January 6, 2018: Pray!Josh Moody
by Josh Moody
There are two measures of a leader. One, how many people are following him. Two, how many people hate him. You are no leader without followers. But if there are none who oppose, then likely as not, you are not leading your followers anywhere. David was a great king: he had many followers, and he had many enemies too. What to do in that kind of situation? How do you lead with righteousness as a business leader, a mother, a father, a pastor, a professor, an administrator? How do you continue to lead well even when you find that you are “weary with your moaning,” even perhaps “every night you flood your bed with tears”?
As usual, there are some consistent elements to the model that David provides. First, he is honest with God. He does not hide his feelings, nor bury his doubts, nor avoid his concerns that God might rebuke him or discipline him. He tells God that his soul, his very self, is deeply troubled. Such honesty with God takes time. There are no shortcuts to intimacy with God. The great spiritual masters of the past are all in agreement: to know God means spending significant time with God. D.L. Moody would get up at 4 a.m. each morning to pray, saying that if he was to study the Bible, he would have to get up before all the other people got up. Charles Simeon had a convoluted contraption to wake him from his sleep, and paced the rooftops of Kings College Cambridge in prayer before dawn.
What about us? Do we ever even turn off the TV to pray? If we do not spend time with God in prayer, we will not have intimacy with God. It is a rule. Jesus spent all night in prayer on occasions. If he prayed, then we certainly must.
But David does not only pray, he prays in faith. He is confident of God’s response because of the covenant that God’s people have with God. He asks God to save him “for the sake your steadfast love.” This “steadfast love” is the covenant love of God for his people. Again, all great Christians of the past are agreed: when we pray we are to pray utilizing Scripture, the promises of God, and the covenant security that comes with being an adopted child of God through faith in Christ. It is not churlish or rude or inappropriate to be confident in prayer before God as a Christian. It is our heritage. It is our right. We boldly approach the throne of God. In fact, to do anything less would be to in effect say that Jesus’ sacrifice was insufficient. The prayer-less Christian is an offense to the living God, for it is a denial of the value and effectiveness of the cross of Christ.
And so David ends his prayer in confidence that his prayers will be answered (6:8-10).
What is troubling you today? Have you prayed about it? Have you wrestled with God in prayer about it? What is stopping you doing so now?