by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Prayers of the Old Testament (7 of 13)
The Prayer of David
Clarence E. Macartney
2 Samuel 18:33

When only a child of tender years, the greatest of
Scottish preachers was overheard by his nurse
repeating to himself this pathetic cry of the
brokenhearted king. That nursery recitation was
prophetic of the preacher who was to make his voice
echo through the churches of Britain. It may seem to
some that this is not a prayer, but an ejaculation. It
is not addressed to God, but to Absalom. That is true.
But if
Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast,
then, this cry of David is a prayer. Our most earnest
prayers may spring from our hearts and lips at a time
when we were thinking least of praying. Those
exclamations of happiness which escape us in moments
of great joy and those cries of pain and sorrow which
we utter in moments of pain and woe, what are they but
prayers lifted to the Most High?

The incidents which led up to this cry of David are
well known to all. This cry closes the history of
Absalom, a history which commenced years before when
Maacah, the daughter of King Talmai, bore David a
little son. From the very day on which that son was
born, David set great store by him, for he called him
Absalom, Son of My Peace. Sad misnomer! Only a few
years have rolled by, and we hear the same father who
had taken the newborn babe in his arms and said, "His
name shall be Absalom, Son of my Peace," repeating
over and over again his cry of anguish, "O Absalom, my
son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O
Absalom, my son, my son!" Some men begin their lives
with names and prayers of hope; but their history is
concluded with a sob, a curse, a groan.

It would have been a searching lesson in retributive
justice had Absalom been the son of Bathsheba, instead
of Maacah. That would have appealed to us as
altoget ...

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