“Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1) was one of the wisest requests ever made by a disciple of Jesus. Learning from the examples of the fervent prayers recorded in Scripture is an excellent way for a Christian to use the Old Testament to be made wise unto salvation. In Psalm 17:13-15, David fervent prayer is: “Arise, O Lord, confront him, cast him down; deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword, with Your hand from men, O Lord, from men of the world who have their portion in this life and whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure. They are satisfied with children and leave the rest of their possession for their babes. As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”
Consider carefully the following characteristics of David’s fervent prayer:
- It is specific. The action verbs are vibrant—“arise…confront…cast down…deliver.” David is not generalizing; he is specifying.
- It is plain. The words in verse 13 burst forth like rounds of ammunition from a machine gun. There is no flowery language; there is no pretense; there is no vain repetition. David is completely unconcerned with being eloquent; his focus is upon being heard.
- It is trusting. David is confident that Jehovah will deliver him with His hand from the hands of those who are worldly and threatening him. He will see Jehovah’s face.
- It throbs with passion for greater intimacy with God. David joyously anticipates that day when he shall awake in Jehovah’s likeness.
- It was answered. Though David faced numerous enemies on various occasions who desired to kill him, he died of old age (1st Kings 1:1, 2:10). His enemies never succeeded in carrying out their murderous plots against him.
“The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”