Lent Devotional: 1 Kings 8:22-26
by Jonathan Haefs
1 Kings 8:22-26
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven, and said, “O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart; you have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day. Now therefore, O LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ Now therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David my father.”
What do you pray for?
If I am honest, I know that most of my prayers have little to do with the will of God. Typically, I use my time in prayer to express my will to the Lord and try to convince him to get on board with all my plans and desires.
While it is extremely important to be honest before the Lord and pour out the contents of our hearts, that doesn’t capture the full picture of prayer in Scripture… and it almost always misses the ultimate goal of prayer.
Solomon’s prayer of dedication serves as a great example of what lies at the heart of prayer… namely God, not us.
Solomon gives praise to the Lord for who he is, especially for his faithfulness to keep his promises. Through recalling God’s past faithfulness, Solomon’s present faith is roused to make requests about the future.
And what are those requests?
“…keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him…” Keep on keeping your word! Keep on doing your will for the glory of your name and empower me to be a part of that! The ultimate desire of Solomon’s heart is for God’s name to be hallowed through the doing of his will! That sounds an awful lot like how Jesus taught us to pray doesn’t it?
In prayer, we are honest with the Lord and express the desires of our heart… but we also express our ultimate desire… for his will to be done for his glory. This is how Jesus prayed in the most difficult moment of his life. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
What is the deepest desire of our hearts? Our glory or God’s? Whatever it is will be revealed by the ultimate aim of our prayers. May we pray for the hallowing of our Father’s name! That is our deepest desire. That is our deepest joy!