When Solomon dedicated the Temple to God, he prayed fervently, asking whether He would hear the prayers of His people when they turn from their wicked ways, would He forgive them and keep His promises, as given to his father, David?
The moment he finished his prayer, Fire came down from Heaven and consumed the offering and the sacrifices, and the Glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests couldn’t enter the House of the Lord, as His Glory filled it. Overcome by the Fear of the Lord, all the people bowed their faces to the ground, worshipping and thanking the Lord.
After the dedication and feasting, the Lord appeared to Solomon one night, saying, “12I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. (2 Chronicles 7:12-15)
The Lord draws near to us when we draw near to Him. He answers us when we call upon His Name. He forgives us, and takes us into our promised land when we repent of our sins and turn from our wicked ways.
‘South Africa, just as Solomon’s prayers released Fire from Heaven, so your prayers will release My Fire upon your land. My Glory will fill your streets, My Healing will be released. This nation will be built in a day, she will be brought forth in her appointed hour. For I am uniting this nation through prayer.’
2 Chronicles 6: 18-40
18“But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built! 19Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O LORD my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you, 20that your eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place where you have promised to set your name, that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. 21And listen to the pleas of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen from heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.
22“If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath and comes and swears his oath before your altar in this house, 23then hear from heaven and act and judge your servants, repaying the guilty by bringing his conduct on his own head, and vindicating the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness.
24“If your people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have sinned against you, and they turn again and acknowledge your name and pray and plead with you in this house, 25then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them again to the land that you gave to them and to their fathers.
26“When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflictb them,27then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good wayc in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.
28“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemies besiege them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is,29whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own sorrow and stretching out his hands toward this house, 30then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, 31that they may fear you and walk in your ways all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers.
32“Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for the sake of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this house, 33hear from heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.
34“If your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to you toward this city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, 35then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.
36“If they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to a land far or near, 37yet if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly,’ 38if they repent with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity to which they were carried captive, and pray toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, 39then hear from heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their pleas, and maintain their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against you.40Now, O my God, let your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayer of this place.
2 Chronicles 7:1-3
1As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. 3When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
7“Before she was in labor
she gave birth;
before her pain came upon her
she delivered a son.
8Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall a land be born in one day?
Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment?
For as soon as Zion was in labor
she brought forth her children.
9Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?”
says the LORD;
“shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”
says your God.
10“Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her,
all you who love her;
rejoice with her in joy,
all you who mourn over her;
11that you may nurse and be satisfied
from her consoling breast;
that you may drink deeply with delight
from her glorious abundance.”a
12For thus says the LORD:
“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;
and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip,
and bounced upon her knees.
13As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
14You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice;
your bones shall flourish like the grass;
and the hand of the LORD shall be known to his servants,
and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.