If they turn to you with their whole heart and soul in the land of their captivity and pray toward the land you gave to their ancestors – toward this city you have chosen, and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name – then hear their prayers and their petitions from heaven where you live, and uphold their cause. Forgive your people who have sinned against you. (2 Chronicles 6:38-39)
Relate: The Temple was built. The praises had gone up and God’s presence had come down. From there Solomon went into one of the longest prayers in the Bible. Normally I am not a big fan of long winded prayers. Usually when a person who is praying starts to go long it is more because the pray-er wants to be heard by others. They are giving little thought to whether their prayer is being heard by God. For Solomon, this isn’t the case and that can easily be seen by what he is praying.
For one potential situation after another Solomon is praying the same thing: If such and such happens, and they pray, then God please hear from heaven. If there’s injustice, and they cry out to you, then hear from heaven. If there’s famine or drought, and they are hungry and thirsty, then hear from heaven. If they’ve sinned and repent, then hear from heaven. If… then hear from heaven.
God answers. He promises to hear from heaven with an “If… then” of his own. If God’s response isn’t the most famous promise in the Bible, then it is certainly in the top ten. He says, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
React: Solomon’s Temple served as a focus point in three ways. It was a place where God’s presence came down. It was a place where our praises went up. It was also the place where God’s promise was made. Jesus, the true Temple, is both the embodiment and fulfillment of that promise. He is proof that heaven heard. He is the means through which forgiveness was given. He is also the way in which restoration will take place. God keeps His promises. Am I willing to comply with the “if”?
You are the Promise Keeper. Help me to humble myself I pray. Help me to ever seek after You and turn from those things that would break Your heart. I know that You will hear my cry. Help me to cry. I know that You will hear from heaven. Help me to call out to You. I know, God, that You will answer. Help me to ask. You are the Promise Keeper, help me to hold You to it.