“The LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became very ill. David therefore pleaded with God for the child; David fasted, and went in and lay all night on the ground. The elders of his house stood beside him, urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead; for they said, ‘While the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us; how then can we tell him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.’ But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, he perceived that the child was dead; and David said to his servants, ‘Is the child dead?’ They said, ‘He is dead.’
Then David rose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes. He went into the house of the LORD, and worshipped” (2 Samuel 12:15b-20).
This is the account of the child born to Bathsheba and David after David took advantage of Bathsheba. After all the prayer, fasting for a week, and groveling on the ground pleading with God for the life of the child, when the child died, David worshiped.
Isn’t that odd?
In this pericope, we come to see the nature of prayer. Prayer is not about having our way, but surrendering and submitting to the sovereign will of God.
More than ever our world needs the prayers of God’s people. The prayers of the faithful for our country, our cities, and our churches are more vital than ever before. But praying is not about demanding God to heed our wishes and prayers. Prayer is letting God know what our desires are but ultimately submitting and surrendering to God and God’s will.
The reason why David worshiped when the child died is because God made his will crystal clear. David worshiped because God had answered his prayer!
Pray, church. Pray! Let God know what is in our hearts and what we would like to see happen in the world. Then surrender and submit to God’s will and God’s sovereignty, and worship. God is God. We are not.
God loves to hear and answer our prayers. God always answers our prayers. God may not answer our prayers the way we want them answered, but God always answers our prayers according to his sovereign will. And because God is a good and loving God, we worship!
That is the posture of prayer.