Prayer Essentials 1

Verses 1 King 8:27-30, 38-39

The instructions in The Essentials of Effective Prayer workbook for the next section were to read the 1 King verses, marking out references to Solomon, including the phrase “your servant”, as well as marking reference to “prayer”, including synonyms like “cry” or “spreading his hands”.

Some insights from this passage for me include noticing how often he’s simply asking that the Lord acknowledge prayer: “Have regard…listen…listen”. Multiple times, Solomon asks the Lord to hear when he cries to Him and to hear His people when they pray to Him.

The next insight is that following upon his request to be heard is the request for the Lord to forgive sin. I went ahead and read passages 31 – 37 even though they weren’t in this exercise, and the whole passage is regarding asking the Lord to forgive sins when the people acknowledge their sin to Him in prayer, crying out to Him after suffering the consequences of their sin.

In the hopes of learning to pray more biblically, I’m thinking of how these insights may be turned into obedience. Three practical things come to mind – avoiding presumption, confession of personal sins, and acknowledging the sins of my country and its leaders.

Solomon humbly asks that God will consider the cries of His people. This portion of Scripture is describing Solomon praying before the people after the temple was built. While he is king, he is showing humility before God and before his subjects. The corresponding passage in 2 Chronicles 6 includes how he got onto a platform and knelt on it while praying. It is good to remember that while we are able to come to God in prayer, by the merits of Christ, that we should remember that we come to a King and that we keep a reverent, humble spirit.

Two, I’m reminded of keeping confession of sin in my prayers. I certainly do confess sin, but I’m sitting here thinking of how often I’ll pray, asking for needs and wants, without ever stopping to consider my offenses towards God or others. It makes me thinks of the prayer help acronym of A.C.T.S that suggests always including in our prayers Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.

Jesus taught us this in what we call the “Lord’s Prayer” (See Matthew 6:12), reminding us to confess our sins to God.

Also, when I consider this prayer of Solomon, I see that he’s praying on behalf of the people, and the overriding request is for forgiveness of sins. He also acknowledges real consequences that may come because of those sins, such as defeat in war, lack of rain, and famine.

This mention of God bringing discipline for sin makes me think of how praying for my own country, including its leaders, should include acknowledging that God would be right in striking us down because of our many sins. How merciful and patient God is! I can’t help but think that many of our current woes (abortion, lawlessness not being punished in some areas, steps to deal with discrimination resulting in further discrimination, the celebration of young people believing the lie of transgenderism, etc.) are not just due to sinners being sinners, but rather are the results of God’s anger at His people’s disobedience. We have allowed the scourge of baby murder to continue so long and while I read of a lot social media posts and online articles decrying transgenderism, I wonder where are the men to stand up for the weak and the young?

Enough writing for now. It is time to pray.

Oh, Lord, please hear our prayer of confession and our supplications for respective nations!


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