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Solomon Prays for Israel

8:22 Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward the sky.30 8:23 He prayed:31 “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven above or on earth below! You maintain covenantal loyalty32 to your servants who obey you with sincerity.33 8:24 You have kept your word to your servant, my father David;34 this very day you have fulfilled what you promised.35 8:25 Now, O Lord, God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant, my father David, when you said, ‘You will never fail to have a successor ruling before me on the throne of Israel,36 provided that your descendants watch their step and serve me as you have done.’37 8:26 Now, O God of Israel, may the promise you made38 to your servant, my father David, be realized.39

8:27 “God does not really live on the earth!40 Look, if the sky and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this temple I have built! 8:28 But respond favorably to41 your servant’s prayer and his request for help, O Lord my God. Answer42 the desperate prayer43 your servant is presenting to you44 today. 8:29 Night and day may you watch over this temple, the place where you promised you would live.45 May you answer your servant’s prayer for this place.46 8:30 Respond to the request of your servant and your people Israel for this place.47 Hear from inside your heavenly dwelling place48 and respond favorably.49

8:31 “When someone is accused of sinning against his neighbor and the latter pronounces a curse on the alleged offender before your altar in this temple, be willing to forgive the accused if the accusation is false.50 8:32 Listen from heaven and make a just decision about your servants’ claims. Condemn the guilty party, declare the other innocent, and give both of them what they deserve.51

8:33 “The time will come when52 your people Israel are defeated by an enemy53 because they sinned against you. If they come back to you, renew their allegiance to you,54 and pray for your help55 in this temple, 8:34 then listen from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.

8:35 “The time will come when56 the skies are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people57 sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you,58 and turn away from their sin because you punish59 them, 8:36 then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Certainly60 you will then teach them the right way to live61 and send rain on your land that you have given your people to possess.62

8:37 “The time will come when the land suffers from a famine, a plague, blight and disease, or a locust63 invasion, or when their enemy lays siege to the cities of the land,64 or when some other type of plague or epidemic occurs. 8:38 When all your people Israel pray and ask for help,65 as they acknowledge their pain66 and spread out their hands toward this temple, 8:39 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place, forgive their sin,67 and act favorably toward each one based on your evaluation of his motives.68 (Indeed you are the only one who can correctly evaluate the motives of all people.)69 8:40 Then they will obey70 you throughout their lifetimes as71 they live on the land you gave to our ancestors.

8:41 “Foreigners, who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your reputation.72 8:42 When they hear about your great reputation73 and your ability to accomplish mighty deeds,74 they will come and direct their prayers toward this temple. 8:43 Then listen from your heavenly dwelling place and answer all the prayers of the foreigners.75 Then all the nations of the earth will acknowledge your reputation,76 obey77 you like your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I built belongs to you.78

8:44 “When you direct your people to march out and fight their enemies,79 and they direct their prayers to the Lord80 toward his chosen city and this temple I built for your honor,81 8:45 then listen from heaven to their prayers for help82 and vindicate them.83

8:46 “The time will come when your people84 will sin against you (for there is no one who is sinless!) and you will be angry with them and deliver them over to their enemies, who will take them as prisoners to their own land,85 whether far away or close by. 8:47 When your people86 come to their senses87 in the land where they are held prisoner, they will repent and beg for your mercy in the land of their imprisonment, admitting, ‘We have sinned and gone astray;88 we have done evil.’ 8:48 When they return to you with all their heart and being89 in the land where they are held prisoner,90 and direct their prayers to you toward the land you gave to their ancestors, your chosen city, and the temple I built for your honor,91 8:49 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place to their prayers for help92 and vindicate them.93 8:50 Forgive all the rebellious acts of your sinful people and cause their captors to have mercy on them.94 8:51 After all,95 they are your people and your special possession96 whom you brought out of Egypt, from the middle of the iron-smelting furnace.97

8:52 “May you be attentive98 to your servant’s and your people Israel’s requests for help and may you respond to all their prayers to you.99 8:53 After all,100 you picked them out of all the nations of the earth to be your special possession,101 just as you, O sovereign Lord, announced through your servant Moses when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”

8:54 When Solomon finished presenting all these prayers and requests to the Lord, he got up from before the altar of the Lord where he had kneeled and spread out his hands toward the sky.102 8:55 When he stood up, he pronounced a blessing over the entire assembly of Israel, saying in a loud voice: 8:56 “The Lord is worthy of praise because he has made Israel his people secure103 just as he promised! Not one of all the faithful promises he made through his servant Moses is left unfulfilled!104 8:57 May the Lord our God be with us, as he was with our ancestors. May he not abandon us or leave us. 8:58 May he make us submissive,105 so we can follow all his instructions106 and obey107 the commandments, rules, and regulations he commanded our ancestors. 8:59 May the Lord our God be constantly aware of these requests of mine I have presented to him,108 so that he might vindicate109 his servant and his people Israel as the need arises. 8:60 Then110 all the nations of the earth will recognize that the Lord is the only genuine God.111 8:61 May you demonstrate wholehearted devotion to the Lord our God112 by following113 his rules and obeying114 his commandments, as you are presently doing.”115


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