Prayer Wisdom

prayer wisdomIf someone told you that you could obtain something of great value just by asking for it, would you do it? I expect you might. Did you know that the Scriptures promise that God gives His wisdom when His children ask for it?

James, in his epistle, assures us that “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (Jas. 1:5).

What is wisdom? Wisdom does not equal knowledge. Wisdom does not refer to how much information we possess. Biblical wisdom is always active. Wisdom is information that is well-handled; it is knowledge that is appropriately applied. Wisdom is something that God is eager to give His children. All we have to do is ask. We are to ask without doubting God (Jas. 1:6). We are to ask believing that God will fulfill His promise according to His Word.

I don’t know how this sounds to you, but I regard this to be the best kind of news! As I seek to manage my time well, as I attempt to sensitively interact with persons in pain, as I endeavour to chart a course for the congregation I serve, I need wisdom. And, thankfully, I don’t have to go far to get it. God stands ready to give me His wisdom when I pray for it.

If that is true, why do we not see a wealth of wisdom within the Christian Church today? If wisdom is just a prayer away, shouldn’t we be standing out as a group of people who adeptly apply knowledge?

I don’t mean to sound unkind when I say that the wisdom of the Christian Church should be more noticeable. Individual Christians should be known for their ability to make wise decisions, even within difficult situations.

Why aren’t more Christians asking God for wisdom?

I have a few ideas:

1. Some Christians may not be aware that Divine wisdom is readily available to them.

It’s like the first time I sat in a luxury box at a sporting event. I didn’t have much money and so I didn’t order any pizza–until I found out that the pizza was included in the box–it was free! It is possible that some followers of Jesus don’t yet know that God stands ready to give them wisdom once they ask with faith.

2. We feel guilty always asking God for things.

This happens when we imagine God to be like a human benefactor. As a teenager, I would regularly ask my mother for money, but before I would receive anything from her I needed to answer a series of questions: “What did I do with the $20 she gave me yesterday?”, “What do I plan to do with this money?”, “Will this money keep me from asking again this week?”.

Some of us imagine that we will wear God out if we keep asking Him for things. But God is NOT like a human benefactor. James says, “He gives generously to all without finding fault.

3. We are locked in a posture of self-sufficiency.

Our default position is to want to do things by our own power. Like a husband in a car who won’t stop to ask for directions when lost, we are prone to wanting to solve our own problems.

While James exhorts us to ask for wisdom, Solomon is our real life example of someone who did just that and benefitted greatly by doing so. From Solomon we learn that the key to success is not self-sufficiency, but rather, dependence on God:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

Friend, our loving Heavenly Father stands ready to give generously to you.

Pray for wisdom and you will receive it.

Depend upon God’s wisdom, and He will make straight your paths.

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“Solomon: Passion For Wisdom”, based on 1Kings 3:1-15, was preached at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk on Sunday, May 29, 2011.