Draw Close to God
He Knows “the Heart of the Sons of Mankind”
WHO of us has not felt overwhelmed by life’s challenges and problems? At times, it may seem that there is no one who can truly grasp the struggles we face or the deep pain we feel. Yet, there is someone who fully understands our feelings—Jehovah God. We can find comfort in the words of Solomon found at 2 Chronicles 6:29, 30.
Solomon is offering a prayer at the inauguration of the temple in Jerusalem in 1026 B.C.E. In his prayer, perhaps ten minutes in duration, Solomon extols Jehovah as a God of loyalty, the Fulfiller of promises, and the Hearer of prayer.—1 Kings 8:23-53; 2 Chronicles 6:14-42.
Solomon implores God to hear the entreaty of his worshippers. (Verse 29) Although Solomon mentions many afflictions (verse 28), he notes that each worshipper knows “his own plague” and feels “his own pain.” One person might be grieved by one thing while another may carry a very different inward burden.
Whatever the case, God-fearing ones need not carry their burdens alone. In his prayer, Solomon has in mind the individual worshipper who may be moved to ‘spread out his palms,’ approaching Jehovah in heartfelt prayer.* Perhaps Solomon recalls that his father, David, when greatly distressed, said: “Throw your burden upon Jehovah.”—Psalm 55:4, 22.
How will Jehovah respond to sincere pleas for help? Solomon beseeches Jehovah: “May you yourself hear from the heavens, the place of your dwelling, and you must forgive and give to each one according to all his ways.” (Verse 30) Solomon knows that the “Hearer of prayer” cares about his worshippers not just as a group but also as individuals. (Psalm 65:2) Jehovah provides the help needed, including forgiveness for the sinner who returns to God with all his heart.—2 Chronicles 6:36-39.
Why is Solomon sure that Jehovah will respond to the pleas of the repentant worshipper? Continuing his prayer, Solomon observes: “Because you [Jehovah] know his heart (for you yourself alone well know the heart of all the sons of mankind).” Jehovah is aware of the plague or pain that each faithful worshipper may carry in his heart, and his distress matters to Him.—Psalm 37:4.
We can draw comfort from Solomon’s prayer. Fellow humans may not fully understand our inner feelings—our “own plague” and our “own pain.” (Proverbs 14:10) But Jehovah knows our heart, and he deeply cares about us. Pouring out our heart to him in prayer can make our burdens easier to bear. “Throw all your anxiety upon him,” says the Bible, “because he cares for you.”—1 Peter 5:7.
In Bible times, ‘spreading out the palms,’ holding out the hands with the palms facing upward, was a gesture of prayer.—2 Chronicles 6:13.