I SAMUEL 23:1-5: “It was reported to David: “Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and raiding the threshing floors.” So David inquired of the Lord: “Should I launch an attack against these Philistines?” The Lord answered David, “Launch an attack against the Philistines and rescue Keilah.” But David’s men said to him, “Look, we’re afraid here in Judah; how much more if we go to Keilah against the Philistine forces!” Once again, David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him: “Go at once to Keilah, for I will hand the Philistines over to you.” Then David and his men went to Keilah, fought against the Philistines, drove their livestock away, and inflicted heavy losses on them. So David rescued the inhabitants of Keilah.” CSB

OBSERVATION: What do you do when are faced with a great challenge? What do you do when you feel you have direction from the Lord, and then everything seems to be against that direction? David faced these challenges with his men, and with Saul’s continued pursuit of David and his men. What did David do?

David kept praying!

I think we misunderstand the call and power of prayer in our life. The late Paul (Papa) Billheimer, in his classic book “Destined for the Throne,” says – “Prayer is our on the job training for the Kingdom of God.” If we don’t understand the call and power of prayer in our life now, we will enter into the Kingdom ill prepared. This morning I needed to be reminded of this important truth, as illustrated in the life of David.

David was a man after God’s own heart. He got that reputation because he spent time with God in worship and in prayer. The book of Psalms is David’s legacy of this intimate relationship with the Lord. As David was on the run from Saul, and as he led a rag tag army of about 600 disgruntled soldiers, David relied upon prayer. He did not rest on his past victories, or his military experience.

David prayed, and kept on praying!

David prayed and asked the Lord if he should rescue the people of Keilah from the hand of the Philistines. The Lord responded – Yes! Then when David shared this with his disgruntled army, they pushed back in fear. They were not as convinced as David was. So what did David do?

David kept on praying!

David sought the Lord again for confirmation and direction. The Lord once again confirmed His direction to David, and the Lord also turned the hearts of David’s army to follow David. David did not give up on the Lord’s calling at the first sign of opposition.

David kept on praying!

Then, when they had delivered the people of Keilah, a walled city, Saul began to pursue David and his army. David prayed and asked the Lord if Saul would pursue him. The Lord answered – “He will.” Then David prayed and asked the Lord if the people of Keilah would be loyal to him and his army, or hand them over. The Lord answered – “They will hand you over.” The important lesson we can learn from David is that at each and every turn of his life,

David kept on praying!

Jesus taught this same principle.

  • Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:7-11 NLT

Keep on asking. Keep on seeking. Keep on knocking. This is the call to perseverance and faith. And the wonderful promise is that our Heavenly Father does not grow weary of us doing so. In fact, this is His delight, to hear the prayers of His children, and to give them good gifts in response to their prayers. Yet, the key is to “keep on!” It is not a lack of faith to persevere in prayer about the same thing. It is an act of faith and obedience to the Word of God.

The reality is – every situation in our life is filled with multiple twists and turns. When we initially come to the Lord in prayer, we only see our situation from one perspective. However, as we begin to follow the Lord in obedience, we discover new challenges along the path that we did not anticipate. It is foolish to simply press on into unknown territory. It is wise and prudent to pray. Prayer is not to be simply an act of desperation. Prayer is to be our ongoing relationship and conversation with the Lord. We need to learn this important lesson from David.

David kept on praying!

Lord, this morning I needed to be reminded of this important truth. Forgive me for pressing on ahead of Your leading. Help me to seek you at every step, every twist and turn, every difficulty along the path of life. Guard my heart from discouragement. Give me strength to watch and pray. This morning I choose not to assume or give up. This morning –

I choose to pray!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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