The prayer to God over the fire (2 Macc 1:24-1:29)

“The prayer was to this effect,

‘O Lord, Lord God,

Creator of all things,

You are awe-inspiring.

You are strong.

You are just.

You are merciful.

You alone are king.

You are kind.

You alone are bountiful.

You alone are just.

You are almighty.

You are eternal.

You rescue Israel from every evil.

You chose our ancestors.

You consecrated them.

Accept this sacrifice on behalf of all your people Israel!

Preserve your portion!

Make it holy!

Gather together our scattered people!

Set free those who are slaves among the gentiles!

Look on those who are rejected and despised!

Let the gentiles know that you are our God!

Punish those who oppress!

Punish those who are insolent with pride!

Plant your people in your holy place,

As Moses promised.’”

This is a beautiful prayer that emphasizes a theology of the attributes of God. God is a king, awe-inspiring, strong, just, merciful, kind, bountiful, almighty, and eternal. Then there was the turn to how God had rescued Israel and helped their consecrated ancestors. They want their sacrifice made holy. They wanted their scattered people to return, especially from the gentile slavery. They wanted God to look kindly on the rejected, the despised, and the oppressed. However, God should punish the oppressors and the prideful insolent people. Finally they wanted their people be brought back to the holy place as Moses had promised. Jerusalem was the holy place as they were scattered among the hostile gentiles.