God said, “Ask what I shall give you.”
1 Kings 3:5
Solomon was the heir-apparent of King David. He knew he’d be the next king as soon as David died.
And that’s what happened. Solomon ascended to the throne of his father, David. He was the most powerful man in Israel and, indeed, in the Middle East at the time.
He could have anything he wanted, and he pretty much did!
Then God comes to him in a dream and said, “Ask what I shall give you.”
I think that this is like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet handing you a blank, signed check and saying, “Do what you would like.”
Solomon could have asked for long life. He could have asked for more land and territory to rule over. He could have asked for riches beyond anyone’s imagination.
How would you respond?
Solomon would later write that everything is folly “that goes on without God’s Word and works. He calls that man wise who guides himself by God’s Word and works, and he calls that man a fool who presumptuously guides himself by his own ideas and notions” (from the preface of 1523 to Proverbs, quoted from What Luther Says – A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian © 1959 Concordia Publishing House, p 1455).
While God has never come to be in a dream and said, “Ask what I shall give you,” Jesus did say, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
There’s nothing wrong with asking God for things or stuff. But maybe our first request should be for wisdom to ask for what we ought.
Sometimes I think we think we know what we want or need but it turns out that we didn’t really.
God knows exactly what we need and exactly when we need it. So we should approach his throne of grace in prayer asking for his will to be done in our lives and ask for the things we should.
A good rule of thumb in knowing what we should ask for is to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness (see Matthew 6:34). This will put us in the right frame of mind and heart to ask God for what we ought.
Remember, God has promised to hear us and to answer us. And he will hear and answer as our loving, heavenly Father. And that is a beautiful thing.
Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear the prayers of those who ask in your Son’s name. Mercifully incline your ears to us who have now made our prayers and supplications to you, and grant that those things for which we have faithfully asked according to your will we may receive to meet our need and bring glory to you; through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
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