The queen of Sheba complimented King Solomon:
How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness (1 Kings 10:8-9, NIV).
Finally, in verses 45-50, Stephen reviews hundreds of years of history, from Joshua to David and Solomon. He finishes with a quote from Isaiah.
In the midst of Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the Temple, he says:
When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to the LORD toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause (1 Kings 8:44-45, NIV).
This prayer is not specifically for any people except the Israelites. How does it apply to American Christians today?
This is a particuarly difficult topic considering today’s assassination attempt.
When is war rhetoric appropriate, and when does it go too far? The Bible allows and expects both war and peace. History illustrates that both are part of the fabric of life.
King Solomon specifically requested God’s special intervention while at war. But I reject the proposition that a belief in God creates war. Petroleum is plenty reason enough to go to war today.
Jesus models a right response to violence. We should face our enemies with strength and humility, relying upon our Heavenly Father to make things right.
King Solomon prayed special blessings on the Temple, particularly that the Lord would pay special attention to requests directed toward the temple.
This is meta-prayer, a prayer about the efficacy of future prayers meeting a given set of criteria.