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1 Kings 8:23-53 (The Message)

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23 and prayed, 24 You kept your word to David my father, your personal word. You did exactly what you promised - every detail. The proof is before us today! 25 Keep it up, God, O God of Israel! Continue to keep the promises you made to David my father when you said, "You'll always have a descendant to represent my rule on Israel's throne, on the condition that your sons are as careful to live obediently in my presence as you have." 26 God of Israel, let this all happen; confirm and establish it! 27 Can it be that God will actually move into our neighborhood? Why, the cosmos itself isn't large enough to give you breathing room, let alone this Temple I've built. 28 Even so, I'm bold to ask: Pay attention to these my prayers, both intercessory and personal, O God, my God. Listen to my prayers, energetic and devout, that I'm setting before you right now. 29 Keep your eyes open to this Temple night and day, this place of which you said, "My Name will be honored there," 30 and listen to the prayers that I pray at this place. Listen from your home in heaven and when you hear, forgive. 31 When someone hurts a neighbor and promises to make things right, and then comes and repeats the promise before your Altar in this Temple, 32 listen from heaven and act accordingly: Judge your servants, making the offender pay for his offense and setting the offended free of any charges. 33 When your people Israel are beaten by an enemy because they've sinned against you, but then turn to you and acknowledge your rule in prayers desperate and devout in this Temple, 34 Listen from your home in heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, return them to the land you gave their ancestors. 35 When the skies shrivel up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, but then they pray at this place, acknowledging your rule and quitting their sins because you have scourged them, 36 isten from your home in heaven, forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Then start over with them: Train them to live right and well; send rain on the land you gave your people as an inheritance. 37 When disasters strike, famine or catastrophe, crop failure or disease, locust or beetle, or when an enemy attacks their defenses - calamity of any sort 38 - any prayer that's prayed from anyone at all among your people Israel, hearts penetrated by the disaster, hands and arms thrown out to this Temple for help, 39 Listen from your home in heaven. 40 so that they'll live before you in lifelong reverent and believing obedience on this land you gave our ancestors. 41 And don't forget the foreigner who is not a member of your people Israel but has come from a far country because of your reputation. 42 People are going to be attracted here by your great reputation, your wonder-working power, who come to pray at this Temple. 43 Listen from your home in heaven. Honor the prayers of the foreigner so that people all over the world will know who you are and what you're like and will live in reverent obedience before you, just as your own people Israel do; so they'll know that you personally make this Temple that I've built what it is. 44 When your people go to war against their enemies at the time and place you send them and they pray to God toward the city you chose and this Temple I've built to honor your Name, 45 Listen from heaven to what they pray and ask for, and do what's right for them. 46 When they sin against you - and they certainly will; there's no one without sin! - and in anger you turn them over to the enemy and they are taken captive to the enemy's land, whether far or near, 47 but repent in the country of their captivity and pray with changed hearts in their exile, "We've sinned; we've done wrong; we've been most wicked," 48 and turn back to you heart and soul in the land of the enemy who conquered them, and pray to you toward their homeland, the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you chose, and this Temple I have built to the honor of your Name, 49 isten from your home in heaven to their prayers desperate and devout and do what is best for them. 50 Forgive your people who have sinned against you; forgive their gross rebellions and move their captors to treat them with compassion. 51 They are, after all, your people and your precious inheritance whom you rescued from the heart of that iron-smelting furnace, Egypt! 52 O be alert and attentive to the needy prayers of me, your servant, and your dear people Israel; listen every time they cry out to you! 53 You handpicked them from all the peoples on earth to be your very own people, as you announced through your servant Moses when you, O God, in your masterful rule, delivered our ancestors from Egypt.
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