22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven 23 and said: “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.
Solomon completed the Temple and brought to the Temple the ark of the covenant. The ark contained the stone tablets Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. The ark was set in the innermost sanctuary of the Temple, the Holy of Holies. The cloud of God’s glory filled the Temple, and Solomon prayed in the midst of the people and gave God praise.
Solomon’s prayer made me think – so many times when we pray, it’s a prayer of supplication. Help me, Lord. Fix this problem, Lord. Praise for God gets relegated down the list, if we remember at all. Solomon’s prayer begins with praise. Solomon prays that his people will be faithful and asks God to be their judge. Condemn the guilty and vindicate the innocent.
Solomon knows his people will do wrong things. God has the right to exact judgment on his people for their sin; Solomon only asks that when they confess their wrongs, that God will forgive them and bring them back to the land God gave them. In turn, let them turn back and give God praise.
Gracious and holy God, you are mighty and your love fills the heavens. You made this world in love and gave your people breath to live and give you praise. Open our eyes so we may look around to see your hand at work every day, every moment. Expand our hearts to perceive all that you are doing and find new opportunities for praise. In all things, let us give you the glory in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.