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!

  1. From the Cloud to a Temple

    1. Read 2 Chronicles 6:1-2. Is our God a God of darkness or
      of light?

      1. If you say, “light,” can you think of any reason why
        Solomon would say God would dwell in a dark cloud?

      2. 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
        hear Him.)

        1. 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.)

    2. 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.)

      1. Why would God want to trade? (Solomon wanted God to
        dwell with His people and so (apparently) did God.)

      2. 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.)

  2. Working With Partners

    1. 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.)

      1. Wouldn’t it be more efficient for God to do it
        Himself? Why involve us?

      2. 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

      3. 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.)

    2. 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
      our work.)

      1. Do you know your spiritual gifts?

      2. Have you ever had an analysis of your spiritual

  3. Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

    1. 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!)

    2. 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)

      1. 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.)

    3. 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.)

      1. 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
        His people.)

      2. 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.)

        1. Do you think this is true?

      3. 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.)

      4. 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.)

    4. Read 2 Chronicles 6:21. Where does Solomon know God
      really lives? (In heaven.)

    5. 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?

      1. When we turn to God in prayer for help, what is the
        first thing we want from God? (Verse 30, to have God
        hear us.)

      2. Why does Solomon ask God to forgive us immediately
        after He asks God to hear our prayers?

      3. On what basis will God answer our prayers?

        1. 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

        2. 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
          with Him.)

        3. Does this mean that salvation is by grace
          alone, but the answer to prayers is based on

    6. Read 2 Chronicles 6:32-33. Should we pray for the
      visitors to our church? What should be our prayer for

      1. How do these verses suggest that visitors can be
        attracted to church?

    1. 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?

      1. 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.)

    2. 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!)

    3. 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?

  1. Next Week: Prayers for Reformation: Elijah.