A Prayer That Pleases God

Posted on November 23, 2020

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By David Ettinger

Solomon’s Example
I remember as a very young believer reading the account of when Solomon became king of Israel. God said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (1 Kings 3:5). Solomon could have asked for long life and wealth, but instead chose something far better: “… give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (v. 9).

Verse 10 says: “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.” As a result God blessed Solomon with the wisdom and discernment he sought, as well as those things he did not request – long life, wealth, and power.

I was so moved by this passage that I knelt at the side of bed and asked God for something similar. I said, “Lord, as Solomon has done, I now ask you for wisdom, specifically, wisdom to understand the Bible forward and back. I want to understand every book of your Holy Word and be able to teach it to others.”

What God Wanted
God answered my prayer. More than three decades later, I have read through the entire Bible twice yearly and have become a longtime teacher of His Word.

I came to realize that my Solomon-like prayer was not random or off-the-cuff. Rather, it was precisely what the Lord wanted. God had given me the spiritual gift of teaching and it was His desire that I nourish this gift with diligent study, which I have done. My love for His Word and insatiable desire to comprehend it and share it with others has been God’s plan for me from before the beginning of time (Ephesians 2:10).

God also has a plan for you which He ordained before time began. It is all part of His will.

God’s Will
The life of the Christian is about fulfilling God’s will; about obeying God no matter what He asks of you. Two verses in particular speak to this truth. The first is Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” The idea is that God is to come first in your life – that you desire to place Him above all else you hold dear – your children, your spouse, your job, your well-being.

The second verse is Matthew 6:10: “… your kingdom come, your will be done.” The will of God should be your priority in life. Yes, it is good to have goals, but they should take a back seat to fulfilling God’s will for your life. Notice that Scripture never instructs you to seek your own will, but God’s will and His alone. It’s all about what God wants, not what you want.

A Prayer God Loves
So, how does all this tie in with what Solomon prayed, what I prayed, and Jesus’ admonition to seek God’s will above all else? The answer lies in your willingness to obey God at every turn and, in this case, accomplishing His will for your life. You may be asking, “Sounds good, but how do I know what God’s will is for my life?” The key is to ask God to tell you what He wants you to ask Him for. In Solomon’s case, it was wisdom and discernment. In your case it’s … Hmm, what exactly is it?

Don’t know? That’s okay. Not knowing gives you the opportunity to pray a prayer God loves, and that prayer is this: “Lord, what do you want me to pray for?” I know this seems rather simple and anti-climactic, but think about it. Even if your prayers are wholly acceptable to God, are you praying for everything He wants you to pray for? Is there something you are omitting? Does God have something else on the prayer docket for you?

To find out, do this. When you come to the end of your next prayer time and have lifted up to God all the things He has placed on your heart, take a moment and add: “Lord, you have let me have my say, but what about You? When I pray in the future, what do you specifically want me to pray for? Please show me Your will in this matter and I will be honored to do it.”

God may not answer you at once, but I believe asking this question will greatly please Him. Perhaps while growing up you asked your parents, “Mom, Dad, is there anything I can do for you?” Their answer may have been, “No, nothing at this moment,” but the fact that you thought to ask delighted them. So too with God, who seeks His children’s love and obedience.

So, do you want to lift up a prayer to the Lord that will surely please Him? If so, simply ask Him: “God, what do you want me to pray for?” I’m not sure what the reply will be, but I am quite certain you will bring joy to your Father’s heart!