Summary: Prayer Warriors, Part Two: Solomon’s Prayer
THY WILL BE DONE (1 KINGS 8:22-54)
One time my wife asked me for a special treat did not turn out the way she planned. She vacillated between a mango cake and the right to use the special treat for another occasion, but before the week was up, she called me on a rainy day to take her and her nephew to the DMV to take his written test. She had rather use her special treat than to drive in the wet conditions. The two of them disappeared into the DMV office while I did work on my laptop in the van.
After more than an hour, I checked on them when my work was done. My wife explained that registering for the test took an hour and that the test had just started. Half an hour later, my wife returned to the van and said that her nephew had failed the first test by one question and was sitting for the second one immediately. After another half an hour he returned with a similar result, missing seven questions. He made a test reservation the next available day, which he passed in 15 minutes.
After the test, we sat down glumly in a Chinese restaurant, gulped down the food, and rushed home for a quick rest before heading to prayer meeting. When my wife and I were alone, she moaned: “I have used up my special treat! I have no more special treat.” I said to her, “It’s OK, that doesn’t count. I’ll return the special treat to you.” Until now, I’m not sure if she had used it.
People love to ask favors. The questions “Can you do me a favor?” and “Would you do me a favor?” are often heard among friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. Adding the word “special” to it – “Can or would you do me a special favor?” - means that more pressure is on the one being asked than the one asking. Sometimes people ask nicely, “Please do me a favor.” Often, they simply say, “Do me a favor.” It is common, sociable, and instinctive to do so nowadays.
Solomon, possibly the wisest person in history, was never shy or short of words, but when he had finally finished building the temple in Jerusalem, he never asked God for a favor or treated God like a favor bank. Words like “I need a favor” or “You owe me a favor” or “I have a favor to ask” never passed his lips. Sure, Solomon used the Hebrew word “hear” 14 times (1 Kings 8:28, 29, 30, 30, 30, 32, 34, 36, 39, 42, 43, 45, 49, 52), but he did not ask God for something outside His will - for things that are nonsense, far-fetched, or irresponsible.
God is Faithful to the Family
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven 23 and said: “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below-you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 24 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it-as it is today. 25 “Now LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ’You shall never fail to have a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me as you have done.’ 26 And now, O God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true.
Two buckets met at a well one day. One bucket had a big smile on its face. The other had a big frown. “Why are you frowning?” asked the happy bucket. “Oh, no matter how full I am when I leave the well, I always return empty,” complained the sad bucket.
“And why are you always smiling?” asked the sad bucket. “No matter how empty I am when I come to the well, I always leave full.”
It’s been said, “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get.” (H. Jackson Brown)
People spend more time in their prayers asking God for what they wish to have than thanking God for what they have. We want countless things, increasing wealth, the whole world on a platter, but prayer is not coveting material possessions or currying God’s favors; it is claiming God’s promises and counting your blessings.
Solomon’s gratitude to the Lord, God of Israel, in his prayer was a step in the right direction. He never presumed that he was godly, talented, or deserving. He acknowledged that he hopped onto his father’s bandwagon and rode on his father’s coattails, rather than on his own merit or worthiness. God showed love, or Hebrew’s “loving-kindness,” to him because his father followed the Lord wholeheartedly (v 23). Just to claim what God had promised his father was enough for Solomon and rightful before God.