For what we pray

In this morning’s readings,  we see King Solomon going up to the high mountain to offer sacrifice to the Lord. This is at the beginning of 1 Kings 3. This follows upon Chapter 2 which recounts the passing of his father King David and the succession of his son Solomon to the throne. It is important to know that the end of David’s reign was one of court intrigue, sedition, and betrayal. Solomon inherited the results of all this and spends the remainder of the chapter taming the sedition of what appears to be a large and unruly contingent of those who would seek the halls of power.

And so, things set right for the moment, Solomon comes to the realization that he now has to govern: “O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act.” (v.7) He turns to the Lord in prayer and asks for “a listening heart to judge your people and to distinguish between good and evil.” (v.9)

There is always “stuff” going on in our lives. Perhaps not sedition and betrayal, but “stuff” for which a listening heart and moral clarity will serve us well. Solomon went to a high mountain and offered a tremendous amount of burnt offerings. Our path is a bit less complicated: “Give us this day our daily bread.” So what is that which you need on this day to deal with your “stuff?” If nothing comes to mind, a listening heart and moral clarity are a good default.

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