Uncertain prayers

2 Samuel 7:18-22

How comfortable are you with uncertainty?

What about uncertainty and the Bible? There’s a phrase used in good study Bibles we need to understand. See if you come across a note from a verse that reads: Hebrew uncertain.

That means we don’t know exactly what that verse is saying. There are words and phrases we don’t have firm understandings for. So, the English translation you see is a best guess.

For example, in 2 Samuel 7, King David offered a prayer to God. The king was able to rest from fighting his enemies and was ready to build God a house. God told the prophet Nathan to tell David to wait on that. God would build David a house, a great lasting name. David’s response was a humble prayer.

The king acknowledged how awesome a promise it was for him receive. At the same time, it was a small thing for God. Such great things for us are such teeny things to God. David said, “you have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come” (2 Samuel 7:19). That is, David’s line will continue. Then David said, “May this be instruction for the people.”

Well, we think that’s what he said.

It’s one of those Hebrew uncertainties.

Most commentaries acknowledge that. Some explain it by suggesting David’s prayer was in fragments. He was so elated by what he had heard he was speaking more from excitement than form.

Now, I went a long way around to get to this. How comfortable are you with uncertainty when it comes to praying? Sometimes, praying is uncertain. We’re not sure what we should say, what we should be praying for. There are many times we’re barely trying to make sense of a situation. How can we make sense of praying through it?

But uncertainty doesn’t need to keep you from praying. Whatever David prayed, it was a blessing for him. Maybe the king didn’t even quite know what he was praying. God knew what he meant. And God knows what you’re trying to say, too.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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