Text: 1Kings 8:41-53
Solomon continues his prayer. He prays for the stranger who would come from a far country for the sake of the lord’s name (verse 41-43) that the lord may hearken unto the stranger’s prayer and cause all the people of the earth to know his name. In verse 44 for his people peradventure they go to Battle, that when they pray, the lord will hear. In verse 46 -53, when they sin and are forced into exile because of God’s judgement, if they repent and call upon the lord from wherever they are scattered to, the lord will hear and restore them.
This gathering for the dedication of the temple was a national solemn assembly, the first of its kind in the history of all Israel. Here Solomon made some prophetic prayers. He dedicated this house for prayer. Every single request of his was on “when he prays” “when he repents” “when he seeks your face”. Thus, the temple is actually a place meant for prayers for interacting with God. God desired an interaction with his people and so he asked Moses to erect the tabernacle right there in the wilderness. Today we are seeing a shift in the location and structure of the place of interaction between God and man, but not a change of subject, not a change of focus. It still served the same purpose – a house of prayer. In the new testament, the temple shifts yet again – our bodies.
Solomon foresaw Israel’s future, people, strangers will hear about the fame of the lord and will come to worship. Our prayers should be expansive and all inclusive. We shouldn’t remain at the point where we focus only on basic needs. Its our duty to pray that the whole world will get to know about the mercy and grace we’ve received from Jesus and how it can set them free. It is our duty to intercede for our countries and other nations. The reading gives me courage that if we can begin to pray more about our countries than we discuss all of its ills that God will hear from heaven and heal our land.
when we gather as a community of believers, let us make it a duty to pray earnestly for the nations and for the repentance of all who are on the exile of sin. This gladdens God’s heart and brings his eye down to see if what we are complaining about is really happening. And when he sees he definitely acts. He told Abraham in Genesis 18:20 because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is grievous I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me and if not I will know” in Exodus 3:7 he said ” I have heard the cry of my people by the reason of their taskmasters “. what more do we need? God is ever ready to answer, all we need to do is pray.
Father grant us grace to always trust in your ability to hear us when we pray, that we may learn to relinquish our worries and cares always to you both in the little troubles and the overwhelming national issues. Amen.