Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 8

Prayers during war

1 Kings 8:44-45

During most of Solomon’s rule, Israel had peaceful relations with the other nations. However, Solomon was still aware of the kinds of troubles that war can cause to a nation’s relationship with God.

So, a future king might lead the country’s army into a war abroad. It was very important that the army should only fight wars for a proper reason. It would be wrong, for example, to fight a war because of a selfish desire to gain wealth. So, it mattered very much that God should direct the army to fight that war. He might do it, for example, as an act of judgement against a very wicked nation (1 Samuel 15:1-3). All God’s judgements are right and proper, so clearly, it is right in that situation for the army to fight.

Even in that situation, the army must not become proud. They must not depend on their own strength, but upon God alone (Psalm 20:7). They must not allow themselves to think that success is certain. Instead, in that foreign country, they must turn towards God’s temple, his house in Jerusalem; and they must humbly pray for God’s help in their battles.

Solomon asked God to hear their prayers and to act powerfully on their behalf. They did not need to worry that they were far away from Jerusalem. God would hear their prayer wherever on earth they were. He is the God who rules both heaven and earth by his power. His actions on behalf of his people would show the honour that is due to him.

Next part: Even in a foreign nation, Israel's people could turn back to God (1 Kings 8:46-47)


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