Prayer

In addition to being Israel’s king, Solomon was a spiritual leader of the people. His prayer of dedication was an important one because it was made “before all the congregation of Israel” (2 Chronicles 6:13). In order to be certain that everyone could see him, Solomon had a platform erected that was “five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high.” Then he, “kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven” (2 Chronicles 6:13). Most likely, Solomon wanted everyone to know that he worshipped the LORD like his father David had and would depend on God for guidance as he led the people.

Solomon’s prayer of dedication was quite long for a public prayer. He recounted many details of God’s covenant with Israel. The words recorded are probably a summary rather than an exact dictation of what he said. The entire prayer may have lasted as long as 30 – 60 minutes. For Solomon to be on his knees with his hands raised heavenward for that length of time was an excessive display of devotion. I doubt he could not have done it unless he was accustomed to praying in that posture.

It is likely that David taught Solomon how to pray and the two of them may have even prayed together. Solomon had a much different relationship with the LORD than his father David did, but it is clear that Solomon understood the importance and power of prayer.

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