Lessons from the Prayer Life of David

“In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” Psalm 5:3 NAS

David, the shepherd, psalmist and king of the Old Testament, is the author of this remarkable declaration. In it he reveals the secret to a consistent, energized prayer life. The secret is contained in his use of the word “order” to describe the manner in which he prays. There is something compelling about the way David ordered or arranged his prayer time that drew him back again and again with genuine expectancy. That coupled with his enjoyment of God’s presence led him to make a commitment to daily take his place before God to watch and pray.

So what is it about his choice of the word “order” to describe his prayer that led to such an eager commitment to daily watch and pray? The Hebrew word of order, “arak” means “to arrange” or “set in order.” In other places in scripture it is used to describe how they built an altar, arranged wood to light a fire and/or arranged the offering on the altar. It is also used to describe the way in which the showbread was to be arranged and presented to God on the table in the Holy Place. (Exodus 40:4) And it is used in reference to the setting forth in order of a legal case. (Job 13:18)

Order is one of the first principles instituted by God at creation. It is a means by which God initiates and establishes His purposes in the earth. Most notably we see it in His creation of day and night, seed time and harvest and His institution through the Sinai covenant of the tabernacle, system of sacrifices and prescribed approach of the High Priest into the Holy of Holies.

Given the thoughtful and logical way in which things can be ordered, what then does it mean to order ones prayer? I believe the ordering of David’s prayer had to do with his choice of key elements of prayer and an intentional arrangement of their sequence to bring him into the presence of God. From a study of his life we can identify at least five things that David did when he prayed that illustrate this intentional arrangement of his prayer time to insure its vibrancy.

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