Receiving Wisdom as Prayer

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him…The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
James 1:5, 3:17

We are invited by this text to ask God for wisdom. We are told that we will receive wisdom from God. God will “give generously to all without finding fault.” We will not be shamed or judged for our need. We will not have to jump through hoops to have this need met. God will be generous with us, giving us an abundance of the wisdom we seek.

But what exactly are we seeking when we ask for wisdom? What is wisdom? According to the book of Proverbs, wisdom is a clear understanding of what is right and just and fair. But Proverbs takes us even deeper, telling us that wisdom is a way of life that is marked by reliance on and deep reverence for our Maker (Proverbs 3:5,6).

This text from the book of James tells us more specifically what wisdom from God looks like when it is lived out. We are told that it is pure. Wisdom is a single-minded intention to follow God’s guidance for our lives. It is peace-loving, considerate, full of mercy, impartial and sincere. This description matches closely the description of love found in I Corinthians 13.

When we ask for wisdom from God, we will receive a life transforming gift. We will be given the gift of being able to listen less to all the confusing, conflicting voices in our heads and in our world so that we can listen more to the voice of Love. We will begin to let go of all that creates conflict within and without and we will learn to practice the way of peace. And we will begin to be more and more considerate, respectful, impartial and genuine in our treatment of and interactions with others.

As wisdom enters our hearts and minds and is lived out in our lives we will be transformed. We will become more and more like Jesus, more and more like the God of Love that Jesus came to show us.

Wisdom is not simply about making good decisions. Wisdom is about God’s mind and heart becoming our own. To ask for wisdom is to let go of relying on our own ideas and to surrender in joy to the wisdom God offers.

God longs to give us this wisdom generously, abundantly. God longs to fill us full of this wisdom which is God’s life in us and through us.

You, God, are all wisdom,
you are peace-loving,
merciful, considerate and
full of loving kindness.
I ask for your wisdom today.
Thank you for your promise
to give to all who ask.
Thank you for your promise to give generously,
without finding fault.
Teach me your ways.
Let me know your heart
and mind.
I ask for your wisdom, God.

Prayer suggestion:

What are you feeling uncertain about at this time? Ask God for the wisdom you need today.
At the end of the day, review your sense of ways in which God guided you or filled you with wisdom.