Praying for Wisdom

Do you find yourself today launching out into a new venture or are you returning to what you were doing yesterday?

Whatever you find yourself doing today, God promises that he will generously give you wisdom if you ask. God graciously offers you wisdom for both simple jobs and for very complex tasks. When the disciples needed people to take care of the routine tasks of the new church they looked for individuals who were filled with wisdom (Acts 6:1-3).

Praying for wisdom starts with worship and requires humility, trust and curiosity.

Wisdom requires humility

When Solomon’s new career started as King of Israel, Solomon didn’t launch his career by seeking information on what a King was supposed to do, or by pursuing all the status symbols of his new role. You don’t find Solomon at the local bar celebrating his new job, or at the chariot dealership seeking out the latest sporty chariot, or with his realtor seeking out a vacation property. Instead you find Solomon leading his people in worship.

In humility, Solomon publicly worships God. He praises God for having placed him in his new position. Privately, when there was only Solomon and God in the room, Solomon thanks God for appointing him as ruler, and acknowledges that the people he leads are God’s people (even though he knew that not all of them had placed their faith in God). Solomon was the same humble person in public and in private.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. (James 3:13)

Wisdom requires trust

Having acknowledged publicly and privately that God had appointed him and prepared him to be King, Solomon demonstrates his trust in God by praying for wisdom. At this time in his life, Solomon’s heart’s desire is to behave in a manner worthy of a child of God. God answered Solomon’s prayer for wisdom.

We read in Proverbs that Solomon discovered that Wisdom wasn’t far away, but was standing in the street corners. Solomon learned that all he had to do when faced with a choice was to humbly trust and obey what Wisdom was saying.

Today we would say that Wisdom is calling out in the lobby of every office building, store, restaurant and transit stop. Like Solomon, we need Jesus to touch our ears so that we can hear what Wisdom is saying. Then we need to trust that what Wisdom is saying to us will bring joy and peace in our lives and in the lives of those around us in our workplace.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:5-7)

Wisdom requires curiosity

I would suggest that praying for wisdom also requires a spirit of childlike curiosity. Curiosity looks beyond the information needed to do a task or to answer a question. Curiosity looks to the interconnections and relationships lying behind a task or question.

When two prostitutes came to Solomon accusing each other of having stolen their baby, it is Solomon’s curiosity which looked behind the accusations to understand their hearts. Understanding their hearts enabled Solomon to make a wise decision. It is Solomon’s curiosity into understanding the way things are built that enables him to be the project manager for the building of a magnificent temple. One can read more about Solomon’s curiosity in the book of Ecclesiastes.

This is the world that God created. While we can glean a lot of information about the functioning of our world, only God fully understands every aspect of this world, and all the interdependencies that allow us not only to survive, but thrive on this planet. As the Creator, God understands the principles of accounting, human resources or computer systems better than any person ever will.

Would it not make sense to seek wisdom from the Creator himself to understand how each system, process, person, and tool that we work with can best be used to glorify Him?

Wisdom is not just for us.

When with humility, trust and curiosity you seek wisdom, your life becomes a rich blessing to those around you.

After the Queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon, she included these comments in her report: “How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!” (2 Chronicles 9:7). When you perform your job with wisdom, most of the people around you will be happy, for you will be radiating God’s grace, peace and love.

Your wisdom even brings a blessing to those people around you who are jealous of you. Jealousy is their choice, for God is freely willing to offer them wisdom if they choose to put their trust in the saving work of his Son, Jesus.

Wisdom brings glory to God.

When with humility, trust and curiosity you pray for wisdom, not only are you a rich blessing to those around, your life is glorifying God.

The Queen of Sheba continued in her report: “Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the Lord your God.” (2 Chronicles 9:8).

As you begin your new venture, or faithfully continue doing what you have been doing, will you in humility, in trust and with childlike curiosity:
(a) Thank God for the kindness he has shown you for bringing you to this stage of your life?
(b) Remember God’s promises?
(c) Ask God for wisdom?

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