“Now, O my God, I pray Thee, let Thine eyes be open, and Thine ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. Now therefore arise, O LORD God, to Thy resting place, Thou and the ark of Thy might; let Thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let Thy godly ones rejoice in what is good. O LORD God, do not turn away the face of Thine anointed; remember Thy lovingkindness to Thy servant David.” ~Second Chronicles 6:40-42
There’s so much I could say about Solomon’s prayer—and quite a lot I have already said.
We’ve discussed how the praise we give to God leads to humility, and humility to desperation—one of the traits our Father loves most about a sincere prayer.
We’ve discussed the importance of intercession and who Solomon interceded for.
We’ve discussed the nuances between the mission God gave to those of the Old Testament and those of the New, standing in awe of just how good, sovereign, and all-seeing our God is.
Yet in the midst of all that discussion, I have skimmed over something, one of the vital organs of the body of Christ.
I am talking about the boldness of faith.
Look again at the passage above, at the breadth and depth of Solomon’s concluding requests to God. Then think of how your prayers sound in comparison. “Let Thine eyes be open.” “O LORD God, do not turn away the face of Thine anointed.” “Remember Thy lovingkindness to Thy servant David.”
I think that the tendency of the modern Christian is to believe that such bold requests are wrong. We are continually ensnared in the deceptive thought of being too lowly to think ourselves worthy of asking God to do something for us. Yet we do not realize that although our thinking is, in a sense, valid, we have also been called God’s children and friends.
The reason Solomon’s prayer is so powerful is because he was close to God. At this point in his walk, he was not trapped in faux humility. He was not like us, who say in our hearts, “O Lord, I cannot request anything of you—I am a wretched sinner,” only to conceal our desire to restrain our fears, our requests, and in doing so, our consent to being in God’s will.
What’s different about Solomon is that he continually sought to align his desires with God’s, and because of that, he was fully confident to ask his Lord anything. He did not focus on the inadequacy of himself; he looked only on the blessed “sufficiency of Christ” (a phrase I borrowed from Tozer). “Christ is enough,” he said, “and therefore I shall not be afraid.”
In the midst of his desperation, of his intercession, of his humility, Solomon had a heart of faithfulness, of love, and of sincerity. And as the incense of faithful prayer arose to God’s dwelling, God heard the cry of His child.
“Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. And all the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the LORD, saying, ‘Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.'” ~Second Chronicles 7:1-3
Brethren and sisters, may your prayers be just as faithful. Let your faith overwhelm your fear and troubles. May those who see you see Him and praise His eternal goodness.
January 20, 2018
Note: All Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible, NASB.