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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 195

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of David continued...

Knowledge is reciprocal in nature. I cannot know someone intimately without them knowing me as well. I cannot claim to know my wife, for example, without my wife also knowing me.

God knew David, but by the wording of his prayer we realize David likewise knew God. David begins to list the attributes of God, and glory in His majesty to such an extent, that we begin to realize the depth David had accumulated in God over the years.

Getting to know God is a progressive journey. One cannot wake up one morning and know God in the fullness of His majesty, but we can grow in God on a daily basis, and have the nature of God crystalize before us, becoming all the more vivid.

In his prayer David also acknowledges the tenderness of God’s heart, and His predisposition to blessing His servants.

‘For Your word’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them.’

David realized it was not because he deserved it, but for God’s word’s sake, and according to His heart, He does these great things on his behalf. Even in the most dire of circumstances we must not forget God’s tender heart toward us.

‘Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.’”

When was the last time you glorified the Lord for His greatness like David? When was the last time you stood before God, with reverence and in awe, and said, ‘You are great Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God beside You.’

Do we only come before God when we have a need? Do we approach Him only when we have a problem, when we need a breakthrough, a healing, or a financial outpouring, or do we regularly bow before Him just to praise His name?

If men know when they are being taken advantage of, God knows as well. There are many calling themselves sons and daughters of God, whose only interaction with God comes about when they need something from Him.

Even though God’s heart is tender, even though according to His own heart He does great things for us, He doesn’t like being used, or taken advantage of.

David knew God as redeemer. As the one who had redeemed for Himself a people, and in his epic prayer, David also acknowledges the redemption of God, for himself as well as the people of Israel.

2 Samuel 7:23-24, “And who is like Your people, like Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for Himself a name – and to do for You great and awesome deeds for Your land – before Your people whom You redeemed for Yourself from Egypt, from the nations and their gods. For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, Lord, have become their God.”

David’s understanding of God’s intent, as well as God’s promises is second to none, and in his prayer he is able to articulate not only the majesty and greatness of God, but the plan of God for himself and the nation of Israel.

David declares unashamedly that the Lord is the God of the people. Given today’s attempts at making one’s faith as vague as possible, it is refreshing to read the words of David and realize his declaration left no room for wondering whether or not Israel was the people of God.

Not only does David declare that the Lord is Israel’s God, both unequivocally and unashamedly, he also declares the entire nation’s dependency upon God.

David acknowledges God as having been the one to have made His people, and he does not attempt to minimize God’s involvement or highlight his own contribution. All glory is given to God.

If we do not have power, it is because we have distanced ourselves from the source of power. If we do not have victory, it is because we trust in ourselves to obtain the victory rather than trust God to make us victorious.

David knew the smaller he became in his own eyes and the greater God became to him, the more the presence and guidance of God would be evident in his life as well as that of his nation.

When we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord as David did, it is God who lifts us up, and when God lifts us up we defer all glory and praise to Him, realizing it as His doing and not our own.

David praises God because he realizes in and of himself, he would still be shepherding his father’s sheep, unknown to anyone but those closest to him, a once simple boy who grew to be a simple man, from a family of little renown. He likewise realizes it is the Lord who will have to keep him standing lest he fall by the wayside. David knows that try as he might to continue his house, if the Lord does not intervene and work on his behalf, it will not be so. He has no illusions about his abilities, and lays it all at the Lord’s feet, petitioning Him to continue blessing his house as He promised.

2 Samuel 7:29, “Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever before You; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.”

Acknowledge the blessing of God over your life, acknowledge that He alone has brought you thus far, and you will live under the shadow of His wing, kept safe in His embrace.

Although humility has become anathema in many a Christian circles, it is still something God honors, and when we humble ourselves before Him, He will raise us up to where He desires us to be.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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