Lot of praying going on. Talking to the Lord every day about what’s going on in our lives. Interceding for babies to be born healthy. Asking for wisdom in matters of direction for the body of Christ. Petitioning on behalf of a colleague in dire need of another liver transplant after complications from his first transplant but a few weeks ago. And the list goes on. And this morning I am reminded why we pray. Because He hears in heaven.
Reading in 1Kings this morning. Construction has been completed on the magnificent structure Solomon has spared no expense to build as a house for God. The ark is brought in and the glory comes down. The wings of the twin cherub cover the ark in the most holy place and a cloud from heaven covers everything else. No space inside as the presence of God presides (1Kings 8:1-11).
And Solomon blesses the LORD for promises realized. He extols the covenant keeping, steadfast love showing, LORD, God of Israel. There is no God like his God, not in heaven above or on earth beneath (8:22-24).
And while the glory is apparent, though the cloud envelopes the temple, Solomon knows that this is but a small manifestation of a greater glory and a much larger presence than could ever be contained in any structure or any place on earth.
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house that I have built! Yet 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 this day”
~ Solomon (1Kings 8:27-28 ESV)
Though His glory is seen, earth cannot contain Him. Though His presence is felt, He dwells above the highest heaven. And so, as Solomon lays before the LORD scenario after scenario of failure, confession, repentance, and pleading, he knows that ultimately he needs God to hear in heaven.
Eight times in this eighth chapter of 1King, Solomon asks the LORD, “Hear in heaven.” Listen from Your dwelling place. Give attention to our prayers and pleas from a place we have never seen in a realm we can barely imagine.
With all that must be going in that place where eternity is manifest, what is it that Solomon, or anyone else, could think that God would be attentive to an individual’s prayer? That He would not so be distracted by things concerning the universe that supplications from the third planet from the sun would be all but drowned out?
But that is exactly what our God does. For our God is God. The omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient eternal Creator of all things. Power beyond imagination. Everywhere at all times. Knowing everything about everyone, even to the number of hairs on our head.
As such, our God is able to hear the prayers of individuals. And He can listen to the supplications of those gathered in assembly as the body of Christ. And He even has ears to hear those banded together by a Facebook page taking every update and turning it heavenward in earnest intercession.
Such is our God. He hears in heaven because we are His people.
“Let Your eyes be open to the plea of Your servant and to the plea of Your people Israel, giving ear to them whenever they call to You. For You separated them from among all the peoples of the earth to be Your heritage . . . ”
(1Kings 8:52-53 ESV)
It’s not just a cacophony of voices God hears from this place, but they are the voices of His inheritance. The prayers of those He has called to be His own. The petitions of those He has purchased with great price that they might be translated into His kingdom. The supplications of those He promises to love to the uttermost.
When we pray He hears in heaven.
Because of grace. For His glory.