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Eternity 7 - Prayers That Work - Praying For Wisdom

(James 1:5-8 NKJV) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. {6} But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. {7} For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; {8} he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

This Scripture tells us that if we ask God for wisdom - we will receive it! God will give it to us and never scold us for being dumb! This wisdom is not just theological wisdom but life wisdom, practical wisdom for life and godliness:
"Lord I don't know how to handle my me how"
"Lord I don't know how to raise my me how.."
"Lord I am about to be married and I have no idea about how to be a pastor's me how".

To see how PRACTICAL God's wisdom is it extends to telling a craftsman how to build (Exodus 30;1-3) and a farmer how to sow and harvest and process his crops (Isaiah 28:24-29). The wisdom God wants to give you is the wisdom you don't have - but need - in order to be blessed, to serve HIm, to love others, to provide for your family and to enjoy His creation. You can ask God to show you answers on just about anything!

When I was at theological college I was also pastoring a church and was very busy. I had this exam in Jewish History, a subject I thought was utterly boring and had not studied. So I prayed something like this...Lord I have been very busy for you, and I have not had time to study and Jewish History isn't mission critical -please show me the questions on the exam so I can pass tomorrow morning!".

My friend Rod Osment was a good student and I met him in the college library and he had done outlines on all the main topics. So I borrowed four of his outlines read them for an hour then fell asleep with exhaustion. The next morning the exam had four questions - on exactly the four outlines I had borrowed and I ended up getting 85%! God gave me wisdom, when I needed it, in a very specific way.

God is gracious and merciful and did not scold me for my lack of time to study and instead honoured my faith in His wisdom-giving goodness. God has answered prayers for me on how to fix computers, on theological issues, on educational strategies and many other things. I now know that when I am puzzled - God has the answer and can supply it when I pray. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of "wisdom and knowledge, counsel and might..." and is out Teacher that we might "know all things" ( 1 John 2:20,27).

God will give you wisdom when you pray, He has told you to pray for wisdom - so why not prayer a prayer that works - a prayer that God has told us to pray!

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John Edmiston


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