A young leader who lived many years ago was loved and admired greatly by his people. This particular young man was very passionate about serving the Lord and doing what was right. He became extremely popular with the people at a very young age, long before becoming their leader. He fought in wars and climbed the ranks as an obedient soldier, eventually becoming the highest-ranking officer. He possessed a charisma and magnetism that few would understand yet many longed to have. He was simply the best man for the job in every job he set his mind to. It didn’t take long until he reached the highest office, not in military rank but in the land. He had everything a person could ever ask for or want. He was the quintessential rags to riches real life story. He was the leader that everyone loved to love.
One day this young leader of the people found himself in a very unfamiliar place. A place consisting of lies and cover-ups. A scandal was brewing, and he was the one in the middle. His temptation got the best of him. He did the unthinkable. He disobeyed God, insulted His authority, betrayed his friend, and, as things spiraled out of control, the scandal eventually resulted in the death of his friend. Things eventually settled back into some sense of normalcy after he covered his tracks and buried all the evidence of his shame. He had committed a great crime, and yet it seemed he had gotten away with it, until a different friend showed up at his doorstep with full knowledge of everything. He confronted the young leader concerning his moral failure, and suddenly his carefully-buried secret was far from being forgotten.
The penalty for his crime was punishable by death, yet the word given to him that day was that his death would not be required to atone for his failure. That payment would have to be made by his son! Yes, his son was chosen to be the life given to cover the terrible wrong that he had committed. The law of the land was clear and direct, a life would have to be sacrificed to cover such a great sin and no one was exempt, not even the king.
So as he watched the life slowly exit the body of his son, he cried out to God. As his child slipped closer to death’s door, the young leader fell to his face before God. He prostrated himself in prayer. He fasted as he prayed for his own life to taken instead of his son’s. We don’t know the name of this leader’s son, but on the seventh day he took his last breath on this earth. He gave his life to cover the sin committed by his father.
This story is true, and our young leader is not a fictional character. He’s a real king that lived in a real kingdom, and we know him better as king David, and this story is spoken of in chapter 12 of the Old Testament book of second Samuel. There is a multitude of great teaching here, but I would like to point out that David was willing to pray forever if needed to save the life of his son. David displayed what it was like to pray “a James 5:16” prayer. “The effectual and fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Yes his son died, but what we learned from this encounter with God is that effectual and fervent prayers are more powerful than we could ever imagine. David didn’t change the mind of God by giving himself completely to the fight, but he changed the mind of David through the process.
Effectual and fervent is translated in Greek as “energeo,” which is a cousin to the word energy. Prayer and fasting like David displayed is the transfer of energy. Let’s not get caught up in the fact that his son died but rather learn to pray in such a way as to energize any situation with tremendous power.
Now is not the time in our lives to give up and walk away. There’s no time or place in today’s battles for weak prayer lives. There can be no such thing as an anemic prayer warrior. Your family needs you to transfer energy into their lives. We may get dirty in doing so, but if we’re not having to clean ourselves up after the battles, then maybe we’re not fighting hard enough. I challenge you to position yourself at the front of the battle lines. Your family is depending on it. We are Christpoint Church. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Come and see us, welcome home.