Sitting on my bed in my house robe, I was finishing up Psalm 72. I was getting ready to make my way to the third section when it hit me. Why was I suddenly overcome with emotion? Tears began running down my cheeks, then they turned to sobs. It wasn’t the psalm so much. It was the words that followed. The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are finished. The finality of this statement reached out and grabbed and shook me.
The psalm itself was beautiful. It spoke of the coming Messiah and all that His coming would mean. But, now, stuck in a moment of wonder, I kept reading the phrase over and over again. The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are finished. The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are finished. The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are finished. The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are f-i-n-i-s-h-e-d. The last line just seemed to take a life of its own, compelling me to linger and drink in the meaning of each word.
The whole life of David passed before me. I imagined the boy David, who had tended his father’s sheep and who sang to the God of Israel. Then there was the young man David who had brought down Goliath with his slingshot and a single stone. I next remembered the fugitive David who fled from an insanely jealous and demon-tormented King Saul. All those years that were spent in the wilderness were preparing David until God finally established him on his tormentor’s throne. I remembered the heartsick David who repented of his sins with Bathsheba and who grieved over the loss of three sons. David, who had failed so miserably, never stopped loving God… and never stopped praying. Feeling as if I was transported to his bedside, I watched as he drew his last breath. David would never utter another prayer on this earth. With an emotion I can’t define, I read the lines over and over again.
The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are finished. I knew that one day, the prayers of Dana, the daughter of Jehovah would be finished….ended….no more…over. How much time had I spent doing frivolous things when I could have been praying? How often had I felt the nudge to come aside and seek Him? How many times had I rolled over and gone back to sleep? Yes, even having served as a missionary in Haiti for over 35 years, I was painfully reminded of the times when I should have prayed more. We have had so many close calls and I’m sure only one thing helped us escape every time: deep, agonizing prayer.
I am painfully aware that there is so much more to be done in my life, in my family, and in our ministry. My heart grieves over the plight of the Haitian people. I am convinced that only prayer and faith can resolve these issues. There’s still time. The prayers of Dana ….. are. not. yet. finished.