Scripture: I Chronicles 17:16-24
16 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and prayed, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 17 And now, O God, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! You speak as though I were someone very great, O LORD God! 18 “What more can I say to you about the way you have honored me? You know what your servant is really like. 19 For the sake of your servant, O LORD, and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known.
20 “O LORD, there is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! 21 What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations that stood in their way. 22 You chose Israel to be your very own people forever, and you, O LORD, became their God.
23 “And now, O LORD, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. May it be a promise that will last forever. 24 And may your name be established and honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, is Israel’s God!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever.
King David gives us a model of humility in this prayer. A telling line to me occurs in verse eighteen, “You know what your servant is really like.” Are you ever embarrassed when you are praying, knowing that the Lord knows what you are really like . . . and hears you anyway? I am challenged by the authenticity and transparency in his prayer. David doesn’t pray, “Lord, you are my number one priority in life.” God is not a category in David’s life. He is David’s life in his saying, “There is no one like you.” His prayer reveals his humble heart.
Like today, David lived in an era where there were many gods, yet he made clear his heart’s desire and focus. His humility is further expressed in listing all the things God had done for his chosen people. He was God-focused in his prayer. Have you ever prayed listing all the things God has done on your behalf? Try it. God has provided you the specific place where you live. The clothes you have come from him as has the food you eat today. Your ability to see and hear and talk are all gifts from him. Your very breath and beating heart are in his hands. He has given you the money you have to steward. It is so easy to presume, isn’t it? In the words of Dennis Prager, “Memory permeates faith. No memory, no faith. Memory permeates gratitude, no memory, no gratitude.”
King David closes his prayer by uniting the earthly with the heavenly with these words, “And may your name be established and honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, is Israel’s God!’” Have you thought of the blessings in your earthly life as being united with eternal blessing bringing glory to God? In this prayer, David has given us a wonderful guide for our prayer content as well as a God-focused heart perspective when we pray.
Music: “O for a Closer Walk with God” -William Cowper, 1772 Stuart Townend
PRAYER: O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow thee up from this misty lowland, where I have wandered so long, in Jesus’ Name, Amen. –A.W.Tozer from ThePursuit of God, p.20