I wanted to expand on one important aspect of prayer: asking God for wisdom.
Maybe the most famous command to do so in the Bible appears in James 1:5:
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
This instruction falls in the “Give us this day our daily bread” category of the prayer of Jesus. It is important to highlight wisdom because far too often, when faced with a difficult decision, we send up a quick “God tell me what to do,” instead of prayerfully considering the options.
Here are three examples which detail God’s desire for us to seek after and employ wisdom in our daily life:
- Shortly after Kings David’s death, God speaks to King Solomon, offering him anything he would request. At this offer Solomon expresses his concern over not knowing how to lead the people of Israel, but instead of asking that God tell him what to do (as he could have done), he asks for wisdom – which God is so happy to grant that He freely gives Solomon riches, honor, and long life as well, if only he will continue to follow God (1 Kings 3:5-15).
- Every single one of Proverbs’ 31 chapters mentions wisdom by name and encourages the reader to seek after it; I don’t believe there is any more highly regarded quality in Proverbs than true wisdom.
- In Mathew 10:16 Jesus Himself advises His disciples to prepare themselves for the work to come by being “shrewd as serpents.” Even a cursory examination of the scriptures will reveal that wisdom is a quality held in extremely high regard by God and His people.
The Bible seems to communicate that God holds human beings in very high regard, we are made in His image and He humbled Himself to point of sharing in our humanity and taking upon Himself a crushing punishment, death on Roman cross, to provide us with the chance to find Him. The Bible is clear, God doesn’t want followers He must move like so many chess pieces around the world, but like any good father, He wants us to become so familiar with His desires that we automatically apply the things He has taught us to every situation; that we begin to make Christ-like decisions on our own.