st. 1 = 1 Kings 8:23-26
st. 2 = 1 Kings 8:27-32
st. 3 = 1 Kings 8:33-40
st. 4 = 1 Kings 8:41-53
1 Kings 8:22-53 (and 2 Chron. 6:12-40) record the prayer of King Solomon at the dedication of the temple he had built for God. Though the immediate focus is always the temple, the prayer has far-reaching themes about the covenant (st. 1); worship and its elements-prayer, praise, and repentance (st. 2); daily life, war, and sickness (st. 3); and "the stranger" or "foreigner" (1 Kings 8:41) and repentant exiles (st. 4). Each stanza ends with a refrain: "we praise you, God; you are the LORD."
Calvin Seerveld (PHH 22) wrote the poetic summary of this temple prayer in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal. He notes that the dedication of Solomon's temple comes at the high point of Israel's history, about midway between the Exodus from Egypt (1 Kings 6:1) and the return from Babylonian captivity.
Dedication of a new church building; inauguration of a new congregation; beginning of a new season of church activities. Because of its far-reaching themes, this prayer is also appropriate at many other occasions of Christian worship.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook