August 23, 2012

Dedication Prayer

My family and I are reading through the book of 2 Chronicles now in our daily devotions. This portion of Solomon's dedication prayer (2 Chronicles  18-21, 41-42) seems a fitting prayer for dedicating new churches or commissioned artwork:
"But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence. May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive. ...
"Now arise, O Lord God, and come to your resting place,
      you and the ark of your might.
May your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation,
      may your saints rejoice in your goodness.
O Lord God, do not reject your anointed one.
      Remember the great love promised to David your servant."
The most magnificent structure ever built was too humble a dwelling place for the Lord of Sabaoth. How much less our churches of concrete and drywall? How much less a stable? A cross? Yet he took all of these willingly. The prayer of Solomon is the message of the cross. It is prayed with confidence in a loving God who places himself in the presence of sinful men, because they cannot come to him. We have so much motivation to praise him in so many ways!

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