Praying Through God’s Word: 1 Kings
1 Kings 1:1-53
No-one goes on forever. We read about David’s reign coming to an end, about David being replaced by Solomon (1 Kings 1:30). Help us, Lord, to pray that the future will be “greater” than the past (1 Kings 1:37,47). In all of life’s changes, help us to remember this: You are the living God (1 Kings 1:29) – the God who remains constant when everything else is changing, the God whose love is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable.
1 Kings 2:1-46
We thank You, Lord, that You are the God of new beginnings. Your purpose doesn’t stand still. It moves forward. Will we move forward with You? – That, Lord, is the question that each of us must ask answer. We cannot stand still. There are two ways we can go. We can move forward with You. We can go back to the past, back to what we were before Christ saved us, before He took hold of our lives, before He began to make us new people. Dare we even think of going back to the old life? That life can’t even begin to compare with our new life in Christ. Help us, Lord, to press on into the future, Your future, the new life in Christ, eternal life.
1 Kings 3:1-28
Which is most important to us – “building our own house” or “building the House of the Lord” (1 Kings 3:1-30. How often, Lord, do we think about the things that matter most to You? Are we too busy thinking about the things that matter most to ourselves? These are not questions to be ‘brushed under the carpet’. They are questions that demand our attention. They are questions that You, Lord, are asking us. You’re calling us to “consider our ways” (Haggai 1:5,7). Are we walking in Your way? or Are we going our own way? Call us back to Yourself, Lord. Call us back from a way ill lead us far from You. Call us into a way that will bring us close to You. Lead us to Jesus – He is “the way, the true and living way” (John 14:6).
1 Kings 4:1-34
Lord, give us wisdom (1 Kings 4:29). Help us to share this wisdom with others (1 Kings 4:32-34). What, Lord, is wisdom? Is it knowing a lot about history, geography and science? No, Lord, true wisdom is knowing Jesus, knowing that He is our Saviour, knowing that He shows us what life is all about, knowing that His love is the greatest love of all, the love that changes everything, the love that changes us. Help us to share His love with others. This is wisdom – knowing Jesus, knowing that He loves us, being changed by His love. Christ is “our Wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Help us to rejoice in Him – and to share His love with the people that we meet.
1 Kings 5:1-6:13
Lord, You want to “establish Your Word” among us (1 Kings 6:120. Do we “rejoice greatly” when we hear Your Word (1 Kings 5:7)? Help us to welcome Jesus Christ, “the Word made flesh”, the living Word who “dwells among us, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Help us to welcome Him as “Emmanuel – God with us” (Matthew 1:23). May we rejoice greatly when Jesus stands among us as our loving Saviour, when He comes to us as the risen Lord, when He speaks to us as Your living Word.
1 Kings 6:14-7:12
We read about Solomon – he built “his own house”, and he built “the House of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:37-7:1). Which was the most important to him? Which is most important to us – pleasing ourselves or serving You? Help us, Lord, not to be “lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure”. “Lovers of God” – this is what You call us to be (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Help us, Lord, to keep on making our choice – to become the kind of people that You want us to be.
1 Kings 7:13-8:13
Lord, You’re calling us to choose the life of fruitful service – “gold, silver, precious stones”. You’re calling us to leave behind the unfruitful life – “wood, hay, straw” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Help us to hear and answer Your call: “Rise up, O Church of God. Have done with lesser things. Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of kings”.
1 Kings 8:14-53
What, Lord, is most important to us – the person who leads us in worship, the place where we worship, or the God whom we worship? We know what our answer should be – but, often, our lives tell a very different story. Help us, when we worship, to learn that nothing and no-one can ever be more important than You. May our lives start catching up with the lessons that we learn when we are reading Your Word.
1 Kings 8:54-9:28
What is happening, Lord, when we are gathered together for worship? Is this merely a human thing, something that we do? – No! there is something more than this. Before we even thought of coming to Your House, You were there waiting for us. You welcome us. You speak Your Word to us: “Let your heart be wholly true to the Lord your God” (1 Kings 8:61). You’re calling us into a life of “joy and gladness” – a life of “walking before You with integrity of heart” (1 Kings 8:66; 1 Kings 9:4). This is true worship. It’s not just something that we do on a Sunday morning. It’s learning to walk with You all the days of our life. Lord, help us to worship You today – and every day.
