1 Kings 8:54 (NIV) 54 When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the LORD, he rose from before the altar of the LORD, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven.
On verse 54: Solomon began his prayer standing (v22), but he ends his prayer kneeling with his hands spread out to God. Why? It’s because as Solomon continued to pray, he realized more and more how much he and his people needed God. His humility and his desperation for God grew the more he prayed.
What can we learn from this?
1. The more you pray, the more you realize your need for God. The more you realize your need for God and cry out to Him, the more you experience His power. More prayer, more desperation, more crying out, more power.
2. When you’re praying, try getting on your knees. When you’re worshiping, try lifting your hands. I find that the right physical posture can often kick-start your spirit into worship. By kneeling and/or lifting my hands, I’m humbling myself, being reminded of how much I need God in my life and giving room for the Holy Spirit to move in my life.
1 Kings 8:55 (NIV) 55 He stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel in a loud voice, saying:
On verses 55-61: After Solomon got on his knees and prayed, he was able to stand to his feet and bless. In these verses he speaks a powerful blessing over his people.
What can we learn from this? When you spend quality time in prayer, you’re then able to be a more powerful blessing to the people around you. Do you want to be a more powerful blessing to the people in your home, church, workplace, school or city? Spend time in prayer. Much prayer, much power. Little prayer, little power. No prayer, no power.
On verses 62-64: Solomon gave what was quite possibly the most expensive offering recorded in Israel’s history — so many offerings that the altar could not contain it (v64). So Solomon consecrates the middle courtyard in front of the temple and turns it into a place for giving worship and offerings.
What can we learn from this?
– Don’t give God worship that is convenient, but costly. As David famously said, “I will not sacrifice to my God offerings that cost me nothing.” Give your best to God.
– The kind of worship God calls from us is not confined to a certain place. God wants our worship at church to spill over into the other areas of our lives. When your heart is truly set on worshiping God, you will turn even the ordinary, not-so-spiritual parts of your life into opportunities to worship. May your worship of God spill over today into an area where you don’t normally worship.
1 Kings 8:65-66 (NIV) 65 So Solomon observed the festival at that time, and all Israel with him–a vast assembly, people from Lebo Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt. They celebrated it before the LORD our God for seven days and seven days more, fourteen days in all. 66 On the following day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and then went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the good things the LORD had done for his servant David and his people Israel.
On verses 65-66: After receiving the king’s blessing, the people blessed the king and went home joyful and glad (v66). What can we learn from this:
– A joyful and healthy relationship is built on reciprocity: not always one side blessing the other, but both sides blessing each other. Don’t just be a taker, but bless those who go out of your way to bless you.
– Make it your priority to worship God together with your church family and give your best to Him. Joy and gladness of heart will result.
Heavenly Father, thank You for teaching me in Your Word about how to worship You: to do so on my knees and with hands lifted in humility and desperation; to give You not a convenient offering but a costly offering; to not confine my worship to just Sundays or “at church” but to let it spill into the other areas of my life; and to remember to bless those who go out of their way to bless me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!