A Prayer Request I Absolutely Love!

Posted on June 25, 2020

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By David Ettinger

Pleasing God
Young Solomon had recently become king of Israel, stepping into the enormous shoes of his father David.

He had just led his people through a time of worship at the great high place in Gibeon (1 Kings 3:4). The king had overseen the presentation of 1,000 burnt offerings, and the Lord was extremely pleased with Israel’s monarch, so pleased that He came to Solomon in a dream and said: “Ask what you wish Me to give you” (v. 5).

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Solomon knew exactly what to request:

Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours? (vv. 8-9).

In a nutshell, Solomon asked for wisdom and discernment, and the Lord was again pleased:

Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days (vv. 11-13).

Making It Personal
I remember reading this is January of 1987, just three months after giving my life to Christ, and I absolutely loved this prayer request. It struck me like a thunderbolt, finding its way into my heart and mind, burrowing its way deeply into both. I resolved to make it personal.

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I packaged Solomon’s wondrous prayer request with a teaching I had recently heard by a renowned Bible teacher. He had said that Christians should have a working knowledge of all 66 books of the Bible. They don’t need to be scholars, but they should – in about 25 words or so – be able to explain what every book of the Bible is about.

I was impressed with this, and wanted to make it a reality in my life, but didn’t know how to go about it. However, when I read Solomon’s prayer request, the two melded perfectly, and I knew at once what to do.

Though I had never done so before, I had read in the Bible how people would lay face down and pray to God. It struck me that this was a good time to try this for myself. Therefore, I put down my Bible, got out of bed, and spread myself out on the floor. This position felt weird at first, but I quickly adjusted as it seemed the perfect position in which to make a request of the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

Making the Request
I was now ready to make my request. Of course, 33-plus years later, it is difficult to remember word-for-word what I said, but the gist went like this:

Lord, I am moved by Solomon’s prayer request, and I would like to make a similar one. Lord, I ask You for wisdom and discernment regarding Your Holy Word. Lord, I pray that You will give me the aptitude to understand Your Word – all 66 books – as well as the wisdom and discernment to apply it properly to my life, and to teach it properly to others. This is the desire on my heart, Lord, and I lay it before You.

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I can assuredly tell you that the Lord has indeed granted this prayer request, adding to it a love for the Word which keeps me coming back for more. (On average, I have read the entire Bible twice yearly for my 32 years as a believer.)

The Lesson
So, what’s the lesson here? I believe God places His desires for us in our hearts, and that we need to cultivate these desires through a close relationship with Him. If we do our parts, I believe God will fulfill yet another wonderful promise He made to us, this one written by Solomon’s father David: “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart [those which He gives us]” (Psalm 37:4).

I’ll always remember that first time I came to the Lord lying prone, and will always be grateful that He embedded Solomon’s glorious prayer request deep into my heart and soul. It is a fine prayer request indeed!