Solomon is a man of prayer. First Kings 8 records the dedication prayer of the house of the Lord. The house of the Lord is completed.
BLESSING OF THE CONGREGATION (1 Kings 8:8-21)
“And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel: (and all the congregation of Israel stood;)” (1 Kings 8:14)
DEDICATION PRAYER (1 Kings 8:22-61)
ADORATION (1 Kings 8:22-24)
“ And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:23 And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:24 Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.”
THANKSGIVING (1 Kings 8:25-27)
“Therefore now, Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me.26 And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father.27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?”
SUPPLICATIONS (1 Kings 8:28-30)
“Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee today:29 That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.30 And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.”
TRANSGRESSION, CONFESSION, FORGIVENESS (1 Kings 8:31-35)
“If any man trespass against his neighbor, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house:
32 Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.33 When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house:34 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers.35 When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them: 36 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.”
Solomon gives us an example how to pray.
We should always give adoration to our God. We need to remind ourselves of who God is and His attributes.
Thanking God is our acknowledgment of what God has done for us. Salvation is a good place to start. Each day God is doing things on our behalf. Do we remember to thank Him or take God for granted? Or worse, think we accomplished the task with no need of God. We need to be thankful.
Supplication is asking God to intervene on our behalf. When God’s people pray, God hears every prayer. He will answer each prayer with a “yes”, “no”, or “wait”. Since God’s knows everything, He knows what is best for us.
Solomon was wise enough to realize and acknowledge the he and Israel would sin. He also knew that confession and repentance was the way restore fellowship with God. That is true for us today. Failure to repent of sin means that God will not hear our prayers.
Take 1 Kings 8 on prayer to heart.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001