January 19, 2020, 1 Kings 8:22-30, 52-53 – ISSL Reflection

We come to the third of our four weeks with Solomon at the dedication of the Temple. With this week’s reading we hear Solomon pray.

What follows is a portion of his prayer. Take some time to enter a spirit of prayer before you read over Solomon’s prayer. Take time to read his prayer slowly and with patience so you can sense Solomon’s spirit as the words are offered “before the altar of the Lord.

1 Kings 8:22-30, 52-53 (New Revised Standard Version)

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart, the covenant that you kept for your servant my father David as you declared to him; you promised with your mouth and have this day fulfilled with your hand. Therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children look to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ Therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you promised to your servant my father David.

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today; that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling place; heed and forgive.

Let your eyes be open to the plea of your servant, and to the plea of your people Israel, listening to them whenever they call to you. For you have separated them from among all the peoples of the earth, to be your heritage, just as you promised through Moses, your servant, when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, O Lord God.”

Notice the spirit with which begins the prayer.

How would you characterize his spirit?

Notice also the different things he prays about/for.

Do you see where he prays for himself, for the people, about the path they traveled with God,for their relationship to God, and even for their future with God.

What have I missed that stands out to you in his prayer?

How like or unlike does this seem to your prayers? We wouldn’t expect our prayers to be exactly the same since the occasion is different, but is it too much to expect some similarities?

Spend some time with Solomon in prayer and we’ll talk more later,

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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