And when they pray toward this Temple, then hear from heaven where you live, and grant what they ask of you. In this way, all the people of the earth will come to know and fear you, just as your own people Israel do. – 1 Kings 9:42-43
Solomon completed the construction of the Temple and dedicated it to the Lord with all Israel present in Jerusalem. When he dedicated the Temple, he made a long prayer to the LORD asking him to bless it and to remember his people and to forgive their sins, when they prayed to heaven. In that prayer, he noted that even those outside Israel would come to know him and would pray to the Lord. Solomon asked God to grant their requests, too, so that the entire world would come to know and revere the Lord as did Israel.
Here’s where I scratch my head in wonder because Israel just didn’t get it! The Jews to this day still don’t get it. They think that God is all to themselves, as they’ve believed for thousands of years now. However, we clearly see that even Solomon, who lost his way over the course of his life and abandoned the God of his father, knew that one day in the future that non-Jews would come to know the LORD and revere him as the One, True God! In spite of all this though, Solomon captured the one thing that would cause non-Jews to come to know and revere God – prayer! Yes, prayer! Isn’t it interesting that the wisest man in history, outside of Jesus, understood that the way to God’s heart, so to speak, was through dialogue (a.k.a., prayer) with our Creator!
Prayer isn’t some big to-do with our heads bowed, knees bent, hands raised event where we recite liturgy or perform rituals to attract attention from God to ourselves. Not to say that we can’t pray in these manners, but, really, prayer is nothing more than you and I talking with our heavenly Father, our heavenly brother, and our heavenly advisor. If we were to search the scriptures, we’d find that the will of God in Jesus regarding us includes praying without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17). If we’d dig a little deeper, we’d find that prayer isn’t a request from God but a command actually. Nowhere in the whole of the Bible do we find God asking us to pray. He says, “when you stand praying,” “The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. (1 Peter 4:7). Prayer is that heart of everything we do!
Father, thank you for showing us the secret of reaching your heart and the essence of what and how you communicate with us. Prayer takes us directly before your throne in the most holy of holies in heaven where we can present our petitions and make known our requests to you. We can pray to you in our native language or another language that your Spirit allows us to speak. There is no limit to prayer; it is our path of communication to and with you. Help me to be in constant prayer/dialogue with you. I want to know your heart as much as you know my heart. I cannot know you even in prayer unless I spend the time with you, intimate time. May we grow closer than a married couple. Your will be done, not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.