The secret to answered prayers; asking for what pleases the Lord. How do we know what pleases Him? We read the Words He left on record, and we get to know His heart through them. According to 1 John 5:14-15, “We are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for ANYTHING that pleases Him.” And what a confidence that is! We see in 1 Kings 3:7-9, King Solomon went to God in prayer, and in verses 10-14 we see God’s response to him.
“Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
“The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”
Looking at Solomon’s prayer, ask yourself, what is different about his prayer as compared to some of ours? For starters, he went to God humbly. To be humble means;
deferential, respectful, submissive, self-effacing, unassertive, unpresuming; modest, unassuming, self-deprecating, free from vanity, hiding one’s light under a bushel; obsequious, sycophantic, servile; archaic resistless. low-ranking, low, lowly, lower-class, plebeian, proletarian, working-class, undistinguished, poor, mean, ignoble, of low birth,low-born, of low rank; common, commonplace, ordinary, simple, inferior, unimportant, unremarkable, insignificant, inconsequential;
Solomon didn’t go to God in all of his glory and kingly authority. He went to God in all of his humility, with full knowledge that, as Daniel said, God is the One who “controls the course of world events. He removes kings and sets up other kings.He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light.(Daniel 2:2-221) Solomon recognized that these people who made up his kingdom were actually God’s people, and that he needed the heart of God to govern them. Solomons prayer demonstrated that he understood the sovereignty of God, and his prayer pleased Him! As a result of Solomon’s humility and willingness to submit to God’s sovereignty, God answered Solomons prayers, and went above and beyond, giving him things he did not ask for. Solomon was king. He could rightfully ask for anything he wanted, and he did. He desired the wisdom needed to make decisions that would be pleasing to the Lord. Is that the motivation of our prayers?
In todays’ materialistically over saturated culture, what do we find ourselves praying for? I know that’s a tough question! Even the church has some of us ‘naming and claiming our blessing”! And by ‘blessing’ they mean your dream house, or car, or job. The list goes on and on. What would our prayers sound like if we simply left out the prayers for stuff and sincerely prayed for substance? What if instead of a house, we pray for honor and integrity? How about if instead of a car we pray for godly character, or compassion for the lost and the poor? What if instead of wealth, we follow King Solomon’s example and pray for wisdom? Would our prayers be answered then? As our hearts change…as we mature in our relationship with our Lord…the direction of our prayers with mature and change as well, and so will God’s response. Let’s try praying His will instead of our own, and just as God was with Solomon, so He will be with us.
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