Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom

Back in March I heard a sermon about 1 Kings 3:1-15, and it’s been sticking with me, guiding me, and coming up so much recently.

Today my sweet friend Molly asked me how I’m able to focus on the Lord when I start to see Him working and doing things in exciting ways, and not “get ahead of Him.”

I told her about Solomon.

The scripture says that Solomon used to offer 1,000 burnt offerings on the altar at Gibeon. So when he went to Gibeon to offer more sacrifices to the Lord, it’s likely he was making a lot of offerings to the Lord that day as well. And if it was 1,000, it probably took him all day and all night worshipping the Lord in that way.

The scripture continues by saying “At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night.”

Here’s the first thing that sticks out to me. Solomon didn’t just walk into a place of worship and within a few minutes, expect to hear from the Lord as if we can summon Him at the snap of a finger. Instead, Solomon dedicated a significant amount of time drawing near to the Lord before the Lord drew near to him. He didn’t walk in and start making demands and focus on himself, he walked in and just focused on the Lord.

When the Lord appeared to Solomon in the dream, God says, “Ask what I shall give you.”

Here’s the second thing I find interesting – Solomon doesn’t treat God like Santa, hop on His lap, and immediately start asking for what he wants in his life.

No. Instead, Solomon enters into another time of worship – he begins praising God for His faithfulness.

You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

Solomon praises God for all He’s done in David’s life (his father) and his own.

This scripture has really guided my prayer life over the past few months. Whenever I feel myself getting lost in asking God for the things that I want, or that I’m excited for, and I start getting carried away, I take a step back, and I praise.

I praise Him for all the ways in which He’s been faithful already.

This helps me not tie His faithfulness in the things of the future. This helps me ground myself in the faithfulness He’s already revealed to me.

The past few days I’ve entered into a time of worship by reading scripture before even going to the Lord in prayer.

I’ve noticed that doing this helps ground me and remind me of who He is. I’m not treating Him like a magic genie where my wish is His command. Instead, I’m laying my desires at His feet, putting them aside, and learning more about Him, first.

When I finish reading, I find that I have more peace in my prayers. I’m not as desperate or concerned. My trust in Him has deepened just by laying my desires at His feet, and entering into a time of worship and praise through scripture.

I’m super thankful for this scripture and Solomon’s example in this. Thank you, Lord.

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