1 Kings 8 tells the story of bringing the Ark of Covenant to the Temple. King Solomon had called for the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes, and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to make the move. The earlier verses of chapter 8 tell the story of the transition. Our study today will consider the prayer of Solomon after the arrival of the ark. He had said a prayer of blessing and then he prayed for some specific things. Note the things of his prayer starting in verse 30:
Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.
1. If your people wrong their neighbor, let the issue be settled by you, God. You determine the guilt or innocence, bringing down the guilty and vindicating the innocent.
2. When your people are defeated by an enemy because they have sinned, and when they repent and give you praise, hear them from heaven and forgive their sin and bring them back to their land.
3. When the heavens produce no rain because your people have sinned, and they pray and turn back to you, hear them and forgive them. Teach them what is right and send rains on their land.
4. When famine or plague comes or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, or when an enemy besieges them , whatever disaster or disease may come, and they pray, aware of the afflictions of their hearts, hear them from heaven and forgive so they will fear you all the time they live in their land.
5. Even when a foreigner who is not of Israel hears your great name, and prays, hear them from your dwelling place and answer their prayer.
6. When your people go to war against their enemies, anywhere you send them, and when they pray to you, hear them from heaven and uphold their cause.
7. When your people sin and are handed over to their enemies and taken captive, and then have a change of heart and repent and pray to you, hear their prayer and uphold their cause. Forgive your people of their offenses against you and cause their captors to show them mercy.
8. May your eyes be open to your servant’s plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you. For you singled them out from all the nations of the world to be your own inheritance, just as you declared through your servant Moses when you, Sovereign Lord, brought our ancestors out of Egypt.
I hope you noticed in each point, when people find themselves separated from God and his ways, it calls for a change of heart, and change in direction, and a renewed devotion. What was true for the prayer of Solomon is true for the believer today. God longs for restoration. He sacrificed the blood of his Son, so you could be made right with him.