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Prayer that Pleases God

Today’s reading: 1 Kings 2:13-4:19

My selection: I Kings 3:9, 10

9 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?”  10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.

My reflections: Solomon’s prayer for wisdom to be able to govern justly the kingdom of Israel pleased God. The implication is that not all prayer pleases God and that this prayer is instructive for us in knowing how we ought to pray. Notice the elements of this prayer:

1. A consciousness of God’s promises. The Lord appeared to Solomon and told him to make his request. God has invited His people who have been redeemed by Christ to come before His throne confidently in prayer to receive what they need. Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

2. A gratefulness for God’s faithfulness. Solomon begins his prayer by reviewing the ways God has already shown great and steadfast love to David and to him. Prayer that gives glory to God is certainly pleasing to Him. There is no hint of complaining or demanding here on the part of Solomon. It is as if he were saying, “you have already given me far more than I deserve.”

3. An attitude of humility. Solomon recognized his need for the Lord’s wisdom to do his job. Solomon did not ask for gifts that would make him comfortable or a long and easy life but the crucial gift he would need to do what God had given him to do: an understanding mind to discern good and evil so that he could properly govern the people.

The result? God was pleased with this prayer. He granted it, but He also gave Solomon riches and honor so that his reign would be like no other. These were the golden days of the kingdom of Israel, a foreshadowing of the coming of the eternal kingdom in which righteousness dwells.

My challenge: Are your prayers pleasing to God? Are you conscious of His promises, grateful for His faithfulness, and humble in your attitude? Are you asking for His wisdom to do the work He has given you to do rather than a soft life free from both the challenges and joys of doing His will?

Make Solomon’s prayer a model for your prayer today.

Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Kings 4:20-7:12

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