Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. On which of the following occasions did you pray as a child:
- before meals
- during church
- when in big trouble
- before bed
2. Where do you feel closest to heaven? Why?
3. To whom were you most likely to go for help as a teenager?
- your parents
- minister, priest or rabbi
- close friend
4. Where does Solomon position himself to lead his dedication prayer? What body position does he use?
5. Solomon begins his prayer by praising God for what? Why is praise so often a good way to begin a prayer?
6.Which of God’s promises has Solomon seen fulfilled already (1 Kings 8:23, 24)? What promises does he hope to see fulfilled in the future (verses 25 and 26)?
7. Notice 1 Kings 8:31, 32. What form of judgment is this “swearing an oath before the altar” (see also Numbers 5:19 – 28)?
8. How many different ways does Solomon appeal to God to hear his prayer in 2 Chronicles 6:18 – 21? Why all the repetition?
9. In 2 Chronicles 6:22 – 39, Solomon envisions seven different occasions which call for prayer in or toward the temple. Why do you think the occasion in verses 22 and 23 is mentioned first? What does this say about the priority of “justice for all” in a society?
10. How can Israel reverse the curses of disobedience (see Deuteronomy 28:15 – 24)? What do these passages say about repentance and salvation?
11. In 2 Chronicles 6:32 and 33, Solomon prays for foreigners. What would draw a foreigner to the temple? Why does Solomon ask the Lord to answer these “foreign prayers”? Does it seem to you that Solomon expects both to happen? How were people supposed to pray to God as captives in a land far away when they couldn’t reach the temple?
12. On what note does Solomon conclude his prayer in 2 Chronicles 40 – 42? Why would these words have been used later by pilgrims coming up to Jerusalem to pray at the temple (see Psalm 132:8 – 11)?
13. On a scale of 1 (“Jesus is my buddy”) to 10 (“God is so holy. Who can approach Him?), how would you rate your reverence toward God? In which direction do you want to grow – more casual or more formal? More spontaneous or more serious?
14. Do you consider afflictions to be punishment for sin? In what cases?
15. What prayers do you want to direct toward God’s heavenly temple? Do you first need to confess some sin?
16. If you were to fashion a group prayer, what parts of Solomon’s would be dropped, substituted, retained, assigned to others? Why are long pastoral or solo prayers not so popular today?
17. Where do you think God is when you pray? What do you feel is the best place and posture for personal prayer? For public prayer? Why?
18. Which of the following is the most important characteristic about God when you pray?
- God’s nearness
- God’s faithfulness
- God’s forgiveness
- God’s tenderness
19. Which specific situation mentioned by Solomon do you feel the need to pray for with a group of people?
20. Is Solomon’s prayer a model for national days of prayer? Why or why not?