Seeking God: David’s Prayer in Psalms 27:4

seeking God psalmsPsalms 27:4 – “One thing I ask of the Lord, and this is what I seek that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in His temple.”

In one of our gatherings with new college students, we started with an ice-breaker; a question, “If you are to have one last meal, what would you pick? What will be your favorite food that you want to have one last time?” The answers were funny and surprising. It ranged from  mother’s home cooked food to some exotic food one had a long time ago.

What if we ask a similar question for our spiritual walk. “If we are to ask one thing from the Lord, what you will ask of the Lord?” What will be your answer? Will that be a wisdom, strength, some physical or emotional healing or some special blessing for your life? In Psalm 27:4, David summarizes his quest, his pursuit of God in this one prayer. So what is his prayer?

There are three aspects of his prayers:

  1. That he may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life:
    To dwell in the house of the Lord is to be in the presence of God. in Old testament, God’s presence resided in the temple of God. So David’s desire is to be in a continuous, close presence of God all the days of his life.
  2. To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord:
    To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord is to witness the glory of God. There is nothing more glorious than the glory of God. We often marvel at the physical things that we see, but when we experience the glory of God, our lives will be changed forever.
  3. To seek Him in His temple:
    Seeking God in his temple is to seek God and his righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)

So to summarize, David’s prayer in Psalms 27:4 is

  • Ever increasing Presence of God
  • All compassing Glory of God
  • All consuming pursuit of God and his righteousness

So, Is this a unique request in the bible or do we see another similar requests from people of God?

We find a similar request from Moses as well. When God told Moses to lead the Israelite to the promised land in the wilderness. This is what Moses asked Lord. (check out Life of Moses- character study)

Exodus 33:12 -23
12 Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

These two great men of God were not perfect, they made mistakes, committed sin that cost them dearly (Numbers 20:8-13), (2 Samuel 11:1-15). Yet, they were considered giants of faith. David is called a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), Moses is called a “man who spoke to God face to face” (Exodus 33:11). There lives were defined by their pursuit for God.

Life Application:

What about you? What is the most important thing in your life? What is that “one” aspect of your life that defines you and put everything else into perspective? What will be your “One” Prayer to the Lord?

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Comments

  1. sylvia kavendjii says

    i am a born again christian and love God so dearly but there are sins i am struggling with. i quit smoking for one year but now i have that crave to smoking again. would you please pray for me as it is the work of the devil.

  2. Sandhya says

    This was a good message. How wonderful it would be if all of us are on a relentless pursuit of God, instead of being caught in the mundane things of life. Especially we are in that appointed time of fulfillment of prophectic history, it is soo very important for all of us to be pursuing God’s heart and will and grow in our daily walk with Him. Like the Psalmist says “better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere.”Psalm 84:10

  3. Paulina says

    Many years ago I started a bible study cause ,got to one part of it and stop,but I always have this feeling that I must return to the words of God and hold on tight.I do pray a lot for strength and courage to do so .Today I am starting again, this time I want to go through all of it. Please pray for me to get to the understanding of The Lords word. I think this Psalm 27 is my way back.
    Thank you [aulina

  4. Maggie Enoch says

    Very inspiring. makes me to want to know more about our Lord. Teaches me to take God at His Word and to trust and leave things in God’s Hand.

  5. cynthia owens says

    my one prayer is to dwell in GODS present daily, that way i can learn him,commune with him, hear him always, and obey, yes to keep his commandments.

  6. toodie says

    ive been trying so hard but i hear the evil words of others,,,im a true believer and just dont know where to start over again,,

  7. Dismas M says

    Very encouraging especially when iam downhearted.It has brought me back to seek the LORD WITH ALL MY HEART.

  8. richard crisalli says

    My one question of the Lord is, what do you want me to be? I will be all that you want me to be…The Lord my God gave me life, and all that is in it. Unconditional love like no other, forgiveness of all my sins..What can i do for you?

  9. says

    Iam sharing this Good News with “All” my facebook friends; Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

    14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

    15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

    17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

    18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

    19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

    21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
    These two great men of God were not perfect, they made mistakes, committed sin that cost them dearly (Numbers 20:8-13), (2 Samuel 11:1-15). Yet, they were considered giants of faith. David is called a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), Moses is called a “man who spoke to God face to face” (Exodus 33:11). Their lives were defined by their pursuit for God.

  10. Jason P. says

    I really enjoyed this study and used it to facilitate my Men’s small group. My only issue is that there were a number of grammatical errors. Other than that, a very good study and a worthy investment of time.

  11. Leticia says

    I am so blessed to have come across these studies. This will be so useful for me in my Ladies group.

  12. meloi says

    I am thanking the Lord for this study, it helps me a lot in my christian growth. I am so blessed that I may share this in our Life Group Network.

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