Praying for What We Really Need
2Chr. 1:7 That night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I should give you.” 8 Solomon said to God, “You have shown great and steadfast love to my father David, and have made me succeed him as king. 9 O LORD God, let your promise to my father David now be fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of yours?” 11 God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may rule my people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.” 13 So Solomon came from the high place at Gibeon, from the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem. And he reigned over Israel.
Solomon had an intimate relationship with the Lord and in that space God asked him, “what should I give you?” Solomon’s prayer time was not filled with requests before God, but rather was a time when he was in God’s presence, getting to know the God of all creation.
While later in life Solomon strayed, we see that in his early years he recognized his dependence upon God. His prayer was not for anything worldly but for the spiritual. Wisdom was what he knew that he needed, not for himself, but so that he would be able to be the kind of leader that the people needed. He wanted to have God’s wisdom so that he could lead God’s people.
Solomon prays in earnest, and he also prays what he ought. God then answers his prayer and he is remembered as man filled with great wisdom.
Learning to pray for what we really need can be a challenge. Solomon learned how to rest in God’s presence. It was in that place of intimacy that God posed the question to Solomon. It wasn’t Solomon’s plan to ask for wisdom, but instead it was at God’s leading that he brought his request to God. There is something about this kind of patience that allows us to get to know the Father. Too often we are in a hurry with our prayer time that we fail to simply rest in the presence of God and allow him to search our hearts, minds and motives. If we would give God that space, then we would be able to hear his voice when he asks, “what do you want?”
Solomon didn’t ask for something for himself. Wisdom may seem like it’s an individual thing, but he only asked for wisdom so that he would be able to be a better leader for God’s people. In other words, he asked God to fill in the gaps of his own personal short-comings so that he could be a better servant.
Where does God need to fill in the gap in our lives today? We will never be good at everything and it’s important to acknowledge this before God. It is in our weaknesses that he is strong. It was God’s wisdom that was revealed in the life of Solomon that put people in awe of his abilities. God was revealed in Solomon. God wants to be revealed in our lives and that is what leads us to a prayer life in which our requests are made in earnest, but also filled with what they “ought.”
What “ought” we be praying for? Whatever it is that we are trying to do in our ability is what we ought to bring before God. He will provide the strength, wisdom, leadership, guidance that we may not have and through this, he will be revealed. That’s what we really need!
Lord, may I be dependent upon you today and every day. Amen.