1. PRAYING WHEN PERSECUTED
a. How was David treated by Saul? 1 Samuel 19:9, 10; 23:7, 8.
“After the death of Samuel, David was left in peace for a few months. Again he repaired to the solitude of the Ziphites; but these enemies, hoping to secure the favor of the king, informed him of David’s hiding place. This intelligence aroused the demon of passion that had been slumbering in Saul’s breast. Once more he summoned his men of arms and led them out in pursuit of David. But friendly spies brought tidings to the son of Jesse that Saul was again pursuing him.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 668.
b. What did David pray when he was chased by Saul? How did David submit himself to God? Psalm 7:1–5, 17.
“It is only through Christ that Satan’s power is limited. This is a momentous truth that all should understand. Satan is busy every moment, going to and fro, walking up and down in the earth, seeking whom he may devour. But the earnest prayer of faith will baffle his strongest efforts. Then take ‘the shield of faith,’ brethren, ‘wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.’”—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 294.
2. THE FALL OF DAVID
a. What does the Bible mention regarding the character of David? 1 Samuel 13:13, 14; 1 Kings 11:38.
“It was when [David] was walking in the counsel of God that he was called a man after God’s own heart. When he sinned, this ceased to be true of him until by repentance he had returned to the Lord.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 723.
“David was beloved of God, not because he was a perfect man, but because he did not cherish stubborn resistance to God’s expressed will. His spirit did not rise up in rebellion against reproof. . . .
“David erred greatly, but he was just as greatly humbled and his contrition was as profound as his guilt. There was never a person more humble than David under a sense of his sin. He showed himself a strong man, not in always resisting temptation, but in the contrition of soul and sincere penitence manifested. He never lost his confidence in God, who put the stern rebuke in the mouth of His prophet. He had no hatred for the prophet of God. He was beloved, also, because he relied upon the mercy of a God whom he had loved and served and honored.”—Pamphlet 28, 1890, p. 16.
b. Which sins in David’s life did he attempt to hide? 2 Samuel 12:9.
c. What was David’s reaction when his sin was known? How did he acknowledge his guilt? 2 Samuel 12:13; Psalm 51:3, 4.
“This passage in David’s history is full of significance to the repenting sinner. It is one of the most forcible illustrations given us of the struggles and temptations of humanity, and of genuine repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Through all the ages it has proved a source of encouragement to souls that, having fallen into sin, were struggling under the burden of their guilt. Thousands of the children of God, who have been betrayed into sin, when ready to give up to despair have remembered how David’s sincere repentance and confession were accepted by God, notwithstanding he suffered for his transgression; and they also have taken courage to repent and try again to walk in the way of God’s commandments.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 726.
3. PLEADING FOR FORGIVENESS
a. What two things was David pleading for after confessing his sin? Psalm 51:1, 2; 1 John 1:9.
“All wrong done to others reaches back from the injured one to God. Therefore David seeks for pardon, not from a priest, but from the Creator of man. He prays: ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.’”—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 639.
b. Where is the seat of impurity? Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21–23.
“Many of you may retain a notion of religion in the head, an outside religion, when the heart is not cleansed. God looks at the heart; ‘all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.’ Will He be satisfied with anything but truth in the inward parts? Every truly converted soul will carry the unmistakable marks that the carnal mind is subdued.”—Ibid., vol. 1, p. 163.
c. What prayer of David’s should we repeat on a daily basis? Psalm 51:10–12.
“Many are leaning upon a supposed hope without a true foundation. The fountain is not cleansed, therefore the streams proceeding from that fountain are not pure. Cleanse the fountain, and the streams will be pure. If the heart is right, your words, your dress, your acts, will all be right. True godliness is lacking. . . .
“I saw how this grace could be obtained. Go to your closet, and there alone plead with God: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ Be in earnest, be sincere. Fervent prayer availeth much. Jacoblike, wrestle in prayer. Agonize. Jesus, in the garden, sweat great drops of blood; you must make an effort. Do not leave your closet until you feel strong in God; then watch, and just as long as you watch and pray you can keep these evil besetments under, and the grace of God can and will appear in you.”—Ibid., p. 158.
4. EXPRESSING GRATITUDE TOWARD GOD
a. What did David acknowledge regarding God’s blessings? 1 Chronicles 29:11–14.
“God scatters blessings all along our path. . . . We may weep and groan and mourn and stumble at every step if we choose, or we may gather up the precious, fragrant flowers and rejoice in the Lord for His goodness in making our path to heaven so pleasant.”—Our High Calling, p. 245.
“It is as we give ourselves to God for the service of humanity that He gives Himself to us.
“No one can give place in his own heart and life for the stream of God’s blessings to flow to others without receiving in himself a rich reward.”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 81.
b. How did David express some of his feelings about God? Psalm 31:19–23; 57:10.
“The song of gratitude and praise is to be heard by those in darkness. For the good tidings of the gospel, for its promises and assurances, we are to express our gratitude by seeking to do others good. The doing of this work will bring rays of heavenly righteousness to wearied, perplexed, suffering souls. It is as a fountain opened for the wayworn, thirsty traveler. At every work of mercy, every work of love, angels of God are present.”—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 31.
c. What else can we be thankful for today? Psalm 103:10–14; Jeremiah 31:34 (last part).
“We should be self-forgetful, ever looking out for opportunities, even in little things, to show gratitude for the favors we have received of others, and watching for opportunities to cheer others and lighten and relieve their sorrows and burdens by acts of tender kindness and little deeds of love. These thoughtful courtesies that, commencing in our families, extend outside the family circle help make up the sum of life’s happiness; and the neglect of these little things makes up the sum of life’s bitterness and sorrow.”—The Adventist Home, p. 428.
5. PRAYING FOR DELIVERANCE
a. With what words does David praise God for deliverance from his enemies? 2 Samuel 22:1–7, 18–20.
b. How can we, like David, pray for deliverance from sin today? Psalm 6:4; 25:20; Matthew 6:13.
“Many receive the gospel as a way of escape from suffering, rather than as a deliverance from sin. They rejoice for a season, for they think that religion will free them from difficulty and trial. While life moves smoothly with them, they may appear to be consistent Christians. But they faint beneath the fiery test of temptation. They cannot bear reproach for Christ’s sake. When the word of God points out some cherished sin, or requires self-denial or sacrifice, they are offended. It would cost them too much effort to make a radical change in their life. They look at the present inconvenience and trial, and forget the eternal realities.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 47, 48.
“When we pray for earthly blessings, the answer to our prayer may be delayed, or God may give us something other than we ask, but not so when we ask for deliverance from sin. It is His will to cleanse us from sin, to make us His children, and to enable us to live a holy life.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 266.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What limits Satan’s power? When can Christ help us the most?
2. Why was David beloved of God?
3. How must we pray if we desire to have a clean, pure heart?
4. How can we show gratitude to God in a practical way, and what will be the result?
5. What should we be seeking beyound mere deliverance from difficulties?