June 6. I Kings 8:22-53
We heard the prayers of a simple woman yesterday, and today we hear the prayers of a king. In fact, we hear the prayer of a very wise king, King Solomon, when he was still acting wisely ( … before he went and took all those wives and allowed himself to be corrupted. I think there is a life lesson here about having multiple wives. Men should stick with just one wife. That’s my takeaway!)
In this passage of scripture, we hear a wise king petitioning God on behalf of a nation. Solomon, like Hannah, starts with praise. He honors the Mighty and Holy God of all creation, doesn’t he? And he does this in front of everyone. I think “out loud” prayers can be very meaningful and life-giving when done sincerely. Children should hear us pray. Spouses should hear us pray. Friends in crisis should hear us pray. Let’s ask God for help, if we are timid about this. There’s power in prayer, and there’s blessing for another when we pray out loud on their behalf.
Solomon covered just about every contingency he could think of when he prayed for the nation of Israel. He prayed for them when they would be victorious and when they might be defeated. He prayed for when they were good and asked for mercy for when they’d be bad. His prayer was not just for the present day, but for their future. I want to pray BIG prayers like that for my children and grandchildren. I want to pray for their lives as old people, that they still will be faithful to the Lord in the days leading to their deaths. I want to pray for their marriages, even though the oldest two are only nine at the moment (ha!) – I love Solomons’ example, here. I want my prayers for them to outlive me and still be raining down on their beautiful selves by the grace of God long after I’ve gone to Heaven. How about you?
My verse: I Kings 8:22-53 “May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live and when you hear, forgive.”
My response: And now in this present age in which we live, our very bodies are your temple, Lord! Because You, Jesus, ascended up into the clouds, I often direct my face up – not toward an earthly temple but to the heavenly one. You are as near as my breath. I don’t have to travel to a temple now that You made Your home in my heart. You always hear me, and You paid for every sin on the cross. How I praise You that You do hear us from heaven and forgive!