A Prayer that pleases God

I Kings 3:9

Central Theme:  The prayer of Solomon pleased God and it is a prayer that we can pray.

Introduction–I love The Special Gathering new van but it rattles a lot.  In fact, the noise makes it hard for me to hear because there are so many rattles, squeaks and creeks.  I sometimes feel that way about prayer.  I have so many distractions in my life that I often allow those distractions to invade my prayers.  During those time, I wonder if God is even listening to me when I pray.  Name distractions.

I.     Solomon was known as the wisest man who ever lived and when he was a young man, he prayed a prayer that pleased God.

A. Have a member read I Kings 3:9.

              B. Tell story of Solomon and God’s promise to him from I Kings 3: 1-15.

D. God came to him in Gibeon, an important place of worship.

E.  God appeared to him and said, “Ask whatever you want and I will give it.”

F.  Solomon asked for wisdom.

II.     God was very pleased with his prayer and God gave him what he asked for.

A. There are many times that we could pray this prayer.

1.  When we are tempted to do wrong, ask for wisdom.

2.  When someone else has hurt us, ask for wisdom.

3.  When we have hurt another person, ask for wisdom.

4.  When we face a life-changing experience, ask for wisdom.

5.  There are not many times when we should not pray this prayer.

III.     But what is wisdom.

A. Wisdom is the ability to do the right thing at the right time.

B.  Wisdom is insight and good judgment.

1.  Insight is being able to understand a situation.  It means we can figure out ways to get the facts that we should know.

2.  Good judgment means that we can see both sides of a situation and we can chose the right thing to do.

A. ex At Country Christmas, the new leader changed the name to Holiday Hoedown and took away every reference of Jesus and God.  Therefore, Special Gathering bought our members large pins that said, “Jesus is the reason for the season”  and we asked everyone to wear their Christmas pin.

Conclusion–Asking for wisdom is a good prayer that God loves and He will always honor and answer that prayer.

I had several friends who had amazingly gifted children.  But they weren’t good students in school.  At times their mothers would come to me for solace and advice.  I would tell them, “Just get your child out of school.  Do everything you can to help him graduate from high school.  He’ll be fine once he is out of the school system.”

As the young men and women graduated and then began to succeed in their chosen careers, more than one mother came back and said, “I didn’t think so at the time but you were right.”

Too often, children aren’t able to succeed within the school system for a variety of reasons.  However, that doesn’t mean they are stupid.  Howie was a pretty obnoxious man with Downs Syndrome who attended Special Gathering, a ministry within the mentally challenged community, when I became a staff member.  However, Howie taught me a great many things about our sub-culture.  I’ve always been grateful to him for those cultural lessons.

One day, Howie called me.  He was so upset his voice was shaking.  He had gone to McDonald’s for dinner.  Some teenage boys were there and they proceeded to poke fun of him.  Howie took it as long as he could and then he walked over to their table.  He said, “I may be retarded but I’m not stupid or unkind.  I understand what you are saying and I don’t like it.  You, boys, may not be retarded but you are stupid and unkind.”

While our members may not have a high  IQ (Intellectual Quotient).  That doesn’t mean that they are stupid.  Most of them garner high points in other areas.  I’ve broken these down into three catagories:  SS (Street Smarts); CQ (Cunning Quotient) and WQ (Wisdom Quