What do you pray when you have the opportunity to lead the entire nation in prayer?
This happened for Solomon as he came to dedicate the new temple (1 Kings 8). What did he pray?
After a few sentences of praise to God for being a covenant-keeping God who is always full of faithfulness and lovingkindness, he began to make his request.
And here is the primary substance of his prayer: “Lord, when we pray in this place, please hear and answer!”
Eleven times in the next twenty-four verses, Solomon said, “Lord, when we [are in this situation or condition] and we pray and make supplication to You in this house, then hear in heaven [and answer our prayer].” He prayed that the people would pray, and he prayed that God would hear and answer.
- “Listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You” (v. 28).
- “Listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place” (v. 29).
- “Listen to the supplication” (v. 30).
- “If they turn to You again … and make supplication to You in this house, then hear in heaven” (v. 33).
- “When the heavens are shut up … and they pray toward this place … then hear in heaven” (vv. 35-36).
- “Whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or by all your people Israel … spreading his hands toward this house, then hear” (vv. 38-39).
- “When he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do” (vv. 42-43).
- “[When] they pray to the Lord … then hear” (vv. 44-45).
- “If they … repent and make supplication to You … and pray to You … then hear their prayer … and maintain their cause” (vv. 47-49).
Solomon prayed about their prayers! He asked God to help them make this house a house of prayer.
If we had the wisdom of Solomon, we would think about the largest, most important request at such moments of prayer. And we would realize that, if we are connected to God in prayer, and if God is hearing and answering our prayers, we will have all we need, and God will have all He desires of us.
But this means that the house of God must be a HOUSE OF PRAYER.
Why would we not join Solomon in such a prayer right now? That every church across the land—and our church in particular—would be a place where the people are connected to God in unceasing prayer, and that God would hear and answer our requests!
Oh, that this, His house, as Jesus said, would become a house of prayer for all nations!