All: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen
THE KING’S PRAYER
Scripture Reading & Reflection – 1 Kings 8:22-23, 41-43
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven, and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart…Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake, for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.
I have been in gospel ministry for many years. I cannot count the number of times I have heard someone say, “You know what this church needs? (fill in the blank).” But I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have heard anyone say, “What this church needs is more prayer.”
Prayer is one of the most counter-intuitive things that anyone can do. Prayer spans the gulf between the finite and the infinite; it is a connective link between two worlds—the eternal and the temporal.
Solomon’s prayer is a model prayer. It is an act of God-centered worship in spirit and truth. “Solomon makes intercession for the people asking that Yahweh would hear the prayers of the community” (Peter Leithart).
What makes this so interesting is that prayer was emphasized more than animal sacrifices. Solomon even knelt on a platform which was the same size and shape as the altar of sacrifice (cp 2 Chr 6:13; Exod 27:1). “Here we have a hint of the transition from Old to New Covenants, when the offering of animals is replaced by the sacrifices of the lips” (Leithart).
Solomon offered a sacrifice to God, but it was a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that confess the name of God in prayer. He spread out his hands toward heaven and prayed to Yahweh: “There is no God like Yahweh.”
The principles of King Solomon’s prayer are actually fulfilled in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. How?
(1) Jesus is the one true King whose prayers and petitions open up deep communion between God and his people. “Jesus is able to save completely those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Heb 7:25). Rest assured that Jesus is praying for you without ceasing.
(2) Jesus is the true and living temple, the one toward whom we look and pray. Jesus the temple was destroyed at the cross and rebuilt in three days at the resurrection. [His body the church is the temple of the Holy Spirit and all baptized Christians are shrines of the Spirit.] When we pray towards the true and living temple, to the person of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Spirit, the eyes of the Father see and the ears of the Father hear and the hands of the Father reach out and He answers us from heaven.
(3) Jesus is the one and only mediator between God and men. Prayer is a matter of first importance and all men everywhere should lift up holy hands in prayer—like Solomon—without anger or disputing. (1 Tim 2:1-5, 8). Why? God desires all kinds of people to be saved—high and low, Jew and non-Jew—therefore Jesus is the “go-between” for the church.
(4) Jesus is the object of our worship. “Therefore let us offer a sacrifice of praise to God, the fruit of lips that confess his name” (Heb. 13:15). Our worship, not just songs and hymns, but also prayers must be offered to God through Jesus Christ.
MC Prayers for our Muslim neighbors, and the sick, lonely, and needy of our church.
Prayer for God’s Protection through the Night following.
All: O Lord, we ask you in particular to continue your gracious protection to us this night. Defend us from all dangers and mischiefs, and from the fear of them; that we may enjoy such refreshing sleep as may fit us for the duties of the coming day. And grant us grace always to live in such a state that we may never be afraid to die; so that, living and dying, we may be yours, through the merits and satisfaction of your Son Christ Jesus, in whose Name we offer up our prayers. Amen.
Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise. May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers. May all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other. Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in the grace and truth of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Kings 8:56-61)