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II Chronicles - Chapter 6

My Prayer

Solomon saw that G-d desired to cause His Presence to rest in an impenetrable darkness (manifested by the cloud at the end of chapter 5), which is why Solomon had built G-d a permanent residence. Solomon blessed the gathered people and praised G-d for fulfilling what He had said to David. From the time the Jews left Egypt, G-d had selected neither a permanent home nor a permanent dynasty until He chose Jerusalem and David. David wanted to build the Temple, but G-d did not permit that, telling David that his wishes would be carried out by Solomon. And now that promise has been fulfilled! Solomon has built the Temple and placed the Ark within it. Solomon stood before the altar, in full view of the nation, and spread out his hands in prayer.

Solomon ascended a basin-shaped platform and knelt down facing the people with his arms stretched towards Heaven. He said, "G-d, who is like You in Heaven or on Earth? You are so concerned for your servants! Everyone can see how You kept the promise You made to my father, David. Please keep the rest of the promise, regarding his eternal dynasty. How can it be that G-d would dwell alongside humans down here on Earth? Not even the Heavens can contain G-d, let alone this Temple I have built! Therefore, G-d, will You please heed my prayer, that this Temple will be pleasing to You and that You accept the prayers of Your people from here. Please forgive their indiscretions and see to it that justice is served in court cases. If the sins of the people cause enemies to conquer, please accept their repentance and return them to the land. If their sins cause the rain to be withheld, please accept their repentance to restore it. Similarly, if there should be a famine, plague, locusts, etc., please hear the prayers of the people from this Temple. May every person be judged according to his own individual merits, since G-d knows every person's innermost thoughts. May the people be in awe of G-d and follow in His ways. Also, when non-Jews come to the Temple to pray, please grant all their requests; this will help the other nations to recognize You. When Israel goes to war and prays to You, they will pray to You facing Jerusalem and the site of this Temple; please help them out. They may have sinned, since all people do, and You may be angry with them for it, allowing their enemies to carry them off as captives. If they repent and pray to You, please forgive them and help them against their captors. Now, G-d, please be mindful of the prayers made in this Temple, residing in it with Your Ark, which is the symbol of Your power. May the kohanim, who serve You, enjoy salvation and may the righteous rejoice in Your goodness. Please remember the righteousness of my father, David, and not turn away from my prayer."

Author: Rabbi Jack Abramowitz