05/31/15 Praying for Wisdom

READING:  1 Kings 3-4, 2 Chronicles 1, Psalm 72

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  These texts cover the beginning of Solomon’s reign, including his marrying into Pharaoh’s family, his offering sacrifices at high places, and his prayer for wisdom. Psalm 72 is a corporate prayer for the king. As one carrying roles of leadership, I am challenged by Solomon’s prayer for wisdom.  

1. Solomon knew he could not lead in his own strength.  
Indeed, he admitted his youth and sought God to give him divine wisdom to lead His people.  He knew he was inadequate for the task. Every once in a while  I’m reminded that though I am 54 years old, I’m only a child trying to lead others. God knows I need those situations and dilemmas that drive me to Him like a little boy crawling into the lap of his daddy.  
1 Kgs. 3:7-8  Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership. Your servant is among Your people You have chosen, a people too numerous to be numbered or counted.
2. Solomon knew he needed God’s wisdom.  
Solomon could have requested so much from God (in fact, God commended him for not requesting a long life, riches, or vengeance on his enemies), but the king instead asked for wisdom. He wanted a wise heart. I know I need a wise heart, but I suspect I too often seek wisdom only after I learn my solutions don’t work.   
1 Kgs. 3:9 So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil.

3. The people were to pray for the king continually. 

In Psalm 72, the people understood that God’s blessing on the king resulted in their blessing as well; thus, they were challenged to pray for his length of life and blessings of prosperity. 

Psa. 72:15 May prayer be offered for him continually. . .

That prosperity, though, was not separated from the king’s righteousness (Psa. 72:1-3) and his global influence (Psa. 72:17). I am reminded in this text just how desperately I need others praying regularly for me. Particularly, I need people praying that God will empower me to walk in righteousness (72:1), act with justice (72:2), serve the poor and oppressed (72:12-14), and help spread His glory to the nations (72:17-19). 

PRAYER: I ask you today to pray for me the italicized prayer above. I, too, will pray the same for you. If you receive this devotion in the morning, please pray for me as I preach the Word on this Lord’s day.  

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalm 119:89-176

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