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.
• 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.
• 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.