In the Books of 1 and 2 Kings, there are many examples of prayer and humility. Solomon, in 1 Kings 8:22-53, is a great example of humbling yourself before God in prayer. Here we see Solomon is grateful for having completed the Temple which he had built for God. Looking at his prayer, we can see a great outline of how to pray with humility to God that His will be done. Solomon also shows how God is unique in nature and that there is no other God like him. This is his claim that God stands alone as the one true God of Israel and beyond. Paul would reference that God is indeed one God and Father of all (Ephesians 4:6).
Solomon, at the beginning of this prayer, lifts up his hands to heaven and shows that God deserves all reverence and honor(1 Kings 8:22). He continues and gives honor to the Lord and exalts His name (1 Kings 8:23). Solomon displays his humbleness as he acknowledges the omnipresence of God and how God is everywhere. Then Solomon recognizes that he is nothing, and the Temple which he built for God cannot contain God (1 Kings 8:27). Paul also knew this truth: God does not dwell in temples built with hands (Acts 17:27).
Continuing with his progression of exaltation to the living God, Solomon speaks of Heaven as the dwelling place of God. He asks God with humility that He would hear all the oaths that are offered to Him before the altar (1 Kings 8:32). He shows us how God is in charge of earthly possessions. Solomon asks God to return the land to the people if it was taken in Battle. Note that the condition for repossessing the land was repentance on their part. The acknowledgement of sin is a true sign of humility before God (1 Kings 8:33).He continues on from verses 34-43 showing God that He is powerful and showing humility towards God asking Him to hear the prayers of the people and rid them from all famines in the land. Solomon, in his prayer, speaks and petitions to God who is in heaven. In the New Testament, we get a great view of the glory of heaven in Revelation 4, 5. We can be sure that Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, was correct in perceiving that God dwells in heaven. In Matthew 6:9, we have confirmation from the Son of God which says “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be your name.”
In 1 Kings 8:39 we see that God knows all, which is a claim to the omniscience of God. We know that God is the One that sees in private and Solomon knew the same. It is written in Matthew 10:30, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered”, therefore God truly knows everything about us. Paul, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to bring truth to all men, said in 1 Corinthians 4:5, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.” Solomon knew the same truth in that God knows all and that one day we will all be judged by Him. Solomon, knowing this, shows fear and humility concerning the omniscience of God.
To be continued next week.