Solomon’s Prayer

Open Your Bible

1 Kings 8:1-66, 1 Kings 9:1-28, Exodus 25:10-22

Our house is a wreck. At the moment, each piece of furniture we own resides in the middle of its designated room, covered in plastic wrap. The master bathroom is halfway through a renovation, which means that it currently looks worse than it did before the hammer first fell. A crew of painters came last week and rolled our walls white. There are a few unfinished places: a patch in the living room, a circle around the dining room chandelier. Yesterday, our contractor went to open a box containing two porcelain sinks for the bathroom, and as soon as he touched the box, the contents inside clinked and scratched like a windchime. We knew they were broken. He laughed and wiped his nose. I, on the other hand, said some things I’m not so proud of.

Construction is not easy. But through it all, I’ve held onto the hope of what’s to come: a restful, fresh retreat for our family to enjoy for years to come. A place to connect with the people I love, where I will leave renewed to face the trials of the world. When it’s finished—God, please let them finish—I will be the first to sing, “Hallelujah!”

That’s what’s happening in today’s reading of 1 Kings on a far grander, more historic scale. King David dreamed of building a temple worthy of God’s glory—but God reserved the joy of building that temple for his son Solomon. Temple construction had ended, but Solomon knew the job wasn’t complete until the ark of the covenant resided inside. For context, keep in mind that, years earlier, when the Israelites moved the ark, someone died (2 Samuel 6). This was no laughing matter. And though Solomon threw an epic celebration to welcome the ark, no doubt the people trembled with fear and as it was moved into its rightful home.

It’s interesting to me that Solomon’s prayer of dedication addresses a list of worst-case-scenarios: When we are defeated. When there is a drought. When there is famine. If his prayer tells us anything, it’s that the temple wasn’t a magical place to avoid the pain of the world. It was a sacred place to be with God in the midst of that sorrow. He prays that God will forgive, save, and redeem His people, even in the midst of every possible catastrophe. Solomon’s prayer ends with a reminder of why they built the temple in the first place: so that “all the peoples of the earth would know that the LORD is God. There is no other!” (1 Kings 8:60). All this work was to remind the world of the truth: God wants to be with his people.

And he wants to be with us too. So much so, that He didn’t stop moving toward us after Solomon built his temple. Several hundred years later, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. When He began His teaching ministry, Jesus shared radically great news—a time was coming when we wouldn’t have to go to a particular place to commune with God (John 4:21, 23). Because of Jesus’s work on the cross, God can commune with us always, without the barrier of a building. By God’s Spirit, we are welcome to be present in the holy of holies, near to God, sharing in Jesus’s glory right this second.

How do we know this is true? In His final prayer before He was betrayed and crucified, Jesus asks God the Father to be as near to us as He was to Jesus. Jesus asks for God to do a construction project in our hearts. He prays for us, saying, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:26).

Even Solomon’s temple in all of its splendor wasn’t as remarkable as the temple that God occupies in the center of our spirit. God is where He wants to be: with us.

(15) Comments

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15 thoughts on "Solomon’s Prayer"

  1. Pam Stayer says:

    Blown away by Gods love for us, for me!!

  2. Angela Greenwood says:

    It’s beautiful to know that God resides in me. I am his temple. Praise God that He loves me.

  3. Sara Brandow says:

    Such a perfect reading for all that is going on in the world right now! Praise Jesus!

  4. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love that God has made his temple in my heart!

  5. Jenny Lee says:

    Also sitting in the midst of renovations and reveling in these words and His presence as I am reminded His temple is not only in us but is unshakeable and a rock.

  6. Janet C says:

    “Even Solomon’s temple in all its glory wasn’t as remarkable as the temple that occupies the center of our spirit. God is where he wants to be, with us.” This statement touched me in a beautiful humbling way this morning. After reading Solomon’s prayer, the 20 years it took to build the temple, the magnificence of this temple, that is no longer there YET, God is still present, where he wants to be…., with us, with me.

  7. Bessie H says:

    I too am sitting on a plastic covered chair, resting on plywood in the midst of a renovation. Dust covers everything. Yet, like Angie, this is the chair where I sit with my Lord every morning for our special time. As you said, Angie, it is like being held and loved. I picture Jesus literally holding me in the palm of His hand and covering me with the other. It doesn’t matter what the room looks like or how much dust it contains. He is here with me ‘and the joy we share as we tarry there….’.

  8. Ashley White says:


  9. Kara says:

    We are more valuable to Him than all of the gold and jewels in the world. He could choose to dwell in magnificent palaces, but we are even more precious.

    What am I doing today to prepare my dwelling place for Him? Do I sweep the floors? Light a candle so things smell nice? Or do I leave everything in chaos and just collapse in His arms when He arrives (and that is ok!)?

    Thank you Lord for choosing me as your dwelling place. May I honor you with the warmth, love, and joy in my home, as well as still inviting you in when it’s a mess as well.

  10. Kelly Chataine says:

    The glory of the LORD filled the temple . . .
    Blessed be the Lord God of Israel!
    He spoke directly to my father David,
    and he has fulfilled the promise by his power.

    Ah, the mercy seat! Praise God for the mercy seat, for His mercy!

    So much in today’s scriptures!

  11. Churchmouse says:

    Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father. The Holy Spirit resides in us. If we lived when Jesus did we would only be in His presence if He was physically in front of us. If He walked to another town, He would no longer be with us. He would be there. Once He transcended to heaven, He was gone from the earth. He even said it would be better for us for Him to leave. His departure made way for the Holy Spirit to enter each believer – Jesus now indwelling us so that we are always in His presence. We are now never without Him. He fulfilled His promise to never leave us nor forsake us. We know God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one and yet distinct persons. It is a mystery that is hard for the mind to fathom. The Holy Spirit is not a lesser God. He fully dwells within us with resurrection power and He reveals all Truth to us. He is our Counselor and Intercessor. He is our Helper and Advocate. All that God the Father is and all that Jesus is, the Holy Spirit is also. And He lives in us! It is indeed mind – boggling. What love the Father has for us! We are now His temple. Solomon celebrated the completion of the Temple and the housing of the arc of the covenant. Let us celebrate the housing of God in each of us.

    1. MsAmy Vann* says:

      So apt.


  12. Angie says:

    Cassie, you are in my prayers. Another lovely young woman, whom I would consider a friend goes through similar struggles. I also remember those struggles as a young working mom. Hold on to Jesus. He is your peace and rest.

    Debrn, you are also in my prayers. Cancer, cancer, death, and a wedding – may God use these experiences in your life and the lives of those close to you close.

    May you be saturated in His love

  13. Angie says:

    A favorite part of each morning is when I set my alarm for 10-15 minutes and literally curl up in one specific chair.
    I picture myself walking into the arms of Jesus, held by him as I would hold my grandchild, and I rest.
    God is holy and almighty and I bow before him in worship and adoration.
    And yet, Jesus made a way for us to draw near to Him.
    I am grateful for His mercy and grace.
    I am awed by His love.
    He is God, and there is no other.

  14. Kristen says:

    May I always be amazed that the lengths God went to to save us, Jesus” life, excruciating death, and triumphant, glorious Resurrection, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the ability to communicate with The Lord of the universe. I’m definitely not worthy, and I know it is only by His Grace and Mercy. May I always be in awe of this.
    Over on the First 5 app from Proverbs 31 ministries they are doing a study on Isaiah. Today’s devotional talked about the seriousness of sin. It’s not something I want to always think about, but it is a good thing to do. If you are interested in studying Isaiah, and don’t have the app, you can go to