The Ark of the Covenant is now placed in a final, permanent resting place. The temple is built, and those authorized to transport it (transported by men walking) have done so, resting it in the “inner sanctuary” of the temple (8:1-11). With this being done, Solomon speaks to the assembled crowd (8:12-21), and addresses the Lord in prayer (8:22-53). After his prayer Solomon, again, speaks to the people, exhorting them to stay loyal to the Lord (8:54-61). For two weeks there was a festive occasion for the temple dedication (8:62-66).
Application: Solomon’s prayer has much “meat” to it. Only a couple of things that I will offer, however. First, truly, the temple was a house of prayer. When the people present themselves in prayer toward the Temple (whether from afar or near), or when they come to the temple and pray, Solomon asked the Lord to hear. If the people are taken into captivity and “come to themselves” (8:47), Solomon appeals to the Lord to hear and grant the reprieve. A second point worth notice, related to the first, is that every man knows the plague of his heart. In other words, every man has a “closet door” he (or she) does not want opened. When you reflect on your own “plague of the heart” you certainly understand why. However, a “plague” that is not eradicated kills. It is to the Lord that we must turn, and it is to the Lord that we must encourage and appeal to others to turn also. Whatever the plague is: drugs, alcohol, infidelity, sensuality, greed, sins of the tongue, whatever it is, we must encourage those weaknesses to be turned over to the Lord for our own individual healing. If they are not turned over to Him we will be buried by them.