30th January 2004, seh, mgh
This Article: (7 Pages)
1) Solomon's Prayer; A guide For All Ages
Many years ago there was a powerful monarch, who would have been greatly envied through the ages by many kings, emperors and priests. Not only because he was wealthy and powerful, but chiefly because his prayer, before his assembled people, on a very important state occasion, was publicly, visibly and unmistakably acknowledged by his God. Just imagine this monarch, having made his public prayer to his God, witnessed that God sending fire that devours the offering and fills the temple with smoke. All the people saw this impressive, powerful and wonderful sight. From that time, 2500 years ago, this monarch’s prayer has had great influence on the lives of many people.
This prayer contains principles that are very important to us today also. The more so, because this is one of the few prayers that the God of Israel has visibly and physically set His seal of His approval upon and endorsed it. There is not just one detailed Biblical record of this prayer but two records in the book of Chronicles and the book of Kings. This vitally important prayer of Solomon is often overlooked and not given the attention that it deserves.
2 CHRONICLES 6 (Parallel record is in 1 Kings 8)
It is necessary to look closely at 2 Chronicles 6 to see why this prayer is so significant to us today and the principles that apply to those who desire to worship the God of Israel in a way that is pleasing to Him.
2 Chron. 6 : 5 is the prelude to Solomon’s prayer in which he states that Yahweh had chosen no other city in Israel that “my name might be there”… “but I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there.”(verse 6) It was on the Mountain of Moriah, where Abraham had sacrificed the kid which Yahweh had provided, that the future temple was to be built.
King David had wanted to build a house “for the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel,” (verse 7) but he was not permitted to do so. Solomon, typical of Yahshua (i.e. Jesus) the greater son of David, built “the house for the Name of Yahweh, God of Israel.” (verse 10) Yahshua is yet to establish the future House of Prayer for all nations. It is interesting to note the number of times that the statement that Solomon’s temple was a house for “the Name of Yahweh, God of Israel,” occurs in this prayer.
Solomon “kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands towards heaven.” (verse 13) Solomon knelt. He showed the people of Israel his reverence towards the God of Israel. Despite all his power and earthly glory, Solomon showed that he was not too proud to humble himself before the God of Israel.
In his prayer, Solomon firstly acknowledges Yahweh’s great power saying, “There is no God like thee in the heaven nor in the earth.” (v. 14) He speaks of the great promises to David and the fathers of Israel. (v. 15-16) He then appeals to Yahweh asking that “thy word be verified.”(v. 17) He mentions that God dwells among men (v. 18) which was through His prophets, angels and the greatest example was Immanuel (El with us), the Messiah.
Solomon makes a plea that his prayer will be heard. “O Yahweh my God … hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee… unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.” (v. 19-29) This plea is repeated in verse 21 and he also requests that Yahweh “ “forgive”. After speaking of transgression, sins against others, of oppressors and oppression, Solomon requests that Yahweh will hear when they “make supplication before thee in (Strongs gives ‘towards’) this house. (v. 24) Notice that in this verse and in some following verses “in this house” is also rendered “towards this house.”
When there is no rain, Solomon asks that “if they pray toward this place, and confess thy Name … then hear thou from heaven and forgive.” (v.26) A similar appeal is made if there are more personal needs (v. 28-29). “Spread forth hands in (or towards) this house.”
In 2 Chron, 6:36-38 Solomon says that if their enemies “carry them away captives into a land far off or near… if they …turn unto thee in the land of their captivity … if they return unto thee with all their heart…and pray toward their land…then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications.” This makes it obvious that they would pray towards the temple and not in the temple.
In verse 32, “the stranger which is not of thy people” is mentioned. “If they come and pray in/towards this house, then hear thou from the heavens… that all the people of the earth may know thy name and fear thee … and know that this house which I have built is called by thy Name.” Is that not us, the people called out for the name?(see Acts 15:14) Is it not the faithful followers of the Messiah who look to the time when he returns to this earth to establish the Kingdom of God on earth and when the greater House of Prayer for all nations will be built in Jerusalem?
Eight times in his prayer, Solomon teaches the people that when they are in trouble they are to turn and pray towards the house of the God of Israel, towards Jerusalem, to the place where the God of Israel said He would put His Name.
The prayer closes (v. 42) with allusions to the promise of the Kingdom, which is mankind’s only hope. When the people of Israel saw the “glory of Yahweh” fill the house, “they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped and praised Yahweh.” (2 Chron. 7: 1-3) When the glory of Yaahweh filled the house what greater evidence could there have been that Solomon’s prayer had been heard and accepted. Solomon was assured by Yahweh that ,“Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place (Heb. Prayer of this place)…mine eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually,” said Yahweh.( 2Chron. 7: 15-16) Note here the word ‘perpetually’ and what it means to the faithful of all generations.
Was this an idiosyncrasy of Solomon? Was Solomon the only one who prayed kneeling towards Jerusalem? He certainly gave this advice to the nation of Israel at the dedication of the temple and to all others who seek Yahweh.
Pause and consider some of the other faithful servants of Yahweh.