“And it was told David, ‘Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.’ And David said, ‘O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.’ While David was coming to the summit…behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him…” 2 Samuel 15:31-32
This was a tragic day in the life of King David. His own son Absalom was committing betrayal and treason by attempting to take over the throne from his father. King David and company were forced out of Jerusalem, put on the run, and covered in shame.
When the King hears of his own counsellor Ahithophel being among the conspirators, he is moved to prayer. Let’s note a few things from David and his prayer.
1. Ready–David was ready to pray. If we know anything about David it is that he was a man after God’s own heart. He was a man who lived in communion with God. Prayer was a way of life for him. So, when confronted by desperate and urgent need, he was ready to pray. It was second nature to him.
2. Short and to the point–In English, David’s prayer is only 10 words long! God does not require long prayers for them to be legitimate prayers. He doesn’t command a certain form (i.e., an introduction, body, and conclusion) or formula (“use these words”) for our prayers to reach His ears. Remember what Jesus taught the disciples regarding prayer? “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matt 6:7,8) King David’s prayer was brief and to the point.
3. Earnest–Though short it was not without sincerity and faith. David prayed what he meant, and believed God for what he prayed.
4. Answered–“While David was coming to the summit…behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him…” As the story progresses, we discover that Hushai is God’s answer to David’s prayer. As one commentator said, “No sooner does David pray that Ahithophel’s counsel be confounded than he is presented, in the person of Hushai, with the means of accomplishing his objective.” Though there were still to be long days and dark nights, God’s kind and quick response would be enough to give hope and confidence.
Much more could be said, but maybe the Lord will be pleased to use this little reminder to keep us confidently seeking Him in all things.
Chuck Cook is the pastor of Grace Bible Church - Rolla.