We ask for Your favor in this situation. Lord, be with us and help us. We praise You.
In Your Son’s name we pray,
Sometimes I wonder if God listens to our prayers and thinks, “Wow, good thing I’m omniscient or else I wouldn’t have a clue what that was all about.”
Who taught us to pray such vague prayers? I’ll tell you who it wasn’t…it was not David.
Just look at Psalm 35.
According to a Google search (I’m no Bible scholar, my friends!) practically all the allusions to David’s enemies suggest this is from the period when he was hunted by Saul. I agree with Google. So basically, this is David talking to God about his besties dad tracking him down…to kill him. A situation like this deserves some prayer. And David does it up right!
1) David is clear about the situation – I love that David takes the time to give details about his precarious condition. I love that as he is talking to the King of Kings he is using analogies and metaphors! Not only that, he even gives God some back story! (vs. 13 &14) When was the last time you told God the specifics of your circumstances? If you are like me, you’ve spent a lot more time complaining about the particulars to your Mom or co-worker than to the Wonderful Counselor.
2) David is clear about his desires- A few weeks ago my parents were coming to DC for a little vacation. Before they left, my dad was dealing with a sticky issue between two people at work. My dad prayed for that conflict to be resolved before heading out of town. He specifically said, “Lord, I don’t want to deal with this while I am on vacation.” And God was faithful to a righteous man’s prayer! The day before leaving the two parties resolved their issues. Praise the Lord! However, it was the same week my dad returned that he found out the struggle was back in full swing! HA! I told dad this was a lesson in Specificity of Prayer. He did not have to deal with it ON vacation. Listen to how specific David gets with his desires, “Blow them away like chaff in the wind…” or “Lift up your spear and javelin against those who pursue me!” (vs. 5 & 3 respectively). I don’t think I ever specifically asked God to “lift his spear”, but there have certainly been times in my life when I should have. What about you?
3) David is clear about his praise- After each of David’s clear requests for the Lord’s help he says one word…”then”. “Then I will rejoice in the Lord….,” “then I will thank you in front of the great assembly….,” and “then I will proclaim your justice and praise you all day long.” Some people might think this is conditional statement. If you do that…then I’ll do this. I don’t see it like that. Instead, I feel like this is David’s way of praising God for what has already been done on the other side of the space time continuum. I feel like David is saying, “I have faith in what I can’t see you doing. When I do see it…I’m going to point back to you, Lord!” I don’t know about you, but my prayer life could use a little more pre-praise. A little more believing in things unseen and calling things that aren’t as if they were.
But here is David’s best verse…
“O Lord, you know all about this…” (vs. 22)
David prays a specific prayer; he is clear about his situation, desires, and praise, knowing full well that the Lord of Lords already knows all about this.
I guess somewhere along the line we decided that if God already knows everything he doesn’t need to hear us repeat it. However, the “man after God’s own heart” sets a different example.