1 Kings 8; 2 Chronicles 5, 6
“Why should we pray? Why did Solomon pray? If we can gain some insight into why Solomon prayed, we might learn something about reasons to pray.
- Worship: He prayed first of all as an expression of worship. His heart was filled with appreciation to God for His grace and goodness. Prayer should be motivated by a desire to speak to our Father and to worship Him for all He is and all He has done. Any parent can testify to the joy it brings when a child, instead of coming to ask for something, comes with just the desire to bee with you (I know those are rare occasions!). What a pleasure it must bring to God when saints bow their knees with a desire to be in His presence and worship.
- Wonder: closely linked with, and inspiring worship, is wonder. Solomon was lost in wonder at the condescending grace of God as he considered that the great God of creation had deigned to take up His habitation with men (v 22-27). It is likely that everyone who is reading this page has at sometime, whether gazing on the beauty of nature, surveying the starry heavens, or inspecting the beauty of a butterfly, has turned from the Creator’s work to wonder at the grace which brought Him here below to a cross.
- Welfare: The remainder of Solomon’s prayer took the form of intercession. He is intensely concerned about the welfare of the people of God both presently and in the future. His prayer covers ares in which, because of human nature, the nation was prone to falter. Every shepherd knows what it is to pray “preventively” for believers. As weakness surfaces, as trials loom, and as choices have to be made, spiritual men and women take to their knees crying to God to preserve those so tried.
- Witness: The nation was called out of the Gentiles with the intention of their becoming a witness to the nations around of the character of God. Solomon envisions men coming looking for a place among the people of God (vv 41-43). He prays for what we, in our times, would call the prosperity of the gospel. We should be praying for the gospel throughout the world as well as locally in our own families and assemblies.” 1
1 – A. J. Higgins, Ritchie Character Study Series: Solomon, (Kilmarnock, Scotland: John Ritchie Publishing, 2017), 115-116.