If God appeared to you today and told you He would grant you your heart’s desires; whatever you wished for, what would you ask for?
Would you ask Him to punish your foes, or would you ask Him to grant you power and wealth? Would your wish serve only you or others?
The following story from the Bible tells us of a great man, who had an encounter with God and no; he didn’t ask God to grant him some personal desires; he asked for something greater; something that had the Lord so impressed that instead of granting him what he asked for, He rewarded him with more.
“What would you like me to give you?” The Lord asked him.
Solomon answered, “You always showed great love for my father David, your servant, and he was good, loyal and honest in his relations with you. And you have continued to show him your great and constant love by giving him a son, who today rules in his place.
O Lord God, you have let me succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and don’t know how to rule. Here I am among the people you have chosen to be your own, a people who are so many that they cannot be counted.
So give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?”
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this, and so He said to him, “Because you asked for the wisdom to rule justly, instead of a long life for yourself or riches or the death of your enemies, I will do what you have asked.
I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again. I will also give you what you have not asked for; all your life you will have wealth and honour, more than that of any other king.
And if you obey me and keep my laws and commands, as your father David did, I will give you a long life.” (1 kings3:5-14).
King Solomon asked God for wisdom. What would you ask for? When we ask God for something, sometimes He denies us that which we ask for, when He feels our desires are selfish. This story made me reflect on the things I pray for; most of my prayers are about my success; my well-being; and I believe it is so with most of us.
Currently there are so many wrong things happening globally: the war between Israel and Gaza, the Ebola outbreak that has claimed so many lives in some African nations; the Malaysian airlines flight MH370 that is still missing (I hate to imagine what families and loved ones of that plane’s passengers and crew are going through)… The list is endless. One needn’t look far to find something that needs God’s intervention.
How many of us would remember to ask God to intervene in these situations? Sometimes when I pray, especially when I have some really pressing matters, I get this weird feeling that if I prayed for so many people/things, my personal needs might get overshadowed so God might overlook them and answer the others.
That’s a wrong mentality.
If Solomon’s story is anything to go by, God loves it when one can put aside their personal petitions and pray for others. In doing so, one doesn’t just help others, but also wins God’s favour. I’m imagining how happy He would be if one replied, “I would love to know you more Lord; to see things the way you want me to,” or “help me love my enemies.”
How pleased, He would be.
God, as I said in a previous post, doesn’t make dramatic appearances like He used to in the past. That, however, doesn’t mean He doesn’t visit us. He is an omnipresent God, so He is ever present with us. When we pray, let’s remember the homeless; those going through various forms of abuse and haven’t found a way out.
Let’s also remember the Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped by the insurgent group Boko Haram; and for their families, who must be going through hell; and for the two hundred and ninety eight members aboard the Malaysian jetliner MH17 who all perished when the plane was shot down; and those on the Algerian plane who also died. It must be really hard on their families.
There are so many people who need our intercession. Even in the midst of our personal tribulations, we should remember others, and in return, God will bless us abundantly.