“Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.’” — Psalms 27:7-8
When Billy Graham was a young evangelist, he was invited to meet with Winston Churchill, the great British wartime leader, during the Harringay Crusade in London. He was no doubt surprised and gratified to receive such an invitation.
Although he has maintained strict confidentiality about the details of his meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr. Graham has spoken about his feelings as he was ushered into the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street. In the presence of eminence, the young Graham felt uncertain, perhaps even inadequate.
King David, too, received an invitation one day that delighted him, but which no doubt caused him to feel some uncertainty. David records, “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord I am coming’” (Ps. 27:8).
Think about it: an invitation “to talk with” the Lord! David was totally aware of the eminence and majesty of the Lord, and he needed no one to remind him of his humble origins as a shepherd boy outside Bethlehem. He doubtless had overwhelming feelings of inadequacy as he made his way into the sanctuary to have his talk with the Lord.
But David remembered, “The Lord is my light and my salvation–so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger–so why should I tremble?” (27:1). David was invited to converse with the one who had repeatedly shown that he was firmly on David’s side. So he could approach the meeting, not casually or flippantly, but not fearfully or in trepidation either. Quietly and confidently, he could come before the Lord and say what was on his mind.
And what was on his mind? David wanted more than anything else to learn the secret of living in the conscious enjoyment of the Lord’s presence. “The one thing I ask of the Lord–the thing I seek most–is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple” (27:4). This is an unusual request for a king, a warrior, an active man, a man of the people.
It is a genuine and heartfelt expression of deep spiritual longing for a closer walk with the Lord that makes David “a man after my [God’s] own heart” (Acts 13:22). David wanted to talk to the Lord about the uncertainties of his life and to seek assurance of the Lord’s continued direction, oversight, and protection in his life. “Do not hide yourself from me,” he asked. “Teach me how to live, O Lord” (27:9, 11).
Every one of us has an open invitation to have a conversation with God. It is an invitation to open our hearts to the Lord and to say what is on our mind. It is inconceivable that we would pass up such an opportunity!