Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 84 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 2nd Samuel 7 today and our focus is on learning how to pray. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in . Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan
Today we are still in the Old Testament, and will learn about God’s covenant promise to King David. David, as you might remember, was one of the youngest sons of his father, and a shepherd. His father’s household wasn’t particularly noteworthy in Israel, but God picked David to be the king that would succeed king Saul. More importantly, God picked David to be the king that would begin an eternal dynasty that would ultimately lead to the reign of King Jesus. David was a very interesting character – warrior-poet…one of the rarest combinations you find in men. He was brave and bold and skillful, but also artistic, musical, and passionately in love with God. He wrote many of the Psalms, and it is fair to say, I think, that no human in history has had a greater influence on the singing of praise to God than David has. David was also a mighty man of prayer – many of his psalms, though musical, are most certainly prayers – deep and thoughtful outpourings of the heart to God. The Psalms are a great aid to learn how to pray – probably better than any book on prayer ever written.
How do we learn to pray? Once we’ve learned the basics of prayer, how do we learn to pray in a deeper and more mature way? I find the best way to learn to pray is to read and listen to the prayers of spiritual giants like David, and in our chapter today, we have a wonderful example of prayer to learn from. I don’t think we should copy those prayers exactly, and I don’t think there is some sort of magic formula to prayer. In fact, I think if we take a formulaic approach to prayer, it will probably not greatly benefit our prayer life, but rather lead us into drudgery and vain repetition. Instead, by listening and reading the prayers of those who are deeper into prayer than we are, we can certainly learn some principles and approaches that help us when we are struggling to pray. Let’s read the chapter, and see how David’s prayer can help us pray.
Three things I see in the prayer of David that can help you and I learn to pray better:
- First, David opens His prayer in genuine humility. He asks: “Who am I, Lord God, and what is my house that you have brought me this far? ” (2nd Samuel 7:18) This doesn’t seem to be false humility either, but a genuine wonder at God’s choice to bless David, and a genuine realization that David hasn’t earned that blessing. For you and I, it is not likely that God will choose us to become kings of our nation, nor is it likely that He will choose to put us in the royal lineage of Jesus…but, we also have some stunning and wonderful blessings to thank God for and to be in wonder about. Who are we that Jesus would willingly pay the price for our sins, and suffer and die to open the way to eternal life in Heaven? Like David, we should always approach God fully aware of the wonderful and undeserved salvation that is ours in Jesus.
- Second, David praises God for His goodness. “22 This is why you are great, Lord God. There is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, as all we have heard confirms” The Westminster Catechism rightly says that the highest end and purpose of humans is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. It is our highest purpose and the most noble thing we can do as humans to praise our great God. David was overflowing with these kinds of praises, and this prayer, along with reading through the Psalms, can help you and I overflow with these high praises.
- Finally, David makes requests of God, and reminds Him of His promises, “Now, Lord God, fulfill the promise forever that you have made to your servant and his house. Do as you have promised” (2nd Samuel 7:25) Over and over and over again, we see those closest to God in Scripture remind Him of His promises. Let me be clear: God forgets nothing, and does NOT NEED us to remind Him of His promises, but this sort of thing happens so often in Scripture that I am convinced that this is a prayer-activity that God blesses. Not so much because HE needs the reminder, but because WE need the reminder. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, and we pray with greater faith when we ourselves hear the promises of God. By reminding Him of those promises, we are really reminding ourselves.
Again, I’m not suggesting we copy the great prayers of the Bible, but by reading them, and thinking of them, and learning from them, I believe that we ourselves can be better trained in prayer.
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for March: Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.”
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