|1 Kings 3:4-13
Psalm 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
“Give your servant, therefore, as understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.” (1Kgs 3:6)
I have always admired Solomon. Wow! What a cool thing to ask for, wisdom (in this translation, understanding and knowing right from wrong). I truly hope that I would ask for wisdom if I was given that opportunity, but he asked for it when he was ‘a mere youth’! Others may know what age scholars have placed that at, but for the sake of argument, let’s just say he was in his early 20’s. I am not sure I would have asked for wisdom at that age. (It is what I needed the most in retrospect, but it would not have been the first thing to come to my mind. At that age I thought I knew all I needed to know!) Then the greatest part of all is God’s response! Because Solomon asked for practical wisdom by which to govern God’s chosen people, and not for something selfish like long life, or riches, or victory in battle, He gave Solomon what he asked for in abundance, AS WELL AS riches and glory too! Wow, what a promise! He makes that promise to all of us, “ask and you shall receive”.
In the Gospel, we also see Jesus’ response to God’s chosen people. He and his apostles were trying to get away from the crowds for some much needed R&R. Yet there was a multitude of people waiting for them when they disembarked from the boat. Jesus did not dismiss them, nor ignore them, instead as the next verse says, “He taught them at length”. He responded to their request for knowledge, understanding, and healing. Of course, these verses lead into the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the ‘feeding’ of the multitudes. Jesus nourished their minds, their souls and their bodies. He will do this for us too if we ask!
But do we bother to take the time to ask? Do we make time to be with the Lord? A healthy spiritual life helps us balance our various life roles. Prayer time offers R&R for our spirit, our inner self. In prayer the Lord responds to us. Just as He responded to Solomon and to the 5000 and to countless people through the centuries. Quiet time is hard for many of us, even scary for some of us. Often we feel guilty that we should be DOING something more PRODUCTIVE. But what can be more productive then resting in the presence of God. This is the R&R Jesus was seeking with his apostles in the Gospel today. Prayer time helps us to return to our tasks and responsibilities and even our worries and anxieties with new hope and new confidence that God will be our strength and our guide.
Try to make prayer time a priority in your life this Lent.
This may be more of a sacrifice for many than all the things you might
think to ‘give up’. There are many benefits. Prayer helps to
raise our affections to God and the things of God which are then reflected
in all that we do, in all our relationships, in all that we find important.
Our intellect is purified. Our will is focused. Our priorities
put in order. We learn to rely on God’s providence and strive to
cooperate with its designs. If you quiet yourself and pray you will
get better at it. God will see to that.
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