Thursday, July 13, 2017

We Should Pray for Wisdom

Chuckle: A woman complained to a marriage counselor about her husband's self-centeredness. "It was evident from the minute we married," she said. "He even wanted to be in the wedding pictures."
Quote: “Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.” --David Starr Jordan

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God. . . ." (James 1:5 NIV).
Last time, we began looking at some prerequisites for obtaining Godly wisdom for daily living. The first requirement is that we have a "teachable spirit." We must be eager to have God teach us his ways and impart his wisdom. The second important prerequisite is that we must have a "prayerful mind."
James 1:5b tells us that when we ask God for wisdom, he will generously give it to us without finding fault. There are several Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible for prayer, but James doesn't use any of them when he talks about praying for wisdom. Instead, he uses a common and simple word meaning, "just ask." Just ask!! This says to me that we should pray: "Lord, I need your wisdom to get through my day and deal with the difficulties which will arise."
Job 28:12,23 says: "But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells." Wisdom is God's gift to us as expressed in Proverbs 2:6 NIV: "For the Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding."
When our children ask us repeated questions, we may be prone to become impatient and say something like, "I'm busy and, besides, I've already told you a dozen times what to do and you still haven't done it." God is different. He doesn't find fault with our past mistakes. He doesn't dwell on our past failures to hear him. If God chooses to answer our prayer and grant us His wisdom, nothing can keep Him from doing so. But Satan can keep us from asking by telling us we are unworthy to ask. James tells us, "You have not because you ask not" (James 4:2 NIV). However, James gives us a word of advice about praying in faith: "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt" (James 1:6 NIV).
We are also admonished concerning our motives when we pray for wisdom. James 4:3 says: "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your (own selfish) pleasures." You see, when we are praying for wisdom, or something else, our motive should be to use whatever God gives us unselfishly in His service for the good of others. Otherwise, God says we may not receive what we are asking for. If you have asked God for something, but see no evidence of God's answer to that prayer, perhaps you should reexamine your motive for the request. Was it a selfish request for your own gratification or for the good of your family, friends, or others around you?
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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