1 Chronicles 29: Some Reflections on Prayer

Northraleighchurch   -  

One of my favorite prayers in all of Scripture is David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29, a prayer that he speaks over the people gathered as he is preparing them for Solomon to become the king. His prayer is one primarily of thanksgiving, of exultation, and of reverence towards God:

“Praise be to you, Lord,

    the God of our father Israel,

    from everlasting to everlasting.

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power

    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,

    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.

Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;

    you are exalted as head over all.

Wealth and honor come from you;

    you are the ruler of all things.

In your hands are strength and power

    to exalt and give strength to all.

Now, our God, we give you thanks,

    and praise your glorious name.

To understand the power of this prayer, we must first remember the context of the book of Chronicles itself. When compared to the book of Kings (which tells the same story as Chronicles from quite a different perspective), the book of Chronicles feel significantly more hopeful, positive, and optimistic. This is because these were compiled during two different points in the Hebrew history: Kings was most likely completed and compiled while the people were in exile: in other words, from the point of view that they were being punished for their misdeeds. Chronicles, on the other hand, is being compiled after returning from exile: in a time of hope, where anything is possible and the people feel as though they have a fresh start. Not only that, but they have realized something that may not have always seemed true: God did not abandon them.

And so its understandable why this prayer of David would stick out in the mind of those compiling the Chronicles. In this prayer, David is relishing in all the goodness of God; something that was a clear truth for the the Hebrews coming out of exile. God is our ruler, and none else; everything good comes from him.

This prayer reminds us that prayer is not always about requests, but also about the joy that comes with knowing who our God is. It is a prayer that refreshes our memories of a faithful, loving, and self-giving God. A God who we long to be in relationship with.