In 1 Kings 8 Solomon dedicates the temple to God. As he praises God for keeping his promise to David by allowing Solomon to build the temple, he asks God to make another promise. Solomon goes through every possible scenario of what could happen to the people of Israel, and asks God, “O Lord God, listen to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, “My name shall be there,” that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place.”
1 Kings 8:59-61 Solomon continues his request, asking God to promise that the words he has spoken, what he pleaded with the Lord, “be near to the Lord day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel as each day requires, that all the peoples of the earth will know that the Lord is God, there is no other.”
As I read these words from Solomon, it made me ask the question, “What kind of prayer does God answer?” So, I did a little study and here’s a few verses I came up with.
- 1 John 5:14-15 Prayer according to the will of God will be answered
- John 15:7-14 When we are abiding in Christ, the prayers we make will be answered.
- Mark 11:22-25 This is probably the most controversial passage on prayers that God will answer. Basically this passage teaches that prayers asked in faith will be answered. From moving mountains to whatever you ask, believing, it will be yours!
When you combine those 3 things, the prayers God will answer are by those who are living by faith, asking in faith, and praying according to faith (faith in God to keep His word, which is according to His will). Someone said, “Prayer is not to get man’s will done in heaven, but to get God’s will done on earth.”
So, all that to say, was Solomon’s prayer something that God would answer? Solomon was praying, not for his own will in heaven, but for God’s will to be done on earth, in the hearts of the people of Israel.
Incredibly, God actually answers Solomon in the next chapter. 1 Kings 9:3 “The Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your petition. I have set this temple apart to be holy-this place you have built where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.”
I long for that kind of boldness in my praying. I want to learn to live more by faith, ask more boldly in faith, and learn to pray according to faith in what God has said. May that be your desire too.