Praying While Running
When you experience painful times of waiting follow David's example—run and pray.
Editor's Note: Throughout this document Dr. Jeffrey Arthurs has provided a running commentary on his sermon. It's an invaluable guide for how he constructed this sermon, but these notes also provide tips and principles for your future sermon preparation.
Let me provide an entrance into today's text, which is 1 Samuel 21 and 22, by asking this question: What do you do while you're waiting? Do you sit patiently? Do you fume? For some of you this is a not too distant memory. It's Sunday morning, after all. What do you do? Do you occupy yourself with useful things like reading or stretching? A few years ago I was waiting for my wife to pick me up at a street corner. We were going out for lunch, and I was waiting. I happened to have an umbrella in my hand at that time, so I was practicing my golf swing standing there at a corner. When I looked up a small group of admirers had gathered around. There's something about this activity, this experience of waiting which brings out the inner person. Sort of like putting a teabag into scalding hot water, it releases what is already present. What do you do while you're waiting, in particular, while you're waiting on God? The experience of waiting is difficult, but it is also a standard experience for followers of God. This is the experience that we see in our text today. David is waiting, waiting on God to fulfill his promise.
David receives God's promise.
Remember that David had been anointed as king. He was just a young man, but God had singled him out and chosen him. Samuel the prophet/priest came to him and anointed him with oil. It has run down over David's head making dark rivulets in his dark hair. David perhaps was ...
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Jeffrey Arthurs, Ph.D., is the Professor of Preaching and Communication & Chair, Division of Practical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.