The Prayer of a Servant

“The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, ‘Ask what I should give you.’” -1 Kings 3:5

Read 1 Kings 3:5-9

Solomon dreams that he is approached by God, who says “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” God’s offer to Solomon tested his heart. The question was sacred, and his response needed to be in the same spirit. Solomon’s answer reveals the desire to serve God as taught by his father, David.

Solomon requests the wisdom to do God’s will. He replies, “Lord, give your servant a heart that is skilled in listening so that I may govern your people, able to discern between good and evil.” In effect, Solomon’s prayer is the petition of the disciple in Jesus’ model prayer: “Our Father, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

God’s question to Solomon “What can I do for you?” is one that we all dream to receive. What if you were asked the same question by God? We realize that our prayers are also windows to our hearts. If most of what we ask is for ourselves, we must examine whether we view God as our servant or ourselves as servants of God. If we see ourselves as God’s servants, our prayers are very different. They are framed around the petition that says, “Thy will be done.”

As we approach the Advent season, let’s re-examine our hearts. It’s the season to change our response, to ask God, “Give us a discerning heart to serve your purpose in this generation.” This is the greatest gift to give to the giver of life.

Giver of every good gift, incline our hearts to serve you. Give us hearts skilled to listen to your purpose for us as we serve you in your world.

Joseph Jones, Ph.D., President, Fresno Pacific University