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Solomon's prayer Print E-mail
By First Book of Kings   
Sunday, 02 February 2014

22 Then, in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, Solomon stood facing the altar of Yahweh and, stretching out his hands towards heaven,

23 said, ‘Yahweh, God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, as loyal to the covenant and faithful in love to your servants as long as they walk wholeheartedly in your way.
 
24 You have kept the promise you made to your servant, my father David, as you promised him you would. Today you have carried it out by your power.
 
25 And now, Yahweh, God of Israel, keep the promise which you made to your servant David when you said, “You will never lack for a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, provided that your sons are careful how they behave, walking before me as you yourself have done.”
 
26 So now, God of Israel, let the words come true which you spoke to your servant, my father David.
 
27 Yet will God really live with human beings on earth? Why, the heavens, the highest of the heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple built by me!
 
28 Even so, listen favourably to the prayer and entreaty of your servant, Yahweh my God; listen to the cry and to the prayer which your servant makes to you today:
 
29 day and night may your eyes watch over this temple, over this place of which you have said, “My name will be there.” Listen to the prayer which your servant offers in this place.
 
30 ‘Listen to the entreaty of your servant and of your people Israel; whenever they pray in this place, listen from the place where you reside in heaven; and when you hear, forgive.
 
31 ‘If someone has wronged his neighbour and a curse is laid on him to make him swear an oath here before your altar in this Temple,
 
32 then listen from the place where you reside in heaven and do justice between your servants: condemning the guilty one by making him suffer for his conduct, and acquitting the upright by rewarding him as his uprightness deserves.
 
33 ‘When your people Israel are defeated by the enemy because they have sinned against you, but then return to you and acknowledge your name, and pray and seek your favours in this Temple,
 
34 then listen from the place where you reside in heaven; forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the country which you gave to their ancestors.
 
35 ‘When the heavens are shut and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray in this place and praise your name and, having been humbled by you, desist from their sin,
 
36 then listen from the place where you reside in heaven and forgive the sin of your servant and your people Israel – for you are constantly showing them the good way which they must follow – and send rain on your country, which you have given to your people as their heritage.
 
37 ‘Should there be famine in the country, or pestilence, wind-blast or mildew, locust or caterpillar; should their enemy lay siege to one of their gates; should there be any plague or any disease:
 
38 whatever be the prayer or entreaty of any individual aware of a particular affliction: when that personstretches out the hands towards this Temple,
 
39 then listen from heaven where you reside; forgive and, since you know what is in the heart, deal with each as their conduct deserves –  for you alone know what is in every human heart-
 
40 so that they may reverence you throughout their lives in the country which you gave to our ancestors.
 
41 ‘Even the foreigner, not belonging to your people Israel but coming from a distant country, attracted by your name-
 
42 for they too will hear of your name, of your mighty hand and outstretched arm – if a foreigner comes and prays in this Temple,
 
43 listen from heaven where you reside, and grant all that the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may acknowledge your name and, like your people Israel, revere you and know that this Temple, which I have built, bears your name.
 
44 ‘If your people go out to war against the enemy, on whatever missions you send them, and they pray to Yahweh, turning towards the city which you have chosen and towards the Temple which I have built for your name,
 
45 then listen from heaven to their prayer and their entreaty, and uphold their cause.
 
46 ‘When they sin against you –  for there is no one who does not sin –  and you are angry with them and abandon them to the enemy, and their captors carry them off to a hostile country, be it far away or near,
 
47 if they come to their senses in the country to which they have been taken as captives and repent and entreat you in the country of their captors, saying, “We have sinned, we have acted perversely and wickedly,”
 
48 and turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the country of the enemies who have taken them captive, and pray to you, turning towards the country which you gave to their ancestors, towards the city which you have chosen and towards the Temple which I have built for your name,
 
49 listen to their prayer and their entreaty from the place where you reside in heaven, uphold their case,
 
50 forgive your people for having sinned against you and for all the crimes against you of which they have been guilty, and allow them to arouse the pity of their captors so that these may have pity on them:
 
51 for they are your people and your heritage whom you brought out of Egypt, that iron foundry!
 
52 ‘May your eyes be open to the entreaty of your servant and the entreaty of your people Israel, to listen to them, whatever they ask of you.
 
53 For you it was who set them apart from all the peoples of the earth to be your heritage, as you declared through your servant Moses when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, Lord Yahweh.’
 
54 When Solomon had finished offering to Yahweh this whole prayer and entreaty, he rose from where he was kneeling with hands stretched out towards heaven before the altar of Yahweh,
 
55 and stood upright. And in a loud voice he blessed the whole assembly of Israel.
 
56 ‘Blessed be Yahweh,’ he said, ‘who has granted rest to his people Israel, keeping all his promises. Of all the promises of good that he made through his servant Moses, not one has failed.
 
57 May Yahweh our God be with us, as he was with our ancestors; may he never desert us or cast us off.
 
58 May he turn our hearts towards him so that we may follow all his ways and keep the commandments and laws and ordinances which he gave to our ancestors.
 
59 May these words of mine, of my entreaty before Yahweh, be present with Yahweh our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of Israel his people, as each day requires,
 
60 so that all the peoples of the earth may come to know that Yahweh is God indeed and that there is no other.
 
61 May your hearts be wholly with Yahweh our God, following his laws and keeping his commandments as at this present day.’

 
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