We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

(Tuesday, 10-23-07) Prayer 17 - Solomon's Prayer to Dedicate the Temple

Read first:
Kings 8:22-61

One of Solomon’s first major feats was the construction of the Temple in Jerusalem as a place for worship of the God of Israel. The task was enormous, involving much planning and many workers. A work force of 30,000 was employed in cutting timber from the cedars of Lebanon. Also working on this massive project were 80,000 cutters of stone in the quarries of Jerusalem, 70,000 ordinary workers, and many superintendents. Gold, silver, and other precious metals were imported from other lands. Hiram, king of Tyre, sent architects and other craftsmen to assist with the project. The building was completed after seven years. The Temple was famous not for its size—since it was relatively small—but for the quality of its elaborate workmanship (1 Kings 6–7)
From Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary

What Can We Learn?
1. There is no other God like the one to whom Solomon prayed.
2. Solomon knew him as a covenant– keeping God.
3. Solomon requested that God be faithful to his promise about the kingdom.
4. God cannot be contained in a building, not even the temple.
5. Solomon asked God to let his name dwell in the temple and to hear the prayers directed toward it.
6. Note the specific list of reasons why people might pray. For all, Solomon asked that God hear and respond.
7. It is notable that even non-Jews were included, that they might also pray to God and be heard.
8. Note Solomon’s posture in prayer in 8:54.
9. God heard Solomon’s prayer, but also gave a warning about how to maintain all that the temple stood for (1 Kings 9:1-9).

Questions to Ponder
1. The temple is specifically called a “house of prayer” in the following verses: Isa. 56:7; Mt. 21:13; Mk . 11:17; and Lk. 19:46. How did Solomon’s prayer help to establish this identifiable purpose for the temple?
2. In the three NT passages listed above, Jesus condemned those who turned the temple into a robber’s den. What had they done to change it from the “house of prayer” it was supposed to be?
3. 1 Cor 3:16 and 6:19 says that both the individual Christian and the church as a whole is a “temple” of the Holy Spirit. What implications does this have with regard to prayer?
4. What was Solomon’s temple meant to represent, whether one actually entered it to pray, or merely faced toward it from a distance to pray?
5. If prayer was a central and foundational purpose behind the Old Testament temple, what place do you think prayer should have among Christians?

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