Recently I came across this prayer of David in 2 Samuel 7:
“18Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 19And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord God! 20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord God! 21 Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have brought about all this greatness, to make your servant know it. 22 Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears…25 And now, O Lord God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken. 26 And your name will be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts is God over Israel,’ and the house of your servant David will be established before you. 27 For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 And now, O Lord God, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 29 Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord God, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.’”2 Samuel 7:18-22,25-29
While reading I was struck by the beauty, honesty, and gratitude with which he spoke to God. And it got me thinking about how I pray, how we pray. How should we approach God when we come to Him? How do we talk with Him in prayer? After pondering these questions, I found seven ways we can approach God in prayer:
(Verse 18) David comes before God acknowledging His greatness. Plain and simple: He is God and we are not. We can take some time to admire God, appreciating His power and glory, aware of the privilege of approaching His throne.
(Verse 20) We come as known children of God. There is no part of us that is hidden from Him, no mystery in us He does not know. David also wrote in the Psalms:
“For you formed my inward parts;Psalm 139:13
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
(Verse 21) No pretense. Pray with honesty and openness. David was frank with God, not hiding his thoughts. In another Psalm David writes:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?Psalm 22:1-2
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.”
Pour your heart out. Let your needs be known. God can handle it.
(Verse 22) He is a God worthy of our praises. We can thank Him for all He’s done and for His continuing faithfulness to us. We can praise Him simply for who He is – God.
(Verses 25,28-29) We can pray with the expectation that God will act on the revelation He has provided. He not only hears our prayers, He answers them. (Not always the way we want, but always for His purposes)
(Verse 27) We know He will receive us when we enter His Presence. By the blood of Jesus, we are worthy to have an audience with the King of Kings.
With a Listening Spirit
The last point I want to emphasize is the importance of listening. Prayer is a conversation, not just one-way communication of our needs and praises to God. This prayer of David is in direct response to the prophet Nathan speaking the Word of God to David about the future of his family line, which eventually included the Savior of the world, Jesus (2 Samuel 7:1-17).
We have prophetic voices around us now in pastors, friends, and other Christian influencers. But we shouldn’t rely solely on the voices of others to provide communication from God. Since we are the dwelling place of the very Spirit of God we can receive direct revelation. We just need to be ready to hear and listening for His voice. It may come through circumstances, through the voice of the Spirit as we read Scripture, and by the prompting of our spirit as we make daily decisions.
Prayer is an essential component of our relationship with the Living God. It is an open invitation to approach the throne of God and receive inspiration to lead lives of purpose, courage, and Divine appointment.
Father God, we approach your throne cleansed of all iniquity by the blood and resurrection of your Son Jesus. We bow low, as children seeking instruction from our Father. You are worthy of all our praise. May our lives be a living testimony of your greatness and love. Spirit move within us, changing our hearts and preparing us for your unique purposes for us in this life. Grant us a quiet spirit, ready for revelation. And infuse us with courage to take our next step of faith. You are good. You are moving. And we long to be with You wherever you go. Amen.