Bible and Church

Lessons from the Prayer Life of David

How did David become a man after God’s own heart? The Psalms give hints toward an answer to this question. When we come to understand the under which circumstances David prayed the Psalms, this would be a help. In a few of his Psalms this information is given in the heading. In others the content offers helpful hints. To recognize these is the aim of this paper. – David was on the run twice in his life, first from Saul and much later from his son Absalom. Between these he reigned as king over Israel and made Jerusalem his capital. After transferring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem he organized a continuous worship under Asaph (1Chr.16,37). From that time on his heart was full of thoughts about the house of God – the Temple (Ps.27,4) although the Temple was built much later. – However, at first David had to learn that the basis of his life was not his own righteousness but God’s forgiving grace. In the valley of the shadow of death he prayed Psalm 22. In Psalm 23 he took a view back to the hours of horror and then he prayed: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”