One of the things that my encouragement about prayer (authenticity + Imagining God’s Glory) has trouble with are the Kingly Psalms. Until I remember that the Psalmist and community are throwing themselves on the mercy of their representative. it is still a simple expression of need (which is both authentic and imagining God’s saving and His glory). This sounds like Democracy, but Psalmists know the spiritual and bodily threat of life after Eden. This king can be the King of the day of the Psalmist, or it can be the Messiah. The human element is the same: ‘Lord, I need saving.’
In this way Psalm 21 fits nicely 🙂 The writer is lauding the king because he is afraid and angry, and the king has actual power. The community needs saving. This is how they are, this is how they experience life, and they take time to imagine a future where God will rout their enemies. I love the Psalms.
O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices,
and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings;
you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked life of you; you gave it to him,
length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your salvation;
splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
For you make him most blessed forever;
you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the LORD,
and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
Your hand will find out all your enemies;
your right hand will find out those who hate you.
You will make them as a blazing oven
when you appear.
The LORD will swallow them up in his wrath,
and fire will consume them.
You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
and their offspring from among the children of man.
Though they plan evil against you,
though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
For you will put them to flight;
you will aim at their faces with your bows.
Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength!
We will sing and praise your power.
(Psalm 21 ESV)