1 Kings 8:38-39 (NIV) 38 and when a prayer or plea is made by any of your people Israel–each one aware of the afflictions of his own heart, and spreading out his hands toward this temple– 39 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place…
On verses 31-40: Here Solomon prays that when people in Israel encounter various problems — whether it’s having wronged a neighbour (v31), being defeated by an enemy (v33), suffering from famine (v35) or some other form of disaster or disease (v37) — they will find hope, healing, and help whenever they prayed to God “in this temple” (v31, 33) or even “toward this temple” (v35, 39). He prays that in each of these cases God would “hear from heaven” (v32, 34, 36, 39, and repeated three more times from verses 41 to 53) and respond with His help and forgiveness.
Solomon’s vision was that the temple would become a focal point in the spiritual lives of his people. He envisioned the temple being like an intersection where ordinary people could meet God’s extraordinary hope whenever they prayed in the temple or toward it.
That is also Jesus’ heart for the church today, that the church would be the place where ordinary people can access God’s extraordinary hope. Please pray with me that THRIVE Church and every church in the city where you live would be just like that, that hurting people could come to us the church and find hope, healing and help from God, no matter what problem they may be facing. May people’s experience with our church be the same as Jacob in Genesis 28:17 when he said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding us in today’s Word that the church is not merely a social club, but a place where the broken and hurting from all walks of life can find hope, healing and help from You. I pray that people will meet Your presence, power and provision when they get close to Your church, which is Your people including me. May our church be the intersection where ordinary people meet extraordinary hope. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!