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How King David provides a model for prayer

king David playing harp

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Philip Kosloski - published on 01/19/24

The Catechism highlights King David and his life as a model for prayer that we can all learn from.
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King David had a remarkable life with many ups and downs. While he was faithful to God in a variety of ways, he also disobeyed God and committed some very serious sins.

Through it all, King David sought to love God and begged for forgiveness whenever he left the right path.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church highlights King David’s life in its section on prayer, pointing to him as a “model”:

David is par excellence the king “after God’s own heart,” the shepherd who prays for his people and prays in their name. His submission to the will of God, his praise, and his repentance, will be a model for the prayer of the people. His prayer, the prayer of God’s Anointed, is a faithful adherence to the divine promise and expresses a loving and joyful trust in God, the only King and Lord.

CCC 2579

In many ways King David’s example hits close to home, as we all have likely experienced the ups and downs of our own lives.

We try to remain faithful to God, but often stumble and can find it difficult to get back up again.

King David shows to us how we should approach God and what to do when we have disobeyed him.

The Psalms in particular are one of the greatest treasures of King David’s life, as he is traditionally credited as the writer. The Catechism refers to them and how they ultimately lead to Jesus Christ:

In the Psalms David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the first prophet of Jewish and Christian prayer. The prayer of Christ, the true Messiah and Son of David, will reveal and fulfill the meaning of this prayer.

CCC 2579

When we read the life of King David in the Bible and read his Psalms, may we reflect on our own lives and how we can learn from his example.

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BibleCCC PrayerPrayer
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