So often my prayer life is anemic and tentative. My faith is weak. I hesitate to ask for God-sized answers to prayer because I’m not confident my faith can survive if God doesn’t respond the way I want. And, of course, my prayers often fall into that caveat in James, “When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” But I’m reminded by Solomon’s request that if I’m uncertain about whether a prayer is wrongly motivated, I can ask the Lord, and He will certainly grant me the wisdom to know the difference!
This chapter, our message from this past weekend, and the prayers of my small group, which God answered in a huge way, have converged to remind me that I serve a God who spoke our universe into existence. Instead of asking for the mundane, temporal, things that rust and decay and spoil, God calls us to recognize things of eternal value and divine scope and to seek those things first. While God is able and willing to answer our man-sized prayers, He delights to answer prayers that turn all eyes to Him in awe.
When Solomon prayed an enormous, God-sized prayer, God generously gave even more. When we ask God for something which honors Him, something that only God can do, we can ask with confidence. There are only three possible answers to these prayers:
1. God provides exactly what we prayed for.
2. God provides what we asked for plus even more.
3. God provides something that is even better than what we prayed for.
This last one is tricky because often our definition of “better” may not align with God’s. But, when in doubt, we must trust the God who speaks galaxies into being, who raised Jesus from the dead, and who declares His great love for us also knows what is best for us.
This is the faith that inspired Solomon to ask boldly for wisdom and this same faith compels us to ask for great things for the kingdom of God.