Prayer is at the core of the Christian’s life, and at the core of a church’s ministry. Much can be done without prayer (and sadly, it often is), but it is done in the flesh, trusting in talent, skill and determination. But not seeing the power and glory of Almighty God.
If we are going to experience God in a real and powerful way, we have to seek Him in prayer. That has been our focus in recent weeks during our prayer meetings at Vandalia Baptist Temple. We have been meditating on several passages of Scripture that refer to “seeking God” or “seeking” in prayer. What we have observed in each case is that seeking must be intentional, requires effort and sacrifice, or it will never happen on a consistent basis!
Our next passage is found in Psalm 63, one of my favorite passages of Scripture. We know from the last verse that David wrote this while he was king of Israel. But it was at a low point in his reign, probably during Absalom’s rebellion. King David had fled Jerusalem for his life, and was hiding in the wilderness of Judea, away from the Holy City and the tabernacle. But no matter where David was, he had a heart for seeking God. Notice what he writes:
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee:
My soul thirsteth for thee,
My flesh longeth for thee
In a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
To see thy power and thy glory,
So as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
Seeking was a priority
What I love about this passage is the word early. Not because I enjoy getting up when I’d rather be sleeping, but because it reflects David’s priorities. Of all the things that pulled at David’s life, schedule and physical body, seeking God was at the very top. He was intentional about putting his time with God before everything else – and that makes a difference. When our day begins with other things, it is inevitable that our time with God will get crowded out. So we must decide if it is important enough to us to sacrifice some of our sleep time (or to go to bed earlier) to make it happen.
Some have interpreted the word early to mean “early in life” (i.e. childhood), which certainly is important, and was true in David’s life. But in the rest of the psalm David writes about remembering the LORD while on his bed, and meditating on the LORD in the middle of the night, so it certainly was a regular part of David’s personal habits. It was a priority.
Seeking was about God
That sounds obvious enough, but notice what David was thirsting for and longing for: seeing the power and the glory of God. He had experienced it before “in the sanctuary,” and he longed to see it again. When you experience God’s glory in your life it fills you beyond description, but makes you want to experience it again and again. David was hiding for his life in a desert; He longed to see God’s power and glory again. So what did he do? He committed to seeking the LORD.
David knew from experience that God’s “lovingkindness is better than life” (vs. 3). That experience moved his lips to praise God and bless God. It moved his hands to be lifted in God’s name. It caused his heart to “rejoice in God” (vs. 11). It was all about God.
Too often our seeking is not about God, but about us. We pursue God for what we want out of it. There is something we want from God, so we ask for it, seek for it, knock for it. But what we fail to realize is that the thing is not what we really need. What we need is Him. When we seek the LORD for who He is, in all His power and all His glory, it has a way of taking care of everything else in life.
So let this be a challenge to us today. Make seeking God a renewed priority in your life, but also in your day, schedule, commitments. Sacrifice for it. Plan for it. Schedule it. Make it come first. And when you meet with God, make it about Him: His power, His glory. That will satisfy our soul like nothing else.