Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 1-3
Today’s Reflection: 2 Chronicles 1:7-10
7) In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” 8) And Solomon said to God, “You have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and have made me king in his place. 9) O Lord God, let your word to David my father be now fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10) Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?”
Solomon had just become king. His powerful and highly regarded father was dead. And though his reign was embraced by most of the people of Israel, there were people who sought the throne for themselves. Outside of Israel, there were enemies who might have seen a change in leadership as a weak moment for the nation and a good time to attack. There were many things a king in Solomon’s position may have had on his mind: ensuring loyalty within, enforcing security without, securing resources for defense and for living provisions. But when God came to Solomon and offered to give him whatever he desired, he didn’t ask for security, or wealth. He asked for wisdom to serve Israel faithfully. So God granted him what he asked and gave Solomon wealth and power besides, such that there was no wiser king nor any reign in Israel’s history greater than his.
The real question here is why did God show so much favor to Solomon’s prayer? It’s not just that it was selfless. It’s that Solomon allowed his request to be led by God’s spirit. His heart was with God’s will for Israel, and trusted in God’s provision and protection rather than seeking to do these things by human will and effort.
Now, in light of Jesus Christ providing each of us the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-17), it is possible for each of us to be led by God when we pray rather than just pray by human will or desire. This is why Jesus can make the claim that anything we ask for in His name will be granted (John 16:23-24). If we’re in harmony with God through the Holy Spirit, we will be led to pray for things in alignment with God’s will for our lives. This is also why Jesus tells us to first seek God’s kingdom and trust that everything else we need will be added as we have need (Matthew 6:25-33). Even in our prayers and petitions we are to put the work of the kingdom before anything else. As we submit to the renewing of our minds in Christ (Romans 12:2) our petitions and prayers will come more line with God’s will.
So the next time you pray, consider that it’s not a one-way communiqué. Ask for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. You may be surprised by what He places on your heart to pray. I’m sure you’ll be blessed by it.