1 Kings 8:22
“And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:”
After Solomon finished building the temple, he came to the altar of God and prayed a prayer of dedication. He asked God to bless this temple which he built. In this prayer, Solomon specifically pointed out seven times he wanted God to heed the prayers of His people when they came to this temple. Solomon knew that God was everywhere, and he knew that there would be times when God’s people needed to pray, and this is why he pointed out these seven times that he wanted God to hear and answer the request of His people when they prayed. These seven times that Solomon asked God to hear the requests of His people point out seven times when you need to pray.
First, you need to pray when you need to claim God’s promises. In verse 26, Solomon asked God to let His Word “be verified.” In other words, when you are in need of something, you need to claim God’s promises in prayer. You will find that quoting God’s promises in prayer are beneficial to you getting your prayers answered. Never be afraid to quote God’s promises when you are asking God to do something for you.
Second, you need to pray when you are having problems with a person. In verse 31, Solomon asked God to hear the prayer of the individual who came to the temple when they had trespassed against their brother. The best way to resolve your issues with someone is through prayer. Prayer has salvaged more relationships than any other course of action.
Third, you need to pray in times of defeat. Verse 33 shows that there will be times in your life that you will experience failure. The worst thing to do when defeat comes is to quit; instead, you should rush to God in prayer and find out why defeat has happened and ask for His mercy to help you to find victory. You will never get up from defeat successfully without spending time with God in prayer.
Fourth, you need to pray when your prayers are not being answered. In verse 35, Solomon was very specific to show that there will be times when “heaven is shut up.” My friend, don’t stop praying when Heaven’s windows seem to be shut and your prayers seem to have no avail. The best thing you can do when Heaven’s windows are shut up and prayers are not being answered is to pray again until God answers your prayer.
Fifth, you need to pray when going through personal famine. Verse 37 shows there will be times of famine, and prayer is the only thing that can turn the famine into times of plenty. When you are lacking in any area of life, prayer is the only resource that can turn the famine into blessings.
Sixth, you need to pray when fighting battles. Verse 44 shows that there will be times when God’s people must fight battles, and prayer is the only thing that will get you through those battles. You must never fight the battle in your own strength, for that is a recipe for defeat. Before and during the battle, spend much time in prayer.
Seventh, you need to pray when battles overcome you. My friend, when sin has overcome you, run to God in prayer. God’s ear is still open even though you have fallen in sin. Never let sin shame you into not praying. Prayer is the greatest way to overcome the sins that have overcome you.