In his heart David had a great desire to build a temple for God. It was a good thing David wanted to do, not an evil thing. He was willing to sacrifice to do it, but God didn’t choose David for this job, instead He chose Solomon.
How do we pray when our plans are thwarted and our hopes are disappointed?
First of all, we pray as children coming to a father. Notice the humility and the child-likeness of David; “Then went King David in, and sat before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord God?” (2 Sam 7:18-19). In other words, men don’t do this, but God does. God does it by His grace.
The posture of prayer is different in various places throughout the Bible – sometimes people stand to pray. Solomon stood and lifted his hands to God in his praying when he dedicated the temple.
Sometimes people would kneel to pray. Our Lord fell on His face and prayed. Dr. Oswald J. Smith used to pace up and down in the room to pray. David “sat” before the Lord. It’s a picture of a child coming and sitting before the Father.
Notice his humility “Who am I, oh Lord? What is my family?” And notice in verse 20, David uses his own name. Children often refer to themselves this manner and here we have David like a little child sitting before God, thanking God, using humility of spirit to let God know how grateful he is. In fact, this same verse says David even ran out of words – (vs 20)
“And what can David say more to thee?” David was not usually at a loss for words but here he was coming as a child to a father in humility. That’s what prayer is: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.”
Jesus said, “If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” God had something better for David and David learned this.
When Nathan gave David the message, David said, “allright, 1 can’t build the house, but God’s given me something better! Remember this; when God denies your heart’s desire, He has something better for you always! And where would we be today were it not for David? Had David not prayed and yielded himself, there could not have been the coming of the Messiah: our Saviour.
How do we pray when our hearts are disappointed and our plans are changed? We pray as children coming to a Father just humbly saying, “you love me and you’ve got something better for me and I’m going to do your will.”
Secondly, we come as servants coming to a master. Ten times in this prayer you’re going to find one phrase; “thy servant”. What a privilege it is to be God’s servant. David did not say, “I’m the king” or “I’m the great conqueror”, but instead said, “I’m just Thy servant.”
Moses was called “God’s servant.” Caleb is called “the servant of God.” Job is called “the servant of God. ” Paul was “a servant of Jesus Christ.” Even our Lord, Jesus Christ is the servant of God.
Now, what does it mean to be His servant?
We seek to please the Master don’t we? We want Him to be happy with our lives.
How do we pray when our plans have been thwarted and our hopes have been disappointed?
We pray as children coming to a Father. He loves us and He has something better for us. We pray as servants coming to a Master saying, “I am here. Thy will, not my will be done.” Finally, we come as worshippers coming to a great God. Look at verse 22: “Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee. Neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” It’s interesting that six times in this passage, you find “Lord God”, meaning, “Sovereign Lord.” Oh we come to a great God!
Verse 23 – He does GREAT things.
Verse 24 – He has confirmed His Word to His people.
Verse 26 – Let THY Name be magnified.
Read this entire prayer, and see how in his heart and with his words, David worships a great and glorious God. God had been great to Israel and God had been great to David.
What is our response to the greatness of God? Magnify His name (verse 26) “And let Thy name be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel.” In this verse, David is praying the equivalent of, “hallowed be Thy name.” And that’s what prayer is all about. The purpose of prayer is not to glorify us, but to glorify God.
©Warren W. Wiersbe, used by permission.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).