“When a man wrongs his neighbor and is required to take an oath and he comes and swears the oath before your altar in this temple, then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, condemning the guilty and bringing down on his own head what he has done. Declare the innocent not guilty, and so establish his innocence.
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. 55 He stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel in a loud voice, saying:
“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. May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may he never leave us nor forsake us. May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep the commands, decrees and regulations he gave our fathers. And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other. But your hearts must be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.” 1 Kings 8:31-32, 54-60
When Solomon dedicates the temple to the LORD, he lays it all out on the table, so to speak. From verse 31 through 53 he is praying on behalf of the people of Israel. He is pleading with God to hear their prayers if they are doing well, but he also reminds God (as if God needed reminding!) that the people of Israel were God’s chosen inheritance and to protect them because of that. Essentially the prayer is this: “if the people are obeying you and praying for your blessing, God, bless them. If they are sinning, let them know so they can repent and turn back to you.”
From verse 54 to the end, he charges the people to follow God’s decrees and that we would “turn our hearts toward Him.” How we desperately need that prayer in our lives.
Pray Solomon’s prayer of dedication over your nation. God needs to move sovereignly over nations of the world. Then pray that we would turn our hearts toward Him.