Introduction: Is the God who created the universe interested in us?
Is He willing to personally interact with us in our worship? This
week we study the prayer King Solomon offered at the dedication of
the temple. It is a prayer that teaches us more about the
relationship we could have with God. Let’s jump into our study!
- From the Cloud to a Temple
- Read 2 Chronicles 6:1-2. Is our God a God of darkness or
- If you say, “light,” can you think of any reason why
Solomon would say God would dwell in a dark cloud?
- Read Exodus 19:9. What does this text suggest is
God’s reason for a “dark” (dense) cloud? (God does
not want the people to see Him, but He wants them to
- The old story is that we tell our children they
are to be seen but not heard. Why does God want
to be heard but not seen? ( Exodus 33:19-20
tells us that men could not see God and live.
Our God is awesome.)
- Let’s turn back to 2 Chronicles 6 and add verse 3 to our
reading. Why would King Solomon want God to trade a cloud
for a temple? (He wanted the people to be blessed! God
dwelling with His people would be a blessing to them.)
- Why would God want to trade? (Solomon wanted God to
dwell with His people and so (apparently) did God.)
- What do we learn from the fact that God wants to
live with us, even though He is too glorious to be
seen by us? (This great fabulous Power of the
Universe wants to be with you, have a personal
relationship with you. He is not some abstract
force, He is our God.)
- Working With Partners
- Read 2 Chronicles 6:4-6. Why did God wait to select the
city to locate His temple until then? (This demonstrates
that God is looking for “partners,” human co-workers to
accomplish His will. When God found David, he found
someone with whom He could work to establish His temple.)
- Wouldn’t it be more efficient for God to do it
Himself? Why involve us?
- When (v.4)says that God fulfilled with His hands
what He had promised with His mouth, how did He do
the “hands” part? (We are God’s hands! King David
was the one who put together the plans for the
temple. For further information on David’s work, see
1 Chronicles 28. David’s son King Solomon built the
- If God were looking for a man with whom to
“partner,” why not choose Samuel? A man whose life
had not a blotch on it – unlike David and Solomon?
(There is a very interesting lesson here for us. God
preferred to rule His people through a prophet like
Samuel. 1 Samuel 8:6-9. The people wanted a King as
a more visible leader of the people. 1 Samuel 8:19-22. God was willing to work with them in this less
desirable approach. Along with the more visible
King, He is now deciding to give them a more visible
place of worship. Notice how this emphasizes the
truth of our partnership with God. He works with us
even when we have bonehead ideas.)
- Read 2 Chronicles 6:7-9. What lesson do you see in these
texts for those who want to partner with God in working
as His hands? (This teaches us another lesson about the
partnership. Although God is willing to be flexible,
there are limits. Our desire is not the only factor in
what we should do. God looks for what is best suited for
- Do you know your spiritual gifts?
- Have you ever had an analysis of your spiritual
- Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication
- In verse 13 we find that Solomon kneels down, spreads out
his hands towards heaven, and begins his prayer of
dedication. Let’s read 2 Chronicles 6:14. Recall the
principles of prayer that we have learned. Is this a
proper way to begin a prayer? (This is the same element
that we studied two weeks ago in Hannah’s prayer (1
Samuel 2:2) and that was in Jesus’ model prayer(Matthew
6:9-10). This is the praise element of prayer. Not
thanking God for what He has done for us, but praising
God for who He is. This is the way to start our prayers!)
- Read 2 Chronicles 6:15-17. For what is Solomon praying?
Is it OK for you to pray for your job and well-being?
(Once again, this parallels Jesus’ model prayer – asking
about our physical needs and concerns. See Matthew 6:11)
- Solomon is praying for his future decedents. Should
we do that? (Dr. James Dobson has a story about how
his great grandparents prayed for future generations
that they would serve God.)
- Read 2 Chronicles 6:18-20. What is the answer to
Solomon’s question in verse 18? Does Solomon answer his
own question in the same verse? If so, what answer does
he give?(Remember we started out ( 2 Chronicles 6:2) with
Solomon saying he had built the temple for God to dwell
in forever. We even find in 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 that the
glory of God filled the temple. But Solomon seems to say
in 6:18 that his temple cannot really contain God.)
- If God cannot really dwell in this temple, why did
Solomon build it? (Notice the reference in v. 20 to
God having “His Name” there. Compare this with 2
Chronicles 6:9. God’s Name shows His identity with
- How do verses 19 and 20 explain more fully the
reason why Solomon wanted God to trade a cloud for a
temple? (Solomon seems to say that God would pay
more attention to them if His Name was among them.)
- Do you think this is true?
- Does the place of God’s dwelling makes a difference
in whether He hears our prayers? (No. Deuteronomy
4:7 and Psalms 145:18 tell us that God is near
whenever we pray.)
- Why did Solomon relate God hearing their prayers to
the new temple? (I think it goes back to the idea of
the visible presence of the Lord. Like a King, was a
visible leader, the temple served as a visible
reminder of the presence of their God.)
- Read 2 Chronicles 6:21. Where does Solomon know God
really lives? (In heaven.)
- 2 Chronicles 6:24-31 contains a series of repetitions
discussing our sin, its consequences and our prayers.
Let’s focus on 2 Chronicles 6:28-31 to better understand
this section of Solomon’s prayer. What are the parallel
problems for God’s people today?
- When we turn to God in prayer for help, what is the
first thing we want from God? (Verse 30, to have God
- Why does Solomon ask God to forgive us immediately
after He asks God to hear our prayers?
- On what basis will God answer our prayers?
- Does God answer according to what we do or what
is in our hearts? (God gives individual answers
that take into account our deeds and our
- Why should the answers to our prayers turn on
our deeds and motives? Is there a different
dynamic to prayer than to salvation? (Solomon
seems to emphasize deeds — which would be a
different dynamic than salvation. However,
Solomon speaks of God knowing our hearts —
which is critical to accepting salvation. God’s
focus on our deeds and our hearts in answering
prayer teaches us (v.31) to fear God and walk
- Does this mean that salvation is by grace
alone, but the answer to prayers is based on
- Read 2 Chronicles 6:32-33. Should we pray for the
visitors to our church? What should be our prayer for
- How do these verses suggest that visitors can be
attracted to church?
- Read 2 Chronicles 6:36-39. Do you feel “captive” to “the
enemy” at work? In family relationships? At church? If
so, should you examine your life?
- If we can see how sin is a cause for our problem,
what is the answer to the sin in our life? (Repent
(v.37) and turn back to God (v.38) with all our
heart and soul.)
- Read 2 Chronicles 6:40-41. What is the goal of our
prayers to God? (That we will be clothed with salvation
and we will rejoice in God’s goodness!)
- Friend, God wants to work with us to accomplish His goals
on this earth. He takes a particular, individualized
interest in each one of us. Part of this partnership is
doing His will. Because of God’s interest in us, we may
find that our life is not going right because of our sin.
He wants us to be alert to our sins and repent and turn
away from them so that we can rejoice in His goodness.
Will you be God’s partner, His “hands” on earth?
- Next Week: Prayers for Reformation: Elijah.