Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 8

Solomon leads Israel’s people in prayer

1 Kings 8:22-25

At the ceremony to hand over the temple (God’s house in Jerusalem) to God, King Solomon led Israel’s people in prayer. There is a further account of his prayer on this occasion in 2 Chronicles chapter 6.

The place where Solomon prayed this prayer was in front of the altar. The altar was the place where the priests burned sacrifices (the animals that they offered to God). The entrance to the temple building was behind the altar. In front of it was the great outer court or yard where the people had gathered.

Solomon first raised his hands as an expression of prayer (Exodus 17:8-16). In other words, that action expressed the thought that, by his prayer, Solomon was offering himself to God (Psalm 141:2). Then, during the prayer, Solomon knelt (8:54) to express his humble attitudes in front of God. He was Israel’s king, but he described himself as God’s servant (8:52).

Solomon declared that God is the only real God, the ruler of heaven and earth. However, this same God chose to be the God of Israel, who in great love has established a relationship with his people. Therefore, his people gladly carry out their duty to love him with all their hearts (Deuteronomy 6:5; Mark 12:28-34).

David truly loved God (Psalm 18:1) and God made some wonderful promises to him. God promised that David’s own son would build the temple (2 Samuel 7:13) – and now it had happened. So, Solomon prayed that God would continue to carry out his promises about the future of David’s family (2 Samuel 7:12-16).

Next part: There is no limit to God's power to answer prayer (1 Kings 8:26-30)


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