Also [David] bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow…
—2 Samuel 1:18
When David received word of the death of his dear friend Jonathan and of King Saul whom he admired so greatly, he grieved. But he did not just sit by weeping. One of the ways David dealt with his grief was to order all of the dads in the tribe of Judah to train their children how to use a bow.
It was an extremely fitting memorial to Jonathan. David took one of the assets of Jonathan's life and ordered everyone to teach it to their children. In this way, Jonathan's influence continued on. We can spiritualize the text by thinking of the bow as being a spiritual weapon in the form of prayer.
Just as the bow was able to shoot arrows and strike the enemy from a great distance, our prayers are an excellent weapon by which we can bring spiritual influence upon people from a distance.
Sometimes when we have witnessed to loved ones so much that they begin to resent it (and us), we can shoot arrows from a distance. The Spirit begins to work in their hearts as we, through prayer, bind the work of the enemy. Just as David ordered them to teach the children the use of the bow, we need to learn the use of the bow of prayer that we might be effective for God in the spiritual battle in which we are engaged.
Father, help us to become adept at using the weapons of warfare You have given us,
that we might do battle on behalf of our loved ones.