May 18, 2023

Hear Our Prayer

Written by Tripp Prince

God’s presence with Israel was an overflow of his mercy and love, and the same is true for us today.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 18, 2023

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O LORD my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house. 1 Kings 8:27-29a, ESV

In the Old Testament, the People of God are depicted as a people on the move, wandering the wilderness in search of a land to call their own. And not only were they in search of a land for themselves, it was a belief that in this land, God would dwell with them. The God they previously knew and encountered through the movable “home” of the Tabernacle would finally be given a home of his own, a permanent dwelling in which he could reside. Thus, as they came into the land and established their way of life in Jerusalem, it was under Solomon’s leadership that the Temple was constructed. And though it was true that God did indeed fill the temple with his presence in a powerful way, Solomon in his wisdom clearly understood that God could not be contained by four walls or controlled by the will or actions of his people. 

God’s presence with Israel was an overflow of his mercy and love, and the same is true for us today.

There is no formula or “secret” to encountering the presence of God. Just as he cannot be contained or controlled, he cannot be conjured or summoned, as though he is a servant waiting on our every need or demand. He is the creator and Lord, we are the created ones who serve at his good pleasure. And yet, though he is never forced to do anything, in his love he longs to be with us and to fill us – and our world – with his mercy, goodness, and truth. 

Let us, then, look to the example of Solomon of old, seeking to be faithful and obedient to the commands of God yet never deviating from a posture of humble prayer. Never is our life with God taken by force. It is given as a gift. The work that lies before us, each and every day, is to turn our hearts and lives toward the King and his Kingdom, and to pray without ceasing, Lord, would you, in this place and at this moment, in the specific ways that I most desperately need you to be present and near to me,  listen “to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day.”


Father, as you did in the past, would you again in this present moment draw near to us, entering into our confusion and chaos and leading us into places of peace and rest, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Are there ways you have approached the nearness and presence of God as a formula, or something that is dictated by your needs or demands?

Related Reading

Psalm 11:4; Isaiah 66:1-2; Acts 7:44-53

Worship Resource

Michael W. Smith feat. Leeland Mooring: Christ Be All Around Me


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