The Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer
I. OUR PROPER PLACE IN PRAYER. The Lord said, "I have heard thy prayer, and thy supplication, that thou hast made before Me." There is the place to pray — "before Me": that is to say, before the Lord. But we should take care that the place is hallowed by our prayer being deliberately and reverently presented before God.
1. This place is not always found. The Pharisee went up to the temple to pray, and yet, evidently, he did not pray "before God"; so that even in the most holy courts he did not find the place desired.
2. This blessed place "before God" can be found in public prayer. Solomon's prayer before God was offered in the midst of a great multitude.
3. But prayer before God can just as well be offered in private.
4. The prayer is to be directed to God.
5. We should endeavour in prayer to realise the presence of God.
II. OUR GREAT DESIDERATUM IN PRAYER. It is that which God said that He had given to Solomon. "I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication."
1. The first thing the soul desires in prayer is audience with God. If the Lord do not hear us, we have gained nothing. And what an honour it is to have audience with God!
2. But we Want more than that: we want that He should accept. It were a painful thing to be permitted to speak to a great friend, and then for him to stand austere and stern, and say, "I have heard what you have to say. Go your way." We ask not this of God.
3. Still, there is a third thing which we want, which God gave to Solomon, and that was an answer.
III. OUR ASSURANCE OF ANSWER TO PRAYER. Can we have an assurance that God has heard and answered prayer? Solomon had it. The Lord said unto him, "I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before Me." Does the Lord ever say that to us? I think so. Let us consider how He does so.
1. I think that He says it to us very often in our usual faith.
2. But sometimes you require strong confidence. You have to solicit some extraordinary blessing. You get to a place like that to which Jacob came, when common prayer was not sufficient.
3. Sometimes this comes in the form of a comfortable persuasion.
4. The Lord also gives to His people a manifest preparation for the blessing. He prepares them to receive it. Their expectation is raised, so that they begin to look out for the blessing, and make room for it; and when it is so, you may be sure that it is coming.
5. Actual observation also breeds in us a solid confidence that our suit is succeeding.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
terra firma are scarcely in a position to judge. However, a number of scientists have been making a series of experiments to test the relative penetrating quality of sounds, The Government lent them a military balloon, which ascended from the artillery camp at Woolwich, and passed over London. A sharp ear was kept for the sounds of the vast city that penetrated upward. Trains were heard in practically continuous rumble, punctuated by their shrill whistles. Sirens from the river and various factories rose sharp and clear. Most noticeable were the barkings of high-voiced dogs, which could be distinctly heard even at a mile high. The highly-instructive fact was noted, however, that, though the city was crossed just at neon, when from the streets the striking of clocks and bells is always such a noticeable feature, yet the most careful listener aloft could detect no such sounds. These observations go to prove how inferior are the carrying powers of bells as heard from aloft, and to emphasise the fact that noises of an unmusical, discordant nature have much better chance of making themselves heard at a distance than have more harmonious sounds. But the reverse is the case in the spiritual sphere. It is the discords of earth that have no carrying power, and that last but for a day. It is the sweet and harmonious utterance, the secret prayer, the quiet deed, that reaches unto the heavens.
If thou writ walk before Me, as David thy father walked.
(J. B. Morgan.)
(F. Y. Leggatt.)
(N. D. Hillis, D. D.)
But if ye shall at all turn from following Me.