Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Solomon's Prayer: Bible Comment on II Chronicles 6 with poem by Edward Bliss Reed, Prayer

Daily Readings
Psalm 119:129-144, I Kings 8, II Chronicles 6, Jeremiah 7:1-8:3

Daily Text: II Chronicles 6

Solomon’s Prayer
There are far more references to prayer in Scripture than there are actual prayers. The one in II Chronicles 6 is one of the more remarkable of those preserved. Solomon appears as one who fills a grand niche in the history and understanding of prayer, primarily from this text. Unlike David, his father, who is credited with many of the psalms, Solomon is usually credited with proverbs and pithy sayings. But here his stature as a wise, wealthy, and worthy son of a legendary lover of God, expands to make this prayer one of eternal value. He sees this newly dedicated temple, not as a residence for the God whom the universe itself cannot contain, but as a place where this God’s Name is to be honored for all time. This is to be a place where anyone, sinner, saint, or alien may sacrifice and pray for the blessing of YHWH. Not the temple, but the praise will be the dwelling place of this God. And it is God’s eternal faithfulness that will provide the context for faithful and heard prayer. In a number of ways, Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17 models and reflects Solomon’s prayer and the theology of prayer found here.

from Prayer
Edward Bliss Reed


O God, thy ways are dark.
Man cannot mark
Thy path upon the mountain or the sea.
We cannot read thy will or know thy mind,
Baffled by one small world thou hast designed.
Awed by the grandeur of infinity.
He who can trace
The marching stars through space,
Measure the oceans, lift the mountains up,
Scatter the perfume in the lily’s cup,
Planning for aeons, measuring each year,
Will this God hear?
Yes; if we call to Him in joy, dismay,
(For that is prayer) He cannot turn away,
A Father dwelling with us, not apart.
When my child’s call I hear, I catch her to my heart.

Collect for the Day
Lord, you are just and your commandments are eternal. Teach us to love you with all our heart and to love our neighbour as ourselves, for the sake of Jesus our Lord.

[476:881:119 Psalm prayer]


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