“Ask What I Shall Give You”
At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” (1 Kings 3:5)
What an incredible invitation! Can you imagine? This isn’t a fictional genie in a bottle. This is the Lord of heaven and earth asking you, “What do you want me to give you?” How would you have responded if you were in Solomon’s royal sandals?
There’s a lot we can learn and plenty of seeds for prayer we can pick up and adopt from the way Solomon responds. If I could very loosely paraphrase the next few verses…
O LORD my God, you have shown great and steadfast love to your servants in the past.
You have recognized when your servants have walked before you in faithfulness, righteousness, and uprightness of heart toward you.
You have been faithful in great and steadfast love. You continue to be the giver of great and undeserved gifts to your people. Though I am undeserving of the gifts you have already given me, you have brought me this far. You have been so very gracious to me.
I am in need.
There is so much I do not know.
There are so many paths I have not traveled.
Great challenges and obstacles lie ahead of me and I do not know the way. I am inadequate on my own to meet the challenges and walk the path.
Therefore, O LORD my God, I humbly ask for wisdom. Please give me an understanding mind that I might know you and your will. Help me grow in my ability to distinguish right from wrong, good from evil, wise from foolish, and worthwhile from wasteful. Shape me, O LORD my God, into the right influence on others, for your name’s sake.
I love you, LORD, and I am your servant.
What an incredible prayer! And how did the LORD respond?
“Behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.” (1 Kings 3:12)
To this day, we continue to be impressed at many of Solomon’s accomplishments and seek to apply the written fruits of his God-given wisdom.
But do you realize and appreciate today that someone “greater than Solomon” (Matt 12:42) eventually stepped on the scene and extended another invitation–not solely to a king in a bygone era, but to anyone willing to follow him at any point in history?
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matt 7:7-11)
What an incredible invitation! What if I prayed today to the God who heard Solomon? What if I prayed with the same humility? What if I prayerfully presented myself before heaven’s throne with the heart of a servant, taking my Lord’s invitation seriously? What sort of things could I pray for?
- “Give your servant an understanding mind” (James 1:5)
- “Give your servant a compassionate heart” (Luke 10:33)
- “Give your servant a focus on the ‘one necessary thing'” (Luke 10:41-42)
- “Give your servant a forgiving spirit” (Matt 6:14-15)
- “Give your servant an evangelistic will” (Luke 10:2)
- “Give your servant peace that surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7)
- “Give your servant joy in you that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Pet 1:8)
- “Give your servant the outcome of faith in you, salvation of the soul” (1 Pet 1:9)
You’re not Solomon, but the One who is greater than Solomon has opened the door, accomplished the access, secured the intercession, and extended the invitation.
Ask. Seek. Knock.
Trust the heart of your Father in heaven who knows how to give good things to those who ask him.