Happy New Year!!! Did you stay up late last night? By the time the clock struck 12 I was already in pajamas, teeth brushed and ready to jump into bed. Mama was tired. Today as we start this brand new year, with a fresh slate and 365 days to love and learn and stretch and grow, I’d love it if you joined me in a study on prayer. I’ve put together this list of verses for the next 31 days, and each has a link to prayer in one way or another. How you use the guide is up to you. Take the verses and read them, write them, inscribe them on your heart, whatever it is that you’ve felt called to do-do it. Each verse is pulled from a different context and different settings, but God has this tricky way of making them fit to our lives and world today and I am excited to see what He reveals in your heart and in mine as we take this journey. I would love it if you leave your impressions here in the comments, or join me on social media with the hashtag #31DaysofPrayer. Let’s build a community of prayer warriors and lift this world up, shall we?
Alright, let’s get into the nitty gritty of today’s reading. Check out 2 Chronicles 7: 11-22. In these verses you will read God’s reply to Solomon after Solomon built the temple of the Lord. Throughout these verses, God echos the requests that Solomon has made in the previous chapters. He promises to inhabit the temple, that his heart and his eyes will always be there. He promises to hear from heaven when his people pray. He promises to forgive sins. He promises to be attentive to prayers offered in the temple.
Initially, this doesn’t seem like it would mean a whole lot to us in 2016. But therein lies the beauty of this book. Sure we’re not traipsing around in Solomon’s day. We don’t go to the temple that the Lord inhabited as a dark cloud, or see the fire he sent from heaven to accept the first offerings (but man wouldn’t it be cool if we did see that?!). Even though we will likely never walk through the temple that is being discussed in this chapter, I believe that God’s promises he made here still ring true.
We each have an opportunity to build a temple to God, in our hearts. Because of the great sacrifice that Jesus made for us, we are no longer required to follow the law of old-so there’s no more sacrifices and burnt offerings, but we do offer ourselves. We offer our hearts. We can create in us a temple for the Most High, within the heart we ask him to inhabit. Solomon built a temple out of clay and stone, and God entered it in a cloud. We often have to remove walls of doubt and selfishness-but the temple is there for God as well, that his spirit might dwell within us. That his eyes and his heart may always be there. All we need to do is pray and seek his face.
Will you join me in that prayer?
I pray today that the temple of my heart may be as pleasing to you as the temple built by Solomon. Help me to break down the walls and barriers that I’ve put in place to hold you out. Make in my heart a home for your spirit, that you may always be with me. Remind me that you are present, and that even though you seem so far away some days, all it takes is a prayer for you to hear me from right where I am. Even if I’ve turned away from you. Even if my heart feels tarnished and tainted and I feel lost. Let me feel you reassuring love, that if I turn to you with an repentant and a loving heart, you will be near. Thank you for this promise you have left with me. Thank you for your continued grace and mercy.
I love you, Lord.
Thank you so much for joining me! I hope to see you this month as we build our prayer lives. If you need a copy of the reading schedule, you can print off one here: