and rescue him by his great power.
Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,
    but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.
Those nations will fall down and collapse,
    but we will rise up and stand firm.

Give victory to our king, O Lord!
    Answer our cry for help.

Psalm 20 (MSG)

God answer you on the day you crash,
The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach,
Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,
Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
Exclaim over your offerings,
Celebrate your sacrifices,
Give you what your heart desires,
Accomplish your plans.

When you win, we plan to raise the roof
    and lead the parade with our banners.
May all your wishes come true!

That clinches it—help’s coming,
    an answer’s on the way,
    everything’s going to work out.

See those people polishing their chariots,
    and those others grooming their horses?
    But we’re making garlands for God our God.
The chariots will rust,
    those horses pull up lame—
    and we’ll be on our feet, standing tall.

Make the king a winner, God;
    the day we call, give us your answer.

Psalm 20 (TPT)–A Song of Trust

For the Pure and Shining One
For the end times, by King David
In your day of danger may the Lord answer and deliver you.

May the name of the God of Jacob[b] set you safely on high!
May supernatural help be sent from his sanctuary.
May he support you from Zion’s fortress!
May he remember every gift you have given him
and celebrate every sacrifice of love you have shown him.
Pause in his presence
May God give you every desire of your heart
and carry out your every plan as you go to battle.
When you succeed, we will celebrate and shout for joy.
Flags will fly when victory is yours!
Yes, God will answer your prayers and we will praise him!
I know God gives me all that I ask for
and brings victory to his anointed king.
My deliverance cry will be heard in his holy heaven.
By his mighty hand miracles will manifest
through his saving strength.
Some find their strength in their weapons and wisdom,
but my miracle deliverance can never be won by men.
Our boast is in the Lord our God,
who makes us strong and gives us victory!
Our enemies will not prevail; they will only collapse and
perish in defeat while we will rise up, full of courage.
Give victory to our king, O God!
The day we call on you, give us your answer!

Psalm 20 (HCSB)–Deliverance in Battle

May Yahweh answer you in a day of trouble;
may the name of Jacob’s God protect you.
May He send you help from the sanctuary
and sustain you from Zion.
May He remember all your offerings
and accept your burnt offering. Selah

May He give you what your heart desires
and fulfill your whole purpose.
Let us shout for joy at your victory
and lift the banner in the name of our God.
May Yahweh fulfill all your requests.

Now I know that the Lord gives victory to His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
with mighty victories from His right hand.
 Some take pride in chariots, and others in horses,
but we take pride in the name of Yahweh our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand firm.
Lord, give victory to the king!
May He answer us on the day that we call.

In an article published on April 18, 2016, titled, Psalm 20:1-9 Trusting God in Prayer,” by Jim Erwin, who describes himself as a “country postmodern pastor in a digital world,” he gives us the following eight words we can pray from Psalm 20. He uses the HCSB version of the Bible which is the last version quoted above.

I SAY:

1. Answer me (Psalm 20:1, 9)

May Yahweh answer you in a day of trouble; may the name of Jacob’s God protect you.(Psalm 20:1, HCSB)

Lord, give victory to the king! May He answer us on the day that we call.(Psalm 20:9, HCSB)

I don’t know about you, but I expect God in general to answer my prayers. God promises to answer when I call upon Him. In general, we want answers from God. So the first way in which praying to God can help me is because God answers prayer. He will answer if you ask Him.

2. Protect me (Psalm 20:1)

The psalm turns from the general call for answer to a specific type of answer: protection. It also establishes the immediate context; it is a “day of trouble,” a day of “distress” or “pressure.”4

Everyone has their days of trouble. Everyone has times in their life when they want protection.

May Yahweh answer you in a day of trouble; may the name of Jacob’s God protect you.” (Psalm 20:1, HCSB)

In this case, God protects me when I call for help. He even protects me when I don’t realize it.

Ira Sankey was traveling on a steamer in the Delaware River when he was recognized by some passengers who had seen his picture in the newspaper and knew he was associated with evangelist D. L. Moody. When they asked him to sing one of his own compositions, Sankey said he preferred the hymn by William Bradbury, Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us” [lyrics at this link].

He suggested that everyone join in the singing. One of the stanzas begins,We are thine, do thou befriend us; be the guardian of our way.”

When he finished, a man stepped out of the shadows and asked, “Were you in the army, Mr. Sankey?”

“Yes, I joined up in 1860.”

“Did you do guard duty at night in Maryland, about 1862?”

“Yes, I did.”

I was in the Confederate Army,” said the stranger. “I saw you one night at Sharpsburg. I had you in my gun sight as you stood in the light of the full moon. Then just as I was about to pull the trigger, you began to sing. It was the same hymn you sang tonight. I couldn’t shoot you.”5

The word, Israel,” means “Governed by God.” The word, Jacob,” on the other hand means “Heel Snatcher.” Therefore, when you read about the God of Israel in the Old Testament, the reference is to the nation when it was obedient to God. When you read about the God of Jacob, the reference is to the nation when it was following its sinful tendencies. Thus, David’s prayer is, “May the Lord hear you even when you’re not doing as well as you ought.”6

3. Help me (Psalm 20:2)

May He send you help from the sanctuary and sustain you from Zion.(Psalm 20:2, HCSB)

There are many times in my life when I need help. What do I do? I call on someone I know who can help me. If it is my car, I call a mechanic. If there is something wrong in the bathroom, I call a plumber. I call upon the right person to help me depending upon the situation. You can look at God as the Everyman helper.

