Read 1 kings 3
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Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 The people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.
3 Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. 4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 6 And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
15 And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
Thoughts to consider
As we saw yesterday, it’s not just a question of coming to God with a big list of requests like He was Santa Claus. God loves to lavish good gifts on his children but they should always be asked for with the right motives and with the aim of glorifying Him.
Today we see a great example of the sort of prayer we should be praying.
- First thing to notice is that it came out of a heart of love. It says that Solomon ‘loved the lord, walking in the statutes of David his father’ (verse 3) Loving God is paramount when we pray. We are seeking the giver as well as the gifts that He gives. Our priority in prayer is to magnify the one we love, it’s all about Him.
- Second thing to notice is that it was a humble prayer. Solomon thanked God for giving him this kingly position but admitted that he didn’t know what he was doing. God doesn’t mind us admitting we are weak and unable for the task, He knows that already. He can start working with us much more effectively when we admit it too.
- Thirdly, Solomon was concerned for God’s people. Any prayers about the church and help to build it will always get God’s ear. He is passionate about His church and He loves it when we are concerned for it too.
- Lastly, When we pray for God’s will and not our own, He will often look after us anyway. It’s in His nature to do that, He is no mans debtor. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6 v 33)
- It’s never a bad idea to ask for wisdom, it keeps us humble and means we are relying on God’s strength and not our own.
Father, I thank you that when my prayers are focussed on you and your kingdom you are passionately behind them. I pray for your church today, that it will be strong and influential, spreading your name all over the place. I pray for its leaders that they will govern well and I pray for the rest of us that we would all humbly play our part. I ask you to give me wisdom today in everything I do and every decision I have to make. I ask all this in Jesus’ name, amen.