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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 187

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David

The history of David is a complex one. Depending on whom you ask, opinions about David are wide-ranging and varied. For some, David will always be the boy with the slingshot who took down the giant. For others, David will always be the king of Israel, the man who replaced Saul and fathered Solomon. For others still, David will always be the man who gave in to his temptations, and orchestrated a plot to take Bathsheba from her husband.

David was all these things and more. He was also a man of prayer, and one whom God considered to be after His own heart.

By all accounts David was an imperfect man. There is no disputing the facts as they are plainly laid out in Scripture, and often times David’s behavior is cringe worthy. Even so, his ability to repent endeared him toward God, because when David repented it was not just lip service or an attempt to appease a wrathful God, but true and heartfelt repentance which brought about change in him.

What do we know about David and his prayer life?

There is more written about David in the Scriptures than almost any other individual. He is a central figure within the pages of the Bible, arguably the greatest warrior-king Israel has ever known, and the writer of many of the psalms we have in the book of Psalms.

Looking back on David’s life, none would have guessed that the boy assigned to watch over his father’s sheep would end up being king over all of Israel. No one could doubt the hand of God at work as a shepherd boy was anointed to rule over Israel, especially one who happened to be the youngest of eight siblings, coming from a family of little to no renown.

Only a fool despises small beginnings, and where we end up in life has very little to do with the benefits we were afforded in our adolescence and everything to do with God’s plan and purpose for our life.

Advantages in life do not guarantee success, nor do disadvantages in life guarantee failure.

It was from a fragile age that David developed a reverence for God. Since he spent his days and nights alone in the fields watching over his father’s sheep, David’s awe of God grew in him organically and independently.

Unlike Samuel, David was not raised in the temple or the tabernacle. His relationship with God grew out of an individual desire to know Him, and a continual meditation upon the person of God and the things of God.

Because the foundation of his relationship with God had already been established, when David is sent to the battlefront with supplies for his older brothers and hears Goliath mocking God, he accepts the challenge of fighting the giant and fells him with a single stone.

We can see by David’s reaction to Goliath’s mocking, that his relationship with God was personal and intimate. He was deeply affected by the mockery and disdain brought to the name of his God, and David knew God would stand with him if he stood to defend the name of God.

In retrospect, David being thrust upon the national stage of Israel seems to have been either accidental or fortuitous in the eyes of the world, but providential to those who believe in the sovereignty of God.

To those of the world, even if they believe in the historical David, and that he felled the giant Goliath, they are reticent when it comes to accepting that the hand of God was guiding this young shepherd every step of the way.

To those who believe, however, the hand of God on David’s life from early youth is undeniable, and we see God not only guiding him, but protecting him and working through him.

One stone, one slingshot, and a boatload of courage, made David a household name overnight.

David did not go seeking fame; he didn’t go to the battlefront hoping to encounter some Philistines, never mind the biggest Philistine of them all, he was there because his father had sent him with food for his brothers, and his willingness to believe God beyond what he could see in the physical facilitated his encounter with Goliath.

Often times, we never confront our Goliath because we think ourselves too weak to vanquish him.

David was well aware that in and of himself there was little to no chance of defeating a man Goliath’s size. Seeing as even the king and all his warriors feared confronting this Philistine, for David to think that he could do it was either madness, or faithfulness toward God.

Yes, sometimes our faithfulness might seem like madness to some, but our only concern ought to be what God thinks of us, and not what men might think of us.

I’ve known men whom God told to leave thriving businesses and move halfway around the world to work in some of the poorest regions on the planet, just offering aid, comfort and shelter. To human reason, this seems as foolish as taking a slingshot and a few stones and going to confront a giant in full armor who had likely spent most of his adult life taking lives.

It is in obedience that we see the power of God made manifest in our lives. We can talk about obedience, talk about others who are being obedient, but until we step out in faith, and walk in obedience we will not see the manifest power of God.

These men I mentioned who left everything they knew to go and be a comfort to others see the power of God manifest in their lives by way of provision, as well as supernatural healings and miracles. They are seeing these victories, just as David saw his victory, because they are following through, and walking in the obedience God demands of His children.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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