Thursday, September 29, 2016

David's prayers

Isn't it amazing that some people think prayers must be very long, and very drawn out? Perhaps we have all been in a church service or prayer meeting, when someone has prayed for a very, very long time.
If it's sincere and from the heart, great! If it's just to prove what a good pray-er or how spiritual someone is, not so much.

A great example of this is King David, the man "after God's own heart."
He kept it short and sweet. (grin)
Let's pause for a moment and check out the twenty-third chapter of I Samuel:
When David was told, “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors,” he inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”The Lord answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”But David’s men said to him, “Here in Judah we are afraid. How much more, then, if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!”Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand. So David and his men went to Keilah, fought the Philistines and carried off their livestock. He inflicted heavy losses on the Philistines and saved the people of Keilah. (Now Abiathar son of Ahimelek had brought the ephod down with him when he fled to David at Keilah.)Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, “God has delivered him into my hands, for David has imprisoned himself by entering a town with gates and bars.” And Saul called up all his forces for battle, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.When David learned that Saul was plotting against him, he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod. 10 David said, “Lord, God of Israel, your servant has heard definitely that Saul plans to come to Keilah and destroy the town on account of me. 11 Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me to him? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Lord, God of Israel, tell your servant.”And the Lord said, “He will.”12 Again David asked, “Will the citizens of Keilah surrender me and my men to Saul?”And the Lord said, “They will.”13 So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.14 David stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.

What a relief! (Can't you imagine David saying that?)
David and his men were being hunted by Saul and his troops - they were in danger of losing their lives. But David puts aside his own fear and tries to help his neighbors. The people in the city of Keilah had been attacked by the Philistines, and they were plundering their threshing floors. Without threshed and winnowed grain, and without the threshing floors that were being destroyed, the people might surely starve.
So, David inquires of the Lord -- should he go and attack the Philistines? Wow. Very short, and very direct, no? And the Lord replied in just that way -- yes, go and attack them. Notice that He didn't assure David that he would win the battle?
That's why when David's men said they were afraid, David inquired again, and asked if he would be the victor. God gave David assurance that they would be victorious.

David went, with God's answers, and fought the Philistines, and delivered the city of Keilah. Now, the people of the city were not very nice....
Saul heard that David and his men were in Keilah, and began to plot to catch him there. When David discovered the plot, he must have had at least some thought that the people would be loyal to him. After all, he had just tossed the Philistines out of their city!
David must have had some misgivings, though, since he prayed and asked God if Saul was going to come after him, and also asked if the people were going to hand him over to Saul?

Again, a very direct prayer. A bold prayer. And short.
God answered his prayer. He told him that Saul was definitely coming, and that the men of Keilah were planning to hand him over. With that answer, David left Keilah, and even though Saul searched for him day after day, he didn't find him.

These past two weeks, we have focused on the importance of prayer in our spiritual lives. We've zeroed in on intercessory prayer, and the need to keep on praying even when people turn on us or provoke us. We've seen that God listens to, and answers prayer. And we've seen that we don't have to go on and on . . . . short prayers are just fine, too.

When we are close to God, when we are familiar with Him, our relationship will grow more sweet, and closer, by our spending time in prayer.

Let's be determined to spend more time with Him!


Cathy said...

Oh how I wish that the answers to prayer were as fast and as audible and as clear as those of Davids’.

Katie Isabella said...

I love spending time with Him...even though sometimes it is like you have written farther back...sleepily and all in a disjointed manner in an effort to say all I want to. I will repeat and repeat until I know I have said my prayer with cognizance if I am near sleep or have indeed fallen to sleep. .

Katie Isabella said...

And much more importantly than what I just wrote, I need to state that I have relied on Him and what He says to me. I always try to remember to ask Him what He wants me to do.