"The 3 P's of Prayer" - 2 Samuel 7:18-29
Researcher Christian Smith's book, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers which was in (2005), concludes that many young American adults have a faith characterized by "moralistic, therapeutic deism." According to this view of God, if we live good lives and if we're kind to others, then God will provide "therapeutic benefits" to us like self-esteem and happiness. Other than that, God is not involved much in our world.
This view of God has a profound effect on prayer. Smith found that American teens personally prayed frequently; 40 percent prayed daily or more, and only 15 percent said they never prayed. However, their motivation for prayer largely focused on meeting their own needs. Some of the teens interviewed said: "If I ever have a problem, I go pray." "It helps me deal with problems… it calms me down for the most part." "Praying just makes me feel more secure, like there's something there helping me out." "I would say prayer is an essential part of my success."
But Smith also found that many young Americans' prayers lacked any sense of repentance or adoration. Smith writes, "This is not a religion of repentance from sin." Again, Smith concludes that this "distant God" is "not demanding … because his job is to solve problems and make people feel good. There is nothing here to evoke wonder and admiration."
Well how about prayer today? When prayer is mentioned, how are we responding right now? Well some might say, I need to start praying. I need to pray more. I’m not praying enough. I don’t know why we pray. It does not work. It wont make a difference. It does not change anything. Its great. All is well. I am constantly in prayer. Well no matter where you are on this prayer response spectrum, our passage today David’s prayer has some helpful insights for us. We must come to realize that how we pray is as important as that we pray.
King David was in awe. He desired to do something to bless the Lord, but it was the Lord who desired to bless David. We witnessed one of the most important passages of Scripture that sets an important foundation for the coming of Christ. The Lord promised the eternality of David’s throne and of his descendant who was coming to bless the world. David marveled at the blessing and promise of the Lord and was obviously overwhelmed. He was somewhat speechless. And who wouldn’t be? Awestruck he sat before the Lord in humility and prayed… this is what he prayed.
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed, “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And now, Sovereign Lord, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! Do you deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign Lord? “What more can I say to you? You know what your servant is really like, Sovereign Lord. Because of your promise and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known to your servant. “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! What other nation on earth is like your people Israel? What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? You made a great name for yourself when you redeemed your people from Egypt. You performed awesome miracles and drove out the nations and gods that stood in their way. You made Israel your very own people forever, and you, O Lord, became their God. “And now, O Lord God, I am your servant; do as you have promised concerning me and my family. Confirm it as a promise that will last forever. And may your name be honored forever so that everyone will say, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is God over Israel!’ And may the house of your servant David continue before you forever. “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, God of Israel, I have been bold enough to pray this prayer to you because you have revealed all this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you—a dynasty of kings!’ For you are God, O Sovereign Lord. Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to your servant. And now, may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you have spoken, and when you grant a blessing to your servant, O Sovereign Lord, it is an eternal blessing!”
2 Samuel 7:18-29
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.
The first P we will explore is praise. We see how this is an important piece in our communication with the Father as it keeps us from what I call drive-by prayers. The second P we will look at is the obvious Petition where we make our requests known to the Father. Finally, we will see how when we pray we must be confident that the Lord desires to bless His people. That our Father has our best interest in mind and is willing to give His all for His people even His Son all the way to the cross.
- Though our culture and sin cause us to take our opportunity to pray to the living God for granted, it is the grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit that will ignite a fervor for prayer like never before as we come to the Father in praise and then a petition according to His promise receiving redemption, retention, and a reward as His people.
- Is it not natural for the first words out of our mouths when we address the Lord to be praise and worship?
A. In David’s prayer, we first see a moment of praise and then we see a petition based on a promise to all of His people. Praise and then a Petition from His People. Remember to praise, remember petition in accordance to His will and remember you are His. First of all, as we saw in the illustration, praise is an important element of prayer is missing from many of the prayers today. We just seem to throw up the petition without giving the Lord the praise and worship that He deserves. Drive by-prayers.
B. The only time we ever talk to our Dad’s is to ask for something. No “Hi Dad, you are such a good Dad, thank you for being such a good dad. Hope you are having a good day and I pray that you will be encouraged and strengthened. And then, hey dad can I have some money?” David shows us praise before his petition.
C. Here is what we see that is vital that we need to pray that the Lord will give us… David cannot fathom the depths of the grace of God, and in breathless wonder he tries to express the marvels of God’s blessing in words.
D. David recognizes God’s Sovereign choice. Why in the world would your plan center around me? Who am I. David recognized who he was before the Lord. He is saying that he is not even worth taking notice of by the Lord. Who are we that He would have anything to do with us and actually have us to be a part of His plan? That he would keep us and protect us? He does not need us… he is beyond us all, more than we could imagine. Our Father who is in heaven. We here must recognize our place before God. And this is why we worship and praise Him. Before we go to the Lord, ask yourself who do you think you are? Then we realize that we need to come in praise. I wonder with other pagan religions if their false god is shown more reverence?
E. He sees God’s preserving hand… He keeps him safe despite all of the opposition, danger, death, exile, starvation, and as huge as it is to me, it is but a little thing to you because of your greatness and immensity…He is treated as Holy, Consecrated and shown real respect and reverence… Hallowed be your name!! And now you desire to continue to give more and more grace? He saved him and now he is going to bless him with and eternal reward and an eternal kingdom. He saved us and gives us an eternal reward. Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven. Which is the same reward that God gave to David here. Thy Kingdom Come Lord!!!
