Day 106: Say what you mean, mean what you say (1 Kings 8-9)

Posted: July 15, 2010 in Uncategorized

But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive. 1 Kings 8: 27-30

You settle into bed, weary from the day behind you, looking forward to the rest ahead of you. You know you should take one last moment of clarity to pray to God, thanking Him for the day he gave you – recognizing the trials you faced, thanking Him for his protection, provision and love, praying for the people on your heart. Your head touches the pillow, your body nestles under the blanket and there is a moment of unspeakable comfort and wave of tiredness. Nevertheless, you press on. “Father in heaven, thank you for this day…” Your mind drifts to bills you need to pay. “Thank you for your blessings God…” Your brain switches to a situation that angered you today. “Please be with my friend…” The eyes start to close, ready to accept the inevitability of deep sleep. “God, forgive me of my sins today… Lord, I…”

Before you know it, your alarm goes off, and the day starts anew.

Has that ever happened to you? It’s something I know I’ve had happen to me quite often! The above description is just one the many ways I’ve failed repeatedly in my prayer life.

I hear the phrase “pray from your heart” a lot, and I guess that means different things to different people. For some, it means speaking loudly, reaching their hands into the sky. For some, prayer is quiet, contemplative, descriptive. For others, prayer is short, to the point, and concise. It’s a personal difference among every believer, and it’s interesting to me how different people pray.

For me, I tend to straddle the line. There are times when I ramble on a tangent, but there are also times I am very short and to the point. I guess the key, like Solomon does in chapter 8, is to say what you mean, and by all means, mean what you say!

Prayer is one of the greatest gifts we have from God – a direct method of communication between our Creator and his people. What an amazing privilege!

Solomon was like his father in many ways, and tonight, I saw that like David, this guy really knew how to pray. The temple is finished. The ark is moved into the inner court and everything is set. Solomon approaches the people, drops to his knees and delivers a real prayer, straight from the heart. A humble, sincere expression of love and reverence and a plea for deliverance in times of trouble. Just awesome.

No matter how you pray (I’m not going to get into the structure of a good prayer – that’s a different topic for different night), just make sure that you mean it. There should be no such thing as half-hearted prayers! Be honest with God, be sincere and don’t afraid to show humility. Whether that means dropping to your knees, lifting your hands, bowing down – whatever the case may be, don’t be afraid to show that humility to God! Even the most powerful and wise man in the world at his time, Solomon, knew how to bow down to his God. What gives us the right to show pride in our prayers?

Solomon’s prayer serves as a great example for us as we seek God’s face every day in prayer. To God, say what you mean, and mean what you say! Ask for forgiveness, praise His Name, bring your requests before Him, thank Him for the blessings He has bestowed on you, and don’t be afraid to show emotion before your God. Be sincere, earnestly seek Him and He will hear your prayers! How awesome is that?

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