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CHAPTER 8 (ESV)
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven, 23 and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart; 24 you have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day. 25 Now therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ 26 Now therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David my father.
27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! 28 Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, 29 that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. 30 And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.
- How do I react to Solomon’s plea to God? What is his understanding of God? What did he ask of God? Are these things what I could also ask of God? Or do I think these are only reserved for people who have a deep faith in God? How do I think of God’s “relentless love” for me? What is it about God that I still don’t get it?
- Read this prayer once again, listening for what stands out to me relating to the lack of belief I noticed in myself. Explore my reaction more deeply, paying attention to what it tells about myself. Do I think that I can only bring to God requests that are completely selfless? Or is it perhaps that I don’t believe God really loves me. Share with God what I uncover.
Ignatius of Loyola once said, “Everything that one turns in the direction of God is prayer”. No matter what my thoughts are at this time – irritation, fear, despair, disinterest, lack of trust in God – it can all be prayer when shared with God. It’s all part of my conversation with God. Solomon let his anxiety and insecurity spill into his prayer to God.