Daily Devotional 5-18-20

Pleasing Prayers Part 1  
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful

 Give me an understanding mind so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. For who by himself is able to carry such a heavy responsibility?” The Lord was pleased with his reply and was glad that Solomon had asked for wisdom.  So he replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people and haven’t asked for a long life, or riches for yourself, or the defeat of your enemies— yes, I’ll give you what you asked for! I will give you a wiser mind than anyone else has ever had or ever will have!  And I will also give you what you didn’t ask for—riches and honor!  And no one in all the world will be as rich and famous as you for the rest of your life!  I Kings 3:9-13

It happened after Solomon had offered abundant sacrifice; the Lord appeared to him in dream and asked him to make any request. Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom and understanding to govern God’s people. Seriously, I don’t know the request I would have made, but I do know it would have been different than Solomon’s. I would have had a very long list of requests.  Solomon surprised God. He did not ask for riches, or the life of his enemies. His request moved God so much that in addition to the requested wisdom, God added riches and honor to Solomon.

The Lord was pleased with Solomon’s prayer. The text reveals some reasons for God’s acceptance of Solomon’s prayer. Solomon made the request with the right motive. He was focused on the task of being a king, with the desire to serve God’s chosen people. He was not selfish in his prayer request. He had no personal attachment or interest in his request. It was from the right place in his heart.

Sometimes our prayers come with wrong motives. James said, “And even when you do ask you don’t get it because your whole aim is wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure,” James 4:3. God is more interested in the motive and driving force behind our prayers. We either ask with selfish intentions, or we ask God to sponsor our ego and personal ambitions that has nothing to do with His kingdom. Solomon’s request was tied to the work God had given: to govern His people. His personal interests were laid aside. How often are your prayers focused on the kingdom of God and the wellbeing of others?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help me to develop the right heart in prayer. Cleanse my thoughts and heart so I may please you in my prayers.