Pray Before Giving

Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling.’”
2 Samuel 7:5-6, NIV*

King David’s desire to build a temple for God came from a good heart. He wanted to honour God, not to live in an elaborate palace while God’s dwelling was a tent.

David loved God, and God had given him so much. I wonder if David saw a chance to do something for Him as a gift. Good heart, good idea, wrong timing.

We get love-born impulses too, to do things for God or for others. These verses remind me we need to pray before acting.

God may want us to bless Him with our hearts’ attitudes but to not act—or to not act yet. In His plan, timing matters.

Sometimes the very things we long to do for others are the things that would undermine what God is doing in their hearts. Oswald Chambers says, “It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s order for others.” (“What is that to Thee?” Nov. 15)

Father God, we want to give back to You out of the love You’ve given us. Impress on our hearts how best to please You—and how to show love to those around us. Help us to always come first to You for wisdom. Make us sensitive to Your prompting to act or to not act. Keep us in the centre of Your will.

The gift God wants most is our hearts. Here’s my favourite Third Day song: “Offering.”

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

4 thoughts on “Pray Before Giving

  1. Margaret

    Hi Janet,

    Well said, and the Oswald Chambers quote is so true…. As humans, we are so limited in knowledge and real wisdom…. It was in love that God led David through the prophet Nathan…. What was really good is how David willingly accepted God’s reasoning and will…. That’s where a lot of us fall…. We sometimes persist in thinking we know what is best.


    1. janetsketchley

      Margaret, I think that’s what made David a man after God’s own heart–he took correction well. He trusted God.

      It sounds funny to say we think we know better than God, but that’s how we act sometimes. May we learn to trust like David did!

  2. Stephanie

    I’ve read Oswald Chambers, but never took note of the term “amateur providence.” Those two words alone are worth chewing on.

    Thanks, Janet.

    1. janetsketchley

      The term really struck me, but when I looked in the index for My Utmost for His Highest to find the right entry, I discovered he used it more than once. Guess it finally sunk in for me, but I only remember it once. It says a lot!


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