F. David praises Him because in v.19 the blessing is also for all mankind. The covenants of God were to be a blessing that would extend to the entire world. The world was going to be blessed by Abraham and now David. The World will be blessed by the will and plan of the Lord. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
G. Now the Lord is praised for his wonderful sovereign grace. David now sees it. And understands the wonder of the plan of God. He sees it, knows it, hears it and stands in awe. The plan unfolded and now he recognized the greatness of the plan and purposes of God. Thy Will be Done!
H. Understanding His will and plan brought tremendous encouragement and astonishment to David. As he witnessed His power, David stood in utter bewilderment. As he heard the promises of God, David was led to the unveiled glory of God and the faith that there is no one like Him. On earth as it is in heaven!
I. Now how are we supposed to come to see, hear and understand the plan of God if we do not know the Scriptures? Do you see how the Lord’s plan is now unfolding before our very eyes as we have gone through these books? We hear every Sunday the promises of God and its fulfillment in Christ and His gospel. Are we hungry to learn the Scriptures? Do we want to understand? Doing all that we can?
J. Church I hope that you are. I hope that you are searching the Scriptures to learn and understand it better. I hope you are getting it somehow more than just Sunday morning… Not many of you are here on Wednesday and Sunday night. So I am assuming that what you all are telling me by not being here on Wed and Sunday night that you are all good. You are learning the scriptures and it is leading you to worship. I am assuming you are doing it… you are learning and growing well. We will find out.
K. v.20 David was in so much awe and wonder that he just had nothing else he could say. What else was he going to say? What more could he say? Do you hear the helplessness in David’s prayer of praise? He was dumbfounded by His grace. Are we dumbfounded with the grace of the Lord? Hallowed be thy name!!
II. Petition His Promises
- David gives us a glimpse as to how and what we should be asking. This is HOW we should petition.
A. v.25 David now asks that the incredible promises of God will be fulfilled for the blessing and benefit of the king and the people. David prays for the Lord to fulfill His promises. David pleads the promises of God.
B. He is saying… Oh Lord fulfill your promises it is your word that gives me hope and will bless me with clarity, insight for living, wisdom, encouragement, revival, joy, purity, grace upon grace and of course Faith. He asks for the Lord to bless, direct and provide. What more do we ask for?
C. This is the task of our petitions today… we pray in accordance to the promises of God and oh there are many. Oh how we are blessed that He will fulfill his Word. His promise will be His performance. His promise will be His performance.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Give us this day our daily bread! He promises to provide to be our shepherd… we shall not want!
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
1 Corinthians 10
Lead us not into temptation! He is our guide into all righteousness and holiness! He will protect us from being polluted by the World and the Devil.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.
But Deliver us from evil! He is our strong tower and our mighty fortress, our shield, and the lifter of our head! What more could we ask for?
D. This pretty much sums up most of the common petitions that we bring to the Lord everyday within reason. Provision and protection. And I hope you are seeing what I have been doing with David’s prayer as it pertains to the Lord’s prayer. Another picture as to how David is teaching us about Christ. It is all there. Rejoice everyone today. Trust in His promises. He is a God that cannot lie.
E. Do not give up on prayer like so many of us do. Hang in there. Did you know that Christ told us that prayer would demand patience and perseverance and long suffering? Prayer will not be easy.
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.
Why would he teach us, not to give up, if was going to be easy? The Lord intends for us to persevere in prayer. The answer may not come right away… it certainly did not for David.
F. We come to the Lord in humility recognizing who we are and who He is abounding in worth, deserving of praise. We go to Him with praise. And then we come to him with our petitions for the Lord to fulfill his promises. We are to pray that He fulfills his promises. This is how we pray according to His will and not to our own pleasure. And that is what plagues us with prayer today. Either we don’t pray or when we do pray we do it with wrong motives in our hearts. That is our failure here.
You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
G. This is the sinful motive in our hearts. It is the Idolatry in our hearts. It is the self-centeredness in our hearts. It is the jealousy in our hearts. It is the hatred in our hearts. It keeps us from prayer or it causes us to pray with bad motives. It causes us to hate prayer and not want to waste any time on it. Or we like to just do a drive through prayer. Place your order and pick up our answer in the next window… and if we don’t get it. We complain. The corruption on sin in our lives brings us to this place. Unbelief.
- Rejoice in your prayer, knowing that he cares for you.
A. David praises the Lord because he has redeemed his people. God’s people here on earth are those whom he has redeemed, those who he retains, and those He will reward. Rejoice in your prayer, knowing that he cares for you. Because of sin, we needed to be redeemed. We were lost in sin desiring to fulfill our own pleasures rather than the God who has created us. We are by nature children of wrath, born in sin, conceived in sin, deceived in sin, and dead in sin. And because of it, we either do not pray or pray in selfishness. And our destiny was destruction. Hell. Eternal Damnation. We needed to be saved. We do not pray because of unbelief and unfaithfulness.
B. Salvation is here. That is why we rejoice. The good news of the Gospel. The kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of God. He has brought to us redemption. We now have the kind of hope that David had. Redemption.
C. Jesus died for our sins according to the scriptures and he was buried and was… The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance that Christ Jesus. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
- Rejoice in your prayer, knowing that he cares for you.
E. Rejoice today Christian… You still have the open door to the throne of grace because of the mighty work of Christ on the cross. Repent today of our unfaithfulness in life and in prayer. We have hope today in Christ.
F. If this is the first time you have heard the gospel of the kingdom, and you see, understand and hear the truth, that Jesus is the Christ the son of the living God, then you have been given life by the power of the Spirit. The Lord makes a promise… if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart… all who call upon the name.
G. Today we also witness something amazing… the promise and reward that the Lord gave to David was fulfilled. The Promise and reward that the Lord gave us was fulfilled. And we share the same promise and reward with David. Our reward is Christ. Like David said, Our eternal Blessing.