The Wise Pray-er

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The Prayer – 1 Kings 3:5-14

If God were to ask you: What do you want me to give you? What would your answer be? Good health? Financial security? Most traditional Chinese might perhaps ask for 福录寿 (Blessings, Prosperity, Longevity). God told Solomon: Ask what shall I give you. V. 5

Solomon’s prayer v. 6-9
His prayer revealed his knowledge of:
1) His God – His character through His acts: the God who showed great and steadfast love to his father.. The God who delight in faithfulness, righteousness and uprightness of heart… The God who showed great and steadfast love to his father by giving him a son to be king. v. 6

(To pray to God is to acknowledge the character of God – we pray because we trust that God is a loving and dependable God.)

2) Himself: Solomon knew that he was king because God put him there. He acknowledged he is a little child (do not know how to go out or come in – RSV/NASB; do not know how to carry out my duties – NIV) v.7

(To pray to God is to acknowledge our dependence on Him – to confess our helpless and needy self.)

3) His responsibility: Solomon knew God made him to rule over His chosen people – great in number and great for the fact that they were His chosen people. v.8

(To pray to God is to know that God has a purpose for us to accomplish.)

4) His need: Solomon asked that God give him ‘wisdom’ to rule His people… the kind of wisdom that will differentiate the good and the bad. v. 9

(To pray to God is asking him for help to accomplish His purpose for us.)

God’s response: v.10-14
1) God was pleased with Solomon’s prayer. v.10 (Is God pleased with my prayer?)

2) God said “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right v.11 (Is my prayer selfishly for the good life – externally good stuffs in life? or for the ‘right’ life – internally discerning for righteous living?)

3) behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. v. 12 (When God grants a prayer request, He always gives the best – none like any other – just what we need.)

4) I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. v. 13 (God gives us beyond what we ask for.)

5) And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” v. 14 (Longevity: what is life – a long one if not for the purpose of obeying God?)

Is it not paradoxical that Solomon wisely asked God for ‘wisdom?’ Even praying wisely is by the grace of God. Why? Because the Holy Spirit intercedes for us according to the perfect will of God, the Father. (Romans 8:26-27)

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