“At Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream during the night. God said, ‘Ask what you would like me to give you.’ Now, Yahweh my God, you have made your servant king in succession to David my father. But I am a very young man, unskilled in leadership. An here is your servant, usrrounded with your people who you have chosen, a people so numerous that its number cannot be counted or reckoned. So give your servant a heart to understand how to gover your people, how to discern between good and evil, for how could one otherwise govern such a great people as yours?’ It pleased Yahweh that Solomon should have asked for this. ‘Since you have asked for this,’ God said, ‘and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself, here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as no one has had before and no one will have after you.” 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
In this verse we learn just how Solomon became so wise. He asked to be!
Solomon was given a great responsibility in governing behind the likes of the great King David, his father. He knew he had limitations and asked God to make him whole, make him wise in governing God’s people. Because his prayer was not selfish, or self-centered, because his prayer was for the sake of others, God was pleased and answered his prayer in an even more glorious way than Solomon imagined. God made him the wisest man ever, the wisest man on earth forever!
What can we learn from Solomon’s prayer? The most important thing we can learn is that God is pleased to hear and answer our prayer. Another thing we can learn is that when we pray for ourselves with good for others as our intent, God is pleased and may even answer our prayer in a better way than we could imagine.
Does this mean that we should never pray for our own wants and desires? Not at all. God cares about us and loves to give us gifts whenever possible, whenever it will be good for us. So pray. Pray for others, and pray for yourself. God loves you. He is waiting to hear and answer.