Summary: Part of a series on prayer. This uses an example prayer and draws lessons for our prayer life.
What Can We Learn from David’s Prayer?
LIFE OF DAVID
Before we get to the prayer and the main passage we are going to look at this morning, I want to remind you a little of the life of the person we will be looking at. The prayer in 2 Samuel 7 is not an isolated prayer, but one that comes in the life of David at a very special time.
We first meet David when he is a young man in 1 Samuel chapter 16. He is a shepherd boy living with his family in Bethlehem. The Lord sends the prophet Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint/chose the next king over Israel. Saul, their current king, had been rejected as king (1 Samuel 15) and God was selecting the new man who would lead His people. God passes over the seven brothers of David and chooses Him as the next king. David ends up in the service of King Saul and became an armor bearer and also soothed the king with his harp. David then faced off against the giant Goliath and killed him in battle and rallied the troops to a victory over the Philistines… and remember… he is still a young man. David and King Saul’s son, Jonathan, become fast friends and Jonathan even accepts that one day David would be the King over Israel. David soon finds himself not in the good graces of King Saul who has become increasingly jealous (1 Samuel 18) over David’s fame and increased influence. Saul tries to kill David several times and David spends time on the run. David continues to mount military victories for God’s people, but still must stay away from Saul. At the end of 1 Samuel, King Saul and his son Jonathan die in battle with the Philistines. After a short civil war, David is crowned King over Israel (2 Samuel 5) and makes his capitol Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5-6).
We then find ourselves in 2 Samuel chapter 7 and God sends Nathan the Prophet to David to give him a message. God says to David, “I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies. "’The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever’” (2 Samuel 7:8-16).
It is after this message from the Lord that we have the prayer of David that we will be looking at today. As you can see, David’s life had been full of ups and downs. David had come from the fields being a shepherd to the sheep to becoming King of Israel, the shepherd of God’s people. David had been faithful to God. Now let’s look at David’s response to God and see what we can learn about prayer from him in this passage.
READ 2 SAMUEL 7:18-29
18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: "Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, O Sovereign LORD, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant. Is this your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign LORD? 20 "What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Sovereign LORD. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant. 22 "How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel-- the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 24 You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, O LORD, have become their God. 25 "And now, LORD God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then men will say, ’The LORD Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established before you. 27 "O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ’I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to offer you this prayer. 28 O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 29 Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O Sovereign LORD, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever."