Devotions

A Lesson in Prayer
While I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue.
Psalm 39:3
15

AUGUST

 

When thou prayest, rather be thy heart without words than thy words without heart.
JohnBunyan

The seventh chapter of the second book of Samuel records God’s covenant promise to David of an everlasting kingdom. After David received this word, he immediately communed with God in prayer (II Sam. 7:18). As with all the prayers of Scripture, we should learn to follow its pattern.

The first lesson is the connection between God’s Word and prayer. Both are means of grace to bring us to a closer relationship to our Lord. God’s promise did not cause David to resign himself to a revealed future; it moved him to pray. Knowing God’s promise should create a hope that expresses itself in utter trust and dependence. We should learn to be people of the Book if we are going to be people of prayer.

The second lesson is prayer’s focus on God. Prayer is not a psychological gimmick to convince ourselves that all is well; it is an act of worship that takes us away from ourselves to rest in God. Throughout David’s prayer, he focused his thoughts on the Lord. He recognized that the promise was according to grace (II Sam. 7:21). He was overwhelmed by God’s immense greatness (II Sam. 7:22). He rejoiced in the reality of his covenant relationship with God (II Sam. 7:23, 24). Only after he acknowledged God’s power and gracious loyalty did he make his supplication. This supplication was according to God’s will for God’s glory, for he simply prayed for God to do what He had said (II Sam. 7:25). Faith appropriates the promise and prays for its application. Praying in God’s will for God’s glory means a sure answer.

The third lesson is to pray. Prayer is not theory; it is action. David’s grasp of God’s promise led to prayer: “Therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer” (II Sam. 7:27). Let us follow David’s example. God’s Word shows us how to pray; let us pray.
Daily devotions are from the book “Footprints of Faith” edited by Dr. Alan Cairns.
Copyright 2003 – All Rights Reserved.
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