Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
"He answered, 'While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, "Who knows? The lord may be gracious to me and let the child live." ' " 2 Samuel 12:22
Bible Reading2 SAMUEL 12:13-23
Many Christian parents, when their child was taken away, have prayed: "Your will be done." That's a Christian prayer. But it's not what this petition in the Lord's Prayer means.
The Lord's Prayer does not teach us to pray, "Help us to believe that all things work according to your holy will." Instead we pray, "Help us to be obedient in a disobedient world." "Your will be done" is a prayer for obedience.
We do need the grace to accept God's decisionsbut we don't have to accept them unless they are final.
In this respect we may learn something from David. God had said that his child would die. But as long as there was breath in the sick child, David prayed. For seven days and nights, he struggled with God in prayer.
If we know that the Lord is gracious and full of compassion, we may continue to struggle until God has revealed his will with finality.
The decisions of God are not mysterious forces that operate in darkness, so that all we can do is sit down and say: "What must happen will happen." Often the Lord has allowed the sketches he made to be erased by the prayers of his children. God has given us access to him by means of our prayers. We aren't merely sitting outside the council chamber, waiting for the verdict.
So we must be careful how we advise each other, and we must not be quick to condemn each other. The friends of Job, the friends of Jesus, and the friends of Paul were all wrong in their interpretations of the will of God.
Neither do we always know what to ask. To some God gave faith to ask for a miracle, and they received it. Others knew the will of God in a certain matter and received grace to do that will and live with God's decision.
Once David's child was dead, he rose from his prayer. This, then, was the will of God. Now he knew it beyond a shadow of a doubt. And since God is our Father, shouldn't we trust him?
"Often the Lord has allowed the sketches he made to be erased by his children." Have you experienced this? What convinces you of the power of prayer?
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published by Paideia Press in 1977. This updated edition is copyright 2009 by Faith Alive Christian Resources. You can order a copy of this revised version of the book directly from the publisher.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this updated edition of Daylight are from the Holy Bible: Today's New International Version copyright 2001, 2005 by the International Bible Society.
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