Well, David’s kingship certainly hit a snag. His son Absalom planned and executed a coup. Now David was forced to flee for his life, and as he was running he had to make a critical decision.
David, a man of action and wisdom, thrived in these situations. His strategic mind was at work, but so was his heart and his listening ear was attuned to the Lord. David was open to whatever the Lord chose to bring about from this incident. He laid no claims upon God but trusted in the Lord’s will. Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the LORD’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him”(25-26).
David also employed what I shall term ‘targeted prayer.’ We have only one reference to prayer; it was pointed and specific. Now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “LORD, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness” (31).
There is, it seems to me, a lesson in David’s prayer. When possible be direct and be specific in prayer. Prayers need not be long; short and direct are just as meaningful and effective. Six words was the extent of David’s prayer. But it was a powerful from a strategic point of view. If David was to survive this coup then the wisdom of Ahithopel needed to be corrupted. So David targeted his prayer.
There are times, like when running for one’s life, when we cannot linger in prayer. Hours on one’s knees are simply not possible. Heartfelt direct prayer keeps us connected, expresses our heart’s desire, even as we run for our lives. David modeled this.
As I wind down this morning, I am realizing that prayer takes many forms. There is a place for ‘bullet prayers’ even as there is a time for ‘soaking in the presence of the Lord’ prayers…
Oh, Lord, allow me the grace of both seasons of prayer. Those quick prayers when time doesn't allow for more and more extended periods when I can soak in Your presence and have a conversation with You. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.