God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.(Psalm 46:1, HCSB)

4. Sustain me (Psalm 20:2)

May He send you help from the sanctuary and sustain you from Zion.(Psalm 20:2, HCSB)

God doesn’t just help in times of need. He sustains me. He gives me the strength to get through the situation. When you depend upon someone to sustain you, you place your trust in that person to provide all of your needs. God has promised to do that:

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:19, HCSB)

God has a large enough supply to sustain me.

5. Remember me (Psalm 20:3)

May He remember all your offerings and accept your burnt offering. Selah(Psalm 20:3, HCSB)

David came to this situation with a long history of worship to God. He had built a strong relationship. David wanted God to remember that relationship now that David needed God’s help. David expected God to intervene because David had been loyal to God.

What we do day by day in times of peace prepares us for times of war. When our devotional life is a habit we are well served for the battle.7

As I build a relationship with God, there will be times when I want to recall that relationship to remind God that He should help me. This isn’t selfishness. This is a reminder of my dependence upon God. This leads naturally to my next point.

6. Give me (Psalm 20:4)

May He give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose.(Psalm 20:4, HCSB)

If I am dependent upon God daily, then when the tough times come, God will help me and give me what I need. Jesus this clearly:

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.(Matthew 6:33, HCSB)

When God gives to help me, it is not for my selfish endeavors. God gives to fulfill His purposes in me.

7. Fulfill me (Psalm 20:4)

May He give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose.(Psalm 20:4, HCSB)

God doesn’t just give to me to make me happy. He gives so that He can fulfill what He wants to do in my life. God wants to be my source in life. That is why God wants me to come to Him in prayer.

8. Lift me (Psalm 20:5-8)

Let us shout for joy at your victory and lift the banner in the name of our God. May Yahweh fulfill all your requests.(Psalm 20:5, HCSB)

God wants to give victory in your life. It doesn’t matter what kind of difficult or challenging situation you encounter, you just have to ask God for His help. He wants to lift you up. Just as the people of God would raise a banner in God’s name, I can raise a banner of hope in God’s name.

All of these answers are conditional. They can only happen if we ask God for help. We can’t trust in ourselves, our power, our strength. We can only trust in God to answer us in our time of trouble. So when we ask these requests, God’s answer is always: “trust Me.”

GOD SAYS: Trust Me

Some take pride in chariots, and others in horses, but we take pride in the name of Yahweh our God. (Psalm 20:7, HCSB)

We should insist that this is not a formula for defeat but a formula for trust. Human resources are needful, but they can become a substitute for God’s help.8

God is the One who can solve our troubles. We can stand firm because we know God will answer (Psalm 20:8).

They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand firm.(Psalm 20:8, HCSB)

His answers don’t take long. He answers on the day we call Him (Psalm 20:9).9

Lord, give victory to the king! May He answer us on the day that we call.(Psalm 20:9, HCSB)

We can trust God, not to remove all crises and difficulties from our lives, but to bring us through them, and, in so doing, to achieve his purpose in our lives as well.10

God will answer our prayers. All He asks from me is: “Trust Me.” But this prayer from Psalm 20 is also a great prayer to pray for others. Take these phrases and change it to the name of the person you are praying for. You can use Psalm 20 to pray for someone else. John Barry gives us this insight in his devotional, Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan:

I’ll pray for you.” We say it often, but how many times do we actually remember to do it? Our biggest downfall might not be a lack of compassion—it’s probably just not taking time to write down the request and not having a model of praying for others.

When I pray for God’s will in my life, I’ve found that using the Lord’s Prayer works well when I’m having trouble praying. But I haven’t adopted a model for praying for others. Psalm 20 contains such a model, and the psalmist offers some beautiful words for others:

“May Yahweh answer you in the day of trouble.… May he send you help … May he remember all your offerings … May he give to you your heart’s desire … May we shout for you over your victory” (Psalm 20:1–5). And then the psalmist goes on to proclaim God’s goodness and that He will answer (Psalm 20:6). And this is the line I think I love the most: “Some boast in chariots, and others in horses, but we boast in the name of Yahweh, our God. They will collapse and fall, and we will rise and stand firm” (Psalm 20:7–8).

They will … fall … and we will rise.” We must pray for others with this kind of confidence.11 (Quote source here.)

[Numbered footnotes in this article can be found by clicking on the highlighted number at the end of his references above or at end of his article at this link.]

I’ll end this post with a few words from the refrain from that great hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness(YouTube Video below): Great is Thy faithfulness . . .

Lord . . .

Unto . . .

Me . . . .

YouTube Video: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” sung by Israel Houghton:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here