“And may these words of mine which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. But your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.” 1 Kings 8:59-61 (NIV)
Solomon has completed construction of the temple and is dedicating it to the Lord. It is a joyous occasion. A two-week celebration.
I’ve never read 1 Kings 8 before. I wondered what I would find. And as I sit down to think about its content to choose just one verse, so many things pop out at me: God’s fulfillment of promises, praise to Him for being the one true God, the pleas of His people to hear them and forgive them when they sin, and their need for direction for His purpose. All I can think is: Yeah, me too. All of it.
As I approach the chapter again, I look down and see this verse waiting patiently for me. I read it and savor it. How rich and intimate. May these words that I have prayed … be near the Lord our God day and night. To know my own prayers reach his ears leaves me in awe. That he may uphold the cause of his servant … and people … according to each day’s need. He is my provider on a daily basis, whether it is food, clothing or the right words. Only I can take credit for the wrong ones. So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. My testimony and outreach. Lord that you would give me the words to say and the ability to speak humbly and from my heart. But your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord our God … I do love you so very much … to live by his decrees and obey his commands … I’m getting better at this, at least getting better at hearing Your voice in me.
Lord, my heart is full of thanks that you keep your promises, that you hear me and forgive my sin, and that you are the one true God. I pray for direction in my life for your purpose. I pray that I would see opportunities to share your love, and that you would give me the words to say to suit the occasion. Amen