A Grateful Prayer for God’s People

Posted on April 28, 2021

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By David Ettinger

Fresh and New
One of the marvelous things about the Bible is that it is always fresh and new. Though the words on the pages remain the same, they are ever increasing in significance to the reader.

This is stated wonderfully in Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

This has certainly been the case for me over the 34-plus years of my salvation and close to 70 sojourns through the pages of this precious Book. Every time I read the Bible, I perceive something different and exciting in its beloved and familiar writings.     

This occurred this morning as I was reading through 1 Kings Chapter 8, which records the Bible’s longest prayer, Solomon’s dedication of the Temple. At first, one verse in particular caught my attention, followed a minute later by another verse.

These 2 verses, working in tandem, struck me as a grateful prayer applicable to both God’s people as a whole as well as the individual.

2 Verses Welded
The verses are 56 and 61, and welded together they read as follows:

Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. … And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.

What struck me about the top verse, 56, is that it comes at the beginning of something, not the end. In other words, Solomon declares how the Lord has kept His promises made years, decades, and even centuries earlier, and now those promises have reached fruition.

However, Solomon does not see this as some grand conclusion, but as a promising start. Because God has fulfilled His promises in verse 56, the Israelites in verse 61 find themselves at the cusp of a new beginning. In gratitude to God, the Israelites are to exhibit their gratitude by committing their hearts to Him in full obedience.

A Prayer for Today
What a great prayer of gratitude for believers today!

Regarding the Church, what if congregations adapted the words of 1 Kings 8:56, 61 to thank God and rededicate their lives to Him? Perhaps something like this:

Not one word has failed of all the good promises You gave through the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church stands today despite 2,000 years of Satan’s attempts to destroy it. Because of Your great promises and protection upon Your people, Lord God, may we in turn fully commit our hearts to You, living by Your Word and obeying Your call upon us to live in holiness.

Now, let’s turn this prayer inward, to our individual hearts as believers in the Lord Jesus:

Heavenly Father, I praise You that You have given me spiritual rest just as You have promised, and have saved me from my sins through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. In return, Father, may my heart be fully committed to You as I seek to live by Your Holy Word, dedicating myself to obeying You in righteousness.

Just a thought or two, the joyous harvest of spending time in the wonderful Book our loving Heavenly Father so graciously gave us.