Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: "I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.
When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if my people who are called by name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Now My ears will be open and My eyes attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually." 2 Chronicles 7:12-16
There are so many verses in the Word that talk about prayer. How do you pick just one? How do you make just one point? Today, He would have me remind you of this really important truth; He is listening! To assure you that He hears your prayers! Too often this "if my people who are called by My name." verse is quoted without the verses that come before and after and they are just as important to what He was saying to Solomon as well as what He would say to us today.
God spoke these words on the heels of Soloman's dedication of the temple and He was telling Soloman that He had chosen to dwell in this place. He had chosen this to be the place of His presence, the place that He had chosen to place His name.
In Deuteronomy 12:5-11 He says, "But you shall seek the place where the Lord your God chooses, out of your tribes, to put His name for His habitation; there you shall go. There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings, and the firstlings of your flocks.And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which the Lord your God has blessed you.You shall not at all do as we are doing here today-every man doing what is right in his own eyes-for as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you.But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and when He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety,then there will be the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the Lord."
This was all about God choosing a place to put His name so that the people whom He chose as His own would have a place of worship. A place to meet with Him, and a place where His name would abide. A place of where He and His people could be at rest. This is what He was declaring to Soloman. That He had chosen this place to put His name and because of that they could count on a listening ear to hear when they came to Him with a humble heart. He would hear their prayers when they came to pray and to seek His face. He would hear and see when they turned away from evil. He would hear, forgive their sin, and heal their land when they came to this place were He had chosen 'that His name may be there forever.' This was a place that the people who were called by His name could come and be assured that He would hear their prayer.
He promised. He said, "Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually." So many people quote this "if the people who are called by My name' verse and stop at the word land; they miss the promise that He was making-to have eyes that are open and ears that are attentive to the prayers that are offered up in the place that His name dwells!
So what does that mean for us today? In John 4 Jesus is having a conversation with the woman at the well. ..."Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where we ought to worship.
Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father...But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. John 4 20-24 In the Old testament the people traveled to the place that God placed His name to worship and to bring their sacrifices but in the New it is different. It is about being that people who are called by His name!
We bear His name. We are called Christians. We are the place that He has chosen to place His name. We now bring our sacrifices, our humble hearts, our confessions not to a special place but straight to the Father because when we "confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord..." we then bear His name. He then dwells with us and where He is, where His name is, we can count on ' open eyes and attentive ears that hear! He said if we are gathered together, where? In His name! Matthew 18:20
And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." John 14:13-14
Where His name abides... Be assured, He is listening!