In the presence of the manifestation of glory the king pronounced a blessing on the people which merged into, or took the form of, a blessing offered to God, as he recounted the way of the divine guidance, ascribing all the honor to Him alone.
After praise came prayer. This is ever the true order in worship. We too often reverse it, or, even worse, forget praise altogether in our desire to obtain gifts. Prayer preceded by praise is none the less powerful, but more so. In the words of these wonderful petitions Solomon is revealed in the real kingliness of his nature far more than in all the material splendor with which he surrounded himself, and which presently stopped his praise and paralyzed his praying. The true king lived for and in his people, and the breadth of Solomon's thought and desire for those over whom he reigned is graphically set forth. He was conscious of the fundamental necessity for the continued presence and government of God. He thought of his own people in their regular exercises of worship, and in their special seasons of need, through sin, in battle, in drought, in famine. The largeness of the kingly heart included the strangers who would dwell in the territory of the chosen; and, finally, he prayed tenderly for the nation in the days when because of its folly and sin it would be driven away into captivity. The prayer is great in its comprehensiveness and understanding of the heart of God.
the First Week after Epiphany