Then Solomon prayed, "O LORD, you have said that you would live in thick darkness.
But I have built a glorious Temple for you, where you can live forever!"
Then the king turned around to the entire community of Israel standing before him and gave this blessing:
"Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who has kept the promise he made to my father, David. For he told my father,
'From the day I brought my people out of Egypt, I have never chosen a city among the tribes of Israel as the place where a temple should be built to honor my name. Nor have I chosen a king to lead my people Israel.
But now I have chosen Jerusalem as that city, and David as that king.'"
Then Solomon said, "My father, David, wanted to build this Temple to honor the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
But the LORD told him, 'It is right for you to want to build the Temple to honor my name,
but you will not be the one to do it. One of your sons will build it instead.'
"And now the LORD has done what he promised, for I have become king in my father's place. I have built this Temple to honor the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.
There I have placed the Ark, and in the Ark is the covenant that the LORD made with the people of Israel."
Then Solomon stood with his hands spread out before the altar of the LORD in front of the entire community of Israel.
He had made a bronze platform 7 1/2 feet long, 7 1/2 feet wide, and 4 1/2 feet high a and had placed it at the center of the Temple's outer courtyard. He stood on the platform before the entire assembly, and then he knelt down and lifted his hands toward heaven.
He prayed, "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven and earth. You keep your promises and show unfailing love to all who obey you and are eager to do your will.
You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and today you have fulfilled it with your own hands.
And now, O LORD, God of Israel, carry out your further promise to your servant David, my father. For you said to him, 'If your descendants guard their behavior and obey my law as you have done, they will always reign over Israel.'
Now, O LORD, God of Israel, fulfill this promise to your servant David.
"But will God really live on earth among people? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built!
Listen to my prayer and my request, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you.
May you watch over this Temple both day and night, this place where you have said you would put your name. May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place.
May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.
"If someone wrongs another person and is required to take an oath of innocence in front of the altar at this Temple,
then hear from heaven and judge between your servants -- the accuser and the accused. Punish the guilty party, and acquit the one who is innocent.
"If your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against you, and if they turn to you and call on your name and pray to you here in this Temple,
then hear from heaven and forgive their sins and return them to this land you gave their ancestors.
"If the skies are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and then they pray toward this Temple and confess your name and turn from their sins because you have punished them,
then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to do what is right, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession.
"If there is a famine in the land, or plagues, or crop disease, or attacks of locusts or caterpillars, or if your people's enemies are in the land besieging their towns -- whatever the trouble is --
and if your people offer a prayer concerning their troubles or sorrow, raising their hands toward this Temple,
then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people whatever they deserve, for you alone know the human heart.
Then they will fear you and walk in your ways as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors.
"And when foreigners hear of you and your mighty miracles, and they come from distant lands to worship your great name and to pray toward this Temple,
then hear from heaven where you live, and grant what they ask of you. Then all the people of the earth will come to know and fear you, just as your own people Israel do. They, too, will know that this Temple I have built bears your name.
"If your people go out at your command to fight their enemies, and if they pray to you toward this city that you have chosen and toward this Temple that I have built for your name,
then hear their prayers from heaven and uphold their cause.
"If they sin against you -- and who has never sinned? -- you may become angry with them and let their enemies conquer them and take them captive to a foreign land far or near.
But in that land of exile, they may turn to you again in repentance and pray, 'We have sinned, done evil, and acted wickedly.'
Then if they turn to you with their whole heart and soul and pray toward the land you gave to their ancestors, toward this city you have chosen, and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name,
then hear their prayers from heaven where you live. Uphold their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against you.
"O my God, be attentive to all the prayers made to you in this place.
And now, O LORD God, arise and enter this resting place of yours, where your magnificent Ark has been placed. May your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and may your saints rejoice in your goodness.
O LORD God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember your unfailing love for your servant David. b "
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)