What comes to mind when you think of King David’s bravery? A picture of guerrilla warfare in the mountains of Judea? The time he killed Goliath with a sling and a stone? He was brave then, certainly. But these amazing feats cannot compare to the audacity of his prayers.

David was bravest when he was praying:

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

In this psalm, David wants nothing to do with sin. He views sin like Goliath— an enemy to be knocked down and beheaded without mercy. He pleads with God to search out even a hint of malignancy in his heart and to ruthlessly cut it out so he can remain fully abandoned to his God.

Wow! How often do we pray like that? I know I don’t usually go out of my way to discover sin in my own life. That’s uncomfortable! I’m usually content to sit back and wait for God to show me something, and when he does, sometimes it takes me a while to respond as David does in this verse. Compared to David, I’m a coward.

Is it possible that we are less courageous than David because we don’t fully trust God? We may ask: “What will he ask me to change?” “What will it cost me?”

But there’s nothing to fear. There is no person more tender, more compassionate, more forgiving, and more deserving of ruling in our hearts.

Sure, he wants all of us. In fact, he has a right to our entire being. But we’re in good hands. He’s a patient counselor who turns one page of our hearts at a time and says, “Will you give me this today? Will you trust me to gently cut this out of your life?”

Our heavenly Father has our best interest at heart. We can trust him enough to pray courageously for heart transformation, just like David.

updated August 2019

Photo Credit: Blake Wisz