Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Prayer God Will Always Say Yes To (ninth in a series of ten)

Wouldn’t it be great if we could really have an Easy Button? We could keep it in our pocket and whenever there was a crisis, or a puzzling situation, or we needed an answer about something, we could just take it out and push.

Life is complicated. We try to get a handle on life by reading books about it, and consulting experts. You and I can work our way through a problem, figure out solutions, make decisions based on the facts as we know them...but coming up with the smart answer is not a guarantee for finding out the right answer. But being smart isn’t enough. What you and I really need is wisdom

Wisdom is more than the ability to make sensible decisions. It involves the ability to discern the truth in a situation, the ability to understand what may lie ahead and the willingness to do the right thing.

And that’s the rub. Often you and I don’t know what the future holds, and it’s very hard, from our limited vantage, to know what the right thing is to do.

But God is not limited. He always knows the future and He sees the truth in your situation, He sees details that even you may be missing, He sees all the ramifications, and He knows the right thing to do. God will always answer this prayer with generosity, “Lord, please give me wisdom.” He will give you the ability to understand things from His perspective and to desire what He desires.

God sees everything that is happening to you right now, in fact He is an active part of your situation. He is intensely interested in what’s going on because He loves you and has your best interests at heart.

When you ask God for wisdom you are essentially asking God for the gift of Himself, because He is wisdom. When you are in union with God you have direct access to everything God has made available to you in Himself: peace, courage, love, truth and wisdom. He wants you to have these things, and He wants you to glorify Him by sharing these gifts with the other people in your life.

Will God give you a direct answer to a direct question? Like, “Please, God, give me wisdom in juggling my career and raising my children?” The answer is yes so long as you are asking to serve God more effectively, and not to serve yourself, or something else. Will He show you how to get out of debt? Yes, He will lead you to the best answer possible to that question so long as your purpose is to serve Him more effectively.

It’s not that other motivations are necessarily wrong. It’s that the focus of God’s wisdom is not to be on myself, but to be on God. His purpose is always going to be to draw you into a closer union with Himself, that’s in your best interests. His solutions may not be what you were interested in hearing. But they will be the wise solutions

The more you ask for wisdom, which is really asking for God’s perspective, the more you will notice a change in what you will see in a situation. You will begin to see possibilities and solutions you’d never thought of before. You will find yourself willing to consider decisions you had been closed to before.

The last thing about wisdom is this
James 1:5-8 says “If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won't correct you for asking. But when you ask for somet you must have faith and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like an ocean wave tossed around in a storm. If you are that kind of person, you can't make up your mind, and you surely can't be trusted. So don't expect the Lord to give you anything at all.”

Wisdom is not just knowing the right thing to do, it’s doing it. In order to receive God’s wisdom you must already be prepared to follow through with what He shows you. If you feel you have been earnestly asking God for His wisdom and you feel like He’s shown you nothing, then maybe this is the roadblock: you aren’t ready yet to put His words into action.


These thoughts on prayer are taken from the Catholic author Anthony DeStefano's delightful book, "Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To: Divine Answers To Life's Most Difficult Problems."

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