“Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for the sake of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this house, hear from heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.
—2 Chronicles 6:32-33
by: Trisha Gerstel.
It is human nature to be leery of strangers, even those who profess Christianity. How do you respond when a new person shows up at church and acts a little differently than what you are used to? Often, our initial reaction is to question the person’s motives and search for undesirable traits that can be used to justify our cynicism. In his prayer of dedication, King Solomon showed us the appropriate mindset toward strangers—a response that honors God because it is in keeping with His own thoughts and actions (Galatians 3:28). We should welcome strangers who seek a relationship with the Lord, praying for their spiritual wellbeing just as we would a friend.