22 “If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath, and he comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this house, 23 then hear from heaven and act and judge Your servants, [k]punishing the wicked by bringing his way on his own head and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.
24 “If Your people Israel [l]are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and they return to You and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication before You in this house, 25 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You have given to them and to their fathers.
26 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin when You afflict them; 27 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and Your people Israel, indeed, teach them the good way in which they should walk. And send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people for an inheritance.
28 “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, if there is locust or grasshopper, if their enemies besiege them in the land of their [m]cities, whatever plague or whatever sickness there is, 29 whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or by all Your people Israel, [n]each knowing his own affliction and his own pain, and spreading his hands toward this house, 30 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men, 31 that they may [o]fear You, to walk in Your ways [p]as long as they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.
At first, it might seem that Solomon is asking God for a “blank check” when anyone prays toward the temple, but we see an important condition in verse 30. That is, Solomon asks God to take into account the ways and the heart of the person asking. For while others might see the ways of a man, no one knows our hearts like God.
Ultimately, that is at the heart of so many things like this. We are told practically ask for anything, or that “all things are possible”. But all of it depends on our heart, and how that affects what we are asking for. If our hearts are not in tune with God, we might ask for a million dollars and a fancy car and a mansion, etc. But none of that is likely to happen just because we asked.
For when our hearts are in tune with God, we will not ask for frivolous things, but our hearts will crave that which He craves. We will desire that which will accomplish God’s will, those things which will bring glory to Him, that the sons of men may fear God, and to walk in His ways. That is the end goal of it all, to draw all men (women too!) toward God, to show His goodness, faithfulness, righteousness, and more.