Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 8

Continuous prayer

1 Kings 8:59

Sometimes it is right to pray a prayer only once, and sometimes we must pray many times (Luke 18:1-8).

We can pray only once, because God hears and remembers our prayers. It is as if he keeps those prayers near to him constantly. He does not sleep, and he does not forget his people in their troubles (Psalm 121). Solomon prayed his prayer (8:23-53) at the great ceremony to hand over to God his temple, the great house of God. He did not need to pray that prayer many times, because God would remember and act on that prayer.

However, we sometimes pray many times. That too can be right and proper, because we constantly need God’s help. It gives God honour when we depend on him, and not upon ourselves. So we should ask God for those things that we need each day (Matthew 6:11).

The temple was a place for constant prayer (Isaiah 56:7; see also Psalm 134:1). In its great outer court (yard), Israel’s people would gather both for private prayer, and for great public ceremonies. Even in their own homes, they would turn towards the temple to pray.

Solomon had described those frequent prayers in his own prayer, in 1 Kings 8:23-53. He had spoken about some of the situations where people would pray desperately for God’s help. However, God alone knew most of those situations (for example, 1 Samuel 1:1-20). God knows and cares about all his people’s troubles. He is not weak; he acts powerfully on their behalf.

Next part: One true God for all people (1 Kings 8:60)


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