Solomon's Ask Is The Example Our Prayer Lives Need
I recently re-prioritized, in attempts to spend more time reading my Bible. As anyone who is getting out of a rut and back into the Word may know, sometimes the “ok now what” kicks in when you’ve picked up the book, but are not quite sure where to start back in.
In true private school kid fashion, I decided to shoot for the Psalms and take it from there.
Needless to say, I did not land amongst David’s words. Instead, I opened my Bible to 2 Kings.
My initial response was not thrilled. 2 Kings? Tons of names I can’t pronounce? OY. But the Lord always puts you exactly where you need to be, so I decided I’d better follow through — except I did start in 1 Kings, for the sake of my OCD.
If you’re familiar with 1 Kings, you remember that it begins with King David’s death, and Solomon’s ascension to the throne. All those Hebrew names you can’t pronounce? The homies trying to take the kingdom’s reign before Solomon does? Good times.
Once Solomon is officially in charge of things, the infamous wisdom ask happens. In chapter 3 of 1 Kings, God speaks to Solomon and asks him what he wants — whatever it is, God will provide it for Solomon.
PLEASE HOLD and consider. You are told to ask for whatever you want. No questions asked. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? What are some “asks” that are consistently on your mind right now? A new job? A new apartment? A cool trip you can post about on Instagram?
As a new king, there are so many things that would’ve been helpful to Solomon. Material things. Effective things! But he asked — he prayed — with others, and the glory of the Father, in mind.
Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
Solomon’s response to God’s question first and foremost shows his gratitude. The new king did not take his position lightly, and understood that the Lord could have chosen someone else for the job. The Lord did not owe Solomon anything — but He gave it.
As children of God, we know we’re blessed. Even in times of trial, we throw out a “and God is good and God provides” and genuinely understand that. Understanding should be followed by gratitude. We are not deserving of anything that God gives us, yet He continues to provide. Taking time out of our day to recognize that only strengthens that appreciation.
Solomon’s prayer also shows great humility. He came before the Lord, not high and mighty as a newly appointed king, but humbly, understanding that his success in this position solely relied on the Lord. He didn’t try to hide his weaknesses or insecurities — instead, he gave them to God and trusted His provision.
How often do we try to hide our fears, putting on a brave face and a “I got this” demeanor? Have you done this in your prayer life? I certainly have. We pride ourselves in our ability to do the hard things, no matter what that may be. Looking at the leadership examples we have today, pride is a flaw we see every single day. “Look at me! Listen to me! Vote for me because I am invincible!” fills our news stations. A humble spirit is lacking, and nations are suffering because of it.
Even if you aren’t in a literal position of leadership, you are a leader in how your actions can directly impact those around you. In our day to day lives, we need grace and understanding and HELP! We need Jesus, y’all. Asking for the Lord’s help, giving Him the control and following His lead, will only better that impact we have. Humility, while a quiet strength, is a great one.
Lastly, Solomon’s request displays his dedication to the responsibility the Lord has placed upon him. He was a leader for God’s people — he was called to create positive, lasting change for the kingdom of God. His calling, while in a prominent place of leadership, is the same as ours today. Glorifying his Creator, through both word and deed.
This responsibility wasn’t just something Solomon knew and then placed on the back burner. It was a framework used to make decisions. Solomon could have answered God’s question selfishly, thinking of himself and what he wanted. But instead, he used his responsibility to help him consider his answer. What would happen if we did the same?
Solomon’s prayerful response to God’s question shows a great king, already wise in how he asked for wisdom! His response is an amazing example to us today — people who have wish lists and Pinterest boards filled with desires. But instead of those new kicks or perfect things, a trait of personal growth and eternal praise brings glory to the Father as intended.