1 Kings 10:1-11:13
We look, Lord, at “King Solomon” – and we see ourselves! “He was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth” (1 Kings 10:23). We like to think that we’re ‘getting on in the world.’ There was something seriously wrong with Solomon – “His heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God …he did not follow the Lord completely” (1 Kings 11:4,6). This is our problem. There’s too much of the world in our way of life – and not enough of You, Lord! How much do the things of this world really matter – if we don’t have Jesus as our Saviour (Mark 8:36)?
1 Kings 11:14-12:24
“Do not go up to fight against your brothers” (1 Kings 12:24). Lord, Your Word seems so simple – but we don’t always listen to what You’re saying to us! Less ‘This is what I think’ and more ‘What is the Lord saying to me?” – that’s what we need. Help us, Lord, to listen to You – and to be changed by Your Word.
1 Kings 12:25-13:34
“A son shall be born” (1 Kings 13:2). There would be a new king and a better future. Where, Lord, does our hope for the future come from? Does it come from earthly kings? No! It comes from Jesus, our Saviour. He’s the “King of kings.” He’s the “Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16). We read the words of prophecy: “to us a child is born … a son.” We read what Your Word says about Him. He is “Wonderful.” From Him, we receive wonderful blessings (Isaiah 9:6-7). Thank You, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus.
1 Kings 14:1-15:8
What are we to do when everything seems to be hopeless? – We turn to You, Lord. You are the God of hope. Our hope is in You. You can turn things around. Your love changes everything. Your love changes us. Thank You, Lord, for Your love. It’s Your love that gives us hope for the future. We look to the future – and we look to You. We say, “I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”
1 Kings 15:9-16:28
“Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord … The heart of Asa was wholly true to the Lord all his days” (1 Kings 15:11,14). Lord, help us to be more like Asa – to put You first in our lives. You want to take control of our attitudes and our actions. Change us, Lord. Change the way we think. Change the way we live. May pleasing You be our top priority – the thing that matters most to us.
1 Kings 16:29-18:16
We read about Elijah: “The Word of the Lord came to Elijah”; “You are a man of God and the Word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth” (1 Kings 18:1; 1 Kings 17:24). You’re challenging us to be all that You’re calling us to be – people who love You, people who are listening to You and speaking for You, people who are living for You. Lord, help us to rise to the challenge: to live as Your people, people who know You, love You and serve You.
1 Kings 18:17-19:21
Life is full of ups and downs. There are high-points – “The fire of the Lord fell” and “all the people said, ‘The Lord, He is God’” ( 1 Kings 18:37-39), and there are low-points – ”O Lord, take away my life” (1 Kings 19:4). Lord, we are so changeable. Sometimes, we’re full of joy. At other times, we’re at the point of despair. We find ourselves in a turmoil of confused and confusing emotions. What are we to do? What can we do? Can we pull ourselves together? We try – but we fail. Lord, help us to look beyond our own efforts. Help us to look to You, to believe that You can change us, You can come to us in our weakness, You can give us Your strength – the strength that we need to love You more and bring more glory to Your Name, the Name of our salvation.
1 Kings 20:1-43
Sometimes, Lord, we say, “I can’t” when we really mean, “I won’t.” We decide what’s important to us. You look at our chosen way of life, and You say, “You yourself have decided it.” You see our self-centred life, and You say, “So shall your judgment be” (1 Kings 20:40). Can we change? Yes! You say to us, “Come, strengthen yourself, and consider well what You have to do” (1 Kings 20:12). You say to us, “Be strong in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:10). Help us to “wait on You and renew our strength” (Isaiah 40:31).
1 Kings 21:1-22:14
We rejoice in Your Word of forgiveness and eternal life (1 John 1:9; 1 John 5:11-12). When our hearts grow cold and we start taking Your love and Your blessing for granted, help us to pay careful attention to the Gospel warning: “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3). Help us, Lord, when we hear Your Word, not to keep it to ourselves: “What the Lord says to me, that I will speak” (1 Kings 22:14).
1 Kings 22:15-53
We read, Lord, about Ahaziah – “He …provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger in every way that his father (Ahab) had done” (1 Kings 22:51-53). We read about Jesus– “I do as the Father commanded Me” (John 14:31). Help us, Lord, not to be like Ahaziah – he walked in the ways of his father … the ways of sin” (1 Kings 22:52). Help us to be like Jesus – walking in the ways of our Heavenly Father.