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Daily Bible Reading: 28 May

Onward Christian soldiers.

Something to read

Give victory to the king, O Lord; answer us when we call.

- Psalm 20:9 from full reading of Psalm 20.

Something to think about

Psalm 20, we are told, was written by King David. It is a prayer seeking God’s help for the ruler.

Commentators tell us that it may have been offered as a prayer before the king and the army went out to war, or possibly at the time of enthronement. The former seems more likely to me as the petitions talk about the Lord answering ‘in the day of trouble’ or enabling the victors to ‘shout for joy’ in their moment of triumph, ending with the above request to ‘Give victory to the king, O Lord.’ There is a sense of immediacy about the prayer which seems to suggest that battle is imminent.

This of course raises questions about whether it is right or legitimate to pray for victory in times of war as it assumes that right – or more importantly, God – is on one side and not on the other.

But war is rarely as straight forward as that and even in clearer-cut cases – like the Second World War – when praying for victory for one side, we must beware of the danger of assuming that everyone on one side is good and everyone on the other is evil.

But warfare comes in different guises and forms. There is, for example, the battle to stem the growing tide of slavery in its different forms, some of it under our very noses. In a world of need, there is a persistent and continuing fight to ensure that wealth isn’t stockpiled in one part of the world while the rest lives in grinding and needless poverty. There is the battle against corruption, against apathy, against cruelty, selfishness and greed.

Something to do

What injustice is there that you can get involved in fighting? What evils are there that you can, under Christ’s banner, take on in his name?

Christian Aid describes itself as a ‘UK charity fighting global poverty.’ Let its expertise and understanding guide and show you ways to get involved in the fight.

Something to pray

Heavenly Father, I am ready for the fight. Show me where to make my stand with you. Amen.

Today's reading is by Rev Mark Williams, minister in St James’ Church, Uplands, Swansea, Diocese of Brecon and Swansea.