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Part Four

2579

David is par excellence the king “after God’s own heart,”

the shepherd who prays for his people and prays in their name.

His submission to the will of God, his praise, and his repentance,

will be a model for the prayer of the people. His prayer, the prayer

of God’s Anointed, is a faithful adherence to the divine promise

and expresses a loving and joyful trust in God, the only King and

Lord.

28

In the Psalms David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the first

prophet of Jewish and Christian prayer. The prayer of Christ, the

true Messiah and Son of David, will reveal and fulfill the meaning

of this prayer.

2580

The Temple of Jerusalem, the house of prayer that David

wanted to build, will be the work of his son, Solomon. The prayer

at the dedication of the Temple relies on God’s promise and cove­

nant, on the active presence of his name among his People, recall­

ing his mighty deeds at the Exodus.

29

The king lifts his hands

toward heaven and begs the Lord, on his own behalf, on behalf of

the entire people, and of the generations yet to come, for the

forgiveness of their sins and for their daily needs, so that the

nations may know that He is the only God and that the heart of his

people may belong wholly and entirely to him.

Elijah, the prophets and conversion of heart

2581

For the People of God, the Temple was to be the place of

their education in prayer: pilgrimages, feasts and sacrifices, the

evening offering, the incense, and the bread of the Presence

(“shewbread”)—all these signs of the holiness and glory of God

Most High and Most Near were appeals to and ways of prayer.

But ritualism often encouraged an excessively external worship.

The people needed education in faith and conversion of heart; this

was the mission of the prophets, both before and after the Exile.

2582

Elijah is the “father” of the prophets, “the generation of

those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.”

30

Elijah’s name, “The Lord is my God,” foretells the people’s cry in

response to his prayer on Mount Carmel.

31

St. James refers to Elijah

in order to encourage us to pray: “The prayer of the righteous is

powerful and effective.”

32

28 Cf.

2 Sam

7:18-29.

29

1 Kings

8:10-61.

30

Ps

24:6.

31

1 Kings

18:39.

32

Jas

5:16b-18.

709

436

583

1150