Summary: The prayer that pleases God is one that ask for what God wants, trust in the goodness of God, and recognise our true needs.
1 Kings 3:1-15 THE PRAYER THAT PLEASES GOD ES 30 Apr 17 1637
Solomon had an exceptional encounter in 1 Kings 3. God appeared to him in a dream and posed this: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (3:5)
• What would you ask for, given the chance? This is not easy as it sounds. There may be many things we need, and it will take us some time to think.
• Solomon asked for a DISCERNING heart. 3:9 “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.”
The word discerning heart literally means hearing heart. Some versions put understanding heart – the ability to understand what is good, right and just.
• Solomon asked for WISDOM - to govern the people and to distinguish between right and wrong.
• It’s a selfless prayer, not something for himself but for the task at hand – the need he saw in governing the Kingdom well.
Noticed what God said to him – “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
• God did not promise him anything. He did not say He will give Solomon what he asked for. It was an ASK without the “and I will give it to you.”
• Strictly speaking, it is not a “blank cheque” as some people puts it.
• Look at God’s response to Solomon - 3:11-12 11So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12I will do what you have asked.”
• The decision to give Solomon what he asked for comes only in verse 12.
The “offer” God posed is more like a test: “Tell me what you want from me.”
• Solomon’s ASKING will reveals his heart. Whatever he asks for, reveals his heart. It reveals what matters to him.
• OUR ASKING today reveals our heart. It shows where our concerns are and where our priorities lie. Our prayers are indicators of the matters of our heart.
• What are you praying for today? What are we asking God for? It reveals our heart.
God was pleased. 3:10 “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.”
• He sees Solomon’s heart for the Kingdom and for righteousness.
• Remember what Jesus says, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given (shall be added) to you as well.” (Matt 6:33)
• God ADDS ON to what Solomon asked. 3:13 “Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for - both riches and honour - so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.
• SEEK FIRST God’s concerns and He will take care of our concerns.
And the Lord went on to say – 3:14 “And IF YOU WALK in my ways and OBEY my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”
• Notice the IF. Even with this wisdom, Solomon is still free to choose. He can rejects the wisdom of God and disobey Him. Wisdom is not an immunity.
• We pray that we will always walk in the wisdom of God, heed God’s Word and not grieve the Holy Spirit (cf. Eph 4:30) when He prompts us.
In such context, wisdom is not a want but a need. Solomon needed it. It’s a necessity. I believe, without this prayer, Solomon would have ended up much worst.
• The author gave us some tell-tale signs. 3:1 Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David…
• This goes against the warning in the Law (Deut 17) not to have anything to do with Egypt.
• 3:2 The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD. And he himself offered at the high place.
• 3:3 Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the statutes of his father David, EXCEPT THAT he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.
High places are the high points on hilltops or mountain sides where the Canaanites use to offer sacrifices to their gods.
• The Israelites are to worship at the tabernacle, which is in Jerusalem, where the Ark of the Lord is.
• Solomon tries to honour God, except that. So when he asks for “a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” (3:9) – it was what he really needs, and God was pleased.
LET ME SHARE WITH YOU THESE 3 THOUGHTS FROM SOLOMON’S PRAYER: