Monday, November 21, 2011

The One-Two Prayer

"David inquired of the Lord"
2 Samuel 2:1

I met some friends recently, at my local ubiquitous coffee shop.  When I was leaving, I had to back out of my parking space, so I looked carefully left and right, and didn't see anyone, and I started to move.  But then I realized there was a woman coming towards me.  She was on the other side of the aisle, and had to walk next to my car to get to the shops.  It was either that, or walk through the bushes...  So I stopped to let her walk by me, cuz I figured she didn't want to walk right next to a moving car.  Then once she was past me, I started to back up again, but then stopped short as I realized I'd better check left and right again.  Just because there was no one there a few minutes ago didn't mean someone wasn't there now.  I remember how much I used to worry when my kids were little, and we walked in parking lots.  I couldn't let them get even a little ahead of me, because I know that someone looking out the back window in an SUV can't see small children if they are below the level of the rear window.  And I remember when I learned to drive, I was taught that before you pull out of a driveway, or into an intersection ~ anywhere there might be cars ~ you should look left, then right, then left again.

The idea is, that things change.  Sometimes quickly.  Spiritually speaking, that means we need to read His Word, pray, and read again.  I'm reminded of today's verse ~ a passage in 2 Samuel.  I first read it years ago, and I just thought there was such a lesson in it.

In chapter one of 2 Samuel, David finds out about King Saul's death in battle.  This had to be bittersweet to David; Saul had become his nemesis, and had tried on many occasions to kill David.  But Saul had also been his king, and as such, David mourned him.  He also mourned the death of Jonathan, Saul's son.  In contrast to David's relationship with Saul, was his relationship with Jonathan.  They had been best friends ~ so much so that Jonathan had helped to protect David from Saul, Jonathan's own father.   And so chapter one is about David's reaction to the deaths of Saul and Jonathan.

And in chapter two, it's time to move on.  So he does what we should all do, at the beginning of every day, at the beginning of every new adventure, at every fork in the road.  He inquired of the Lord.  "Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?"  And the Lord responded, "Go up."  And normally we'd expect to see a servant of God move out in immediate obedience.  But David checks again.  He goes one prayer further and asks God, "Where shall I go?" And the Lord answers, "To Hebron."  And now David moves out.

I think that so often I'm so ready to move, so impulsive, that I move too quickly.  Sometimes it's without praying, but how often is it the case that I move without praying enough?  I don't think there's any such thing as praying too much; not when we're instructed to pray without ceasing.  But as bad as it is to make a move without consulting God at all, it's not much better to move, before we've heard all He has to say.

~ "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God" ~
James 1:5

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