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Our Praise Thursday prayer series continues today, inspired by the book The Battle Plan for Prayer, from Stephen and Alex Kendrick.

Today we’re exploring: what is wisdom and how does it help us? How often do we pray for wisdom?  How might wisdom guide our strategic prayers?

Proverbs 4:7-9 (The Message) says:

3-9 When I was a boy at my father’s knee,
the pride and joy of my mother,
He would sit me down and drill me:
“Take this to heart. Do what I tell you—live!
Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!
Don’t forget one word! Don’t deviate an inch!
Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life;
love her—she keeps her eye on you.
Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom!
Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!
Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it;
never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious.
She’ll garland your life with grace,
she’ll festoon your days with beauty.”

So…based on that…can we assume that gathering wisdom is of supreme importance? The overwhelming answer is YES.

Prayer is a key to unlocking wisdom; prayer yields wisdom; then wisdom yields better prayer.  Wisdom is “the ability to apply knowledge to a given situation.” Taking what you know or research and making it work really well.

This involves friendship, marriage, parenting…it unlocks things that have been mysterious.  Wisdom helps you locate the straight, sure path.

Proverbs 4:12 reminds us that wisdom helps us keep from stumbling.  It keeps us from making rash or foolish decisions.

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Wisdom helps you see things from God’s eternal perspective.  He also promises to give it!

James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

But we should also ask for it.  Proverbs 2:4 reminds us to seek it like a precious metal or hidden treasure.  God gives it to us without reproach, insult or condemnation.  He wants us to bear fruit – he’s on our side – because when we grow in wisdom and in the knowledge of God, He receives the glory.

He receives glory through our integrity, honesty, humility, purity and our faithfulness.  Our good relationships glorify Him.

King Solomon sought the Lord for wisdom – even when he was invited to ask for ANYTHING from God! This is in I Kings 3:9…

“So 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?”

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God answers our prayers every day for wisdom simply by giving us the book of Proverbs – every time they read these passages, the Kendrick brothers say, “it’s like taking a giant smart pill or anti-idiot medicine.”

The Proverbs point out the differences between:

  • Hard work and laziness
  • Righteousness and wickedness
  • Honesty and dishonesty
  • Humility and arrogance

Discovering what is BETTER is a key takeaway of Proverbs:

Proverbs 16:32 – Better a patient person than a warrior,
one with self-control than one who takes a city.

Proverbs 15:16-17 – Better a little with the fear of the Lord
than great wealth with turmoil. Better a small serving of vegetables with love
than a fattened calf with hatred.

Proverbs 15:19-22 – The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns,
but the path of the upright is a highway.  A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish man despises his mother. Folly brings joy to one who has no sense,
but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course. Plans fail for lack of
counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

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We get wisdom from God, so praying for it should become a daily habit and a source for developing our prayer strategies.

Wisdom is not exclusive to older people – those who desire it can start receiving it at an early age.  Self-seeking, so-called mature people can still be unwise.

God puts His name on the line if wisdom is something you really want:

Proverbs 2:6 – For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

16:20 – Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,
and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

3:21-24 – My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Wisdom: pray for it often and expect it promptly!

CLOSING PRAYER:

Lord, you are my wonderful counselor and the source of all wisdom.  I take you at your word that when I ask for wisdom – from a heart that’s ready to put it obediently and faithfully into practice – you will surely pour it out upon me freely.  Because I surely need it! Every day and in every way.

I pray you’d help me view life from your eternal perspective rather than the world’s. Help me think long-term and understand the causes and effects of my choices.  Give me the discernment between what is good, better and best, and help me make right decisions in light of it.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Today’s Word of the Day is: tendentious (ten-DEN-shus), an adjective marked by a tendency to favor a certain point of view.

Thanks for listening!
– Joe, Hannah and Lilly