Psalm 20 is a unique of liturgical worship (read the Psalm after the jump). It reads as if the People, or some group, is praying for the King in vv. 1-5 and then in v. 6 the King responds, and then in vv. 7-9 the People speak again.
Strictly speaking, Psalm 20 is not a prayer. It is a public worship liturgical blessing of the King. And yet there is a sense that this blessing is said before YHWH in the expectation that God will honor this blessing. This psalm, as Goldingay observes (Psalms 1), may have arisen as a blessing of the King before war or a battle.
Here is the way to pray for the King:
1 The LORD answer you in the day of trouble!The name of the God of Jacob protect you!2 May he send you help from the sanctuary,and give you support from Zion.3 May he remember all your offerings,and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah4 May he grant you your heart’s desire,and fulfill all your plans.5 May we shout for joy over your victory,and in the name of our God set up our banners.May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
Frankly and directly, the prayers are for God to bless the King. It has two parts: May YHWH flat-out look with favor on the King, and this is prayed for from a number of angles: protection, Temple-sent (which means God-sent since God dwells in the Temple at Mt Zion) support, and divine favor upon the King’s worship.
And then the second part seems concerned with war: the heart’s desire and plans seem to be connected in v. 5 with victory. The “we” shows the prayer concerns the people. Perhaps it is a priest representing the people; perhaps the “we” is the military band/army who are about to fight with and for the King.
Psa. 20:0 To the leader. A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary,
and give you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your offerings,
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah
Psa. 20:4 May he grant you your heart’s desire,
and fulfill all your plans.
5 May we shout for joy over your victory,
and in the name of our God set up our banners.
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
Psa. 20:6 Now I know that the LORD will help his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with mighty victories by his right hand.
7 Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
but our pride is in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They will collapse and fall,
but we shall rise and stand upright.
Psa. 20:9 Give victory to the king, O LORD;
answer us when we call.