Psalm 72: A Prayer for the King

(20 verses, 2:35 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • This Psalm is a prayer for the king of Israel and was perhaps prayed first at the coronation of Solomon.


  • 1-4: A prayer that the king would judge with justice, righteousness, defend the defenseless and crush the oppressors.
  • 5-7: A prayer for the prosperity of people underneath the king’s rule in order that they may bless the earth.
  • 8-14: May the whole earth fall underneath this kings authority for He has mercy on the needy.
  • 15-17: May prayer be made for this king continually, may his land be blessed and may His name endure forever.
  • 18-19: Thanksgiving to the Lord and a prayer for His name to be hallowed and kingdom come.
  • 20: A concluding statement that ends book 2 of 5 of the Psalter.


  • A good ruler is a mediator of blessings to his people.
  • 2 Samuel 7 (Nathan’s prophecy that David’s kingdom will endure and that a descendent will reign forever) gives one probable context for this Psalm.  Another probable context would be Solomon’s prayer for wisdom to execute justice among God’s people (1 Kings 3).
  • Vs. 10, 11 & 15 are fulfilled when the Magi bring gifts to infant Jesus (Matthew 2) who was also the fulfillment of vs. 17 as He was given “the throne of his Father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”


  • Pray vs. 1-4 for your local and national elected officials and pray for them “continually” (vs. 15).
  • Meditate on the connection between vs. 1 and 2.  Notice the king can only give what he has first received.  You receive love, forgiveness, and mercy from David’s Son and David’s Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are also called to love, forgive and be merciful.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: or if reading on facebook, check out the blog:
Christopher Stout, Pastor of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Kannapolis, NC & Abundant Life Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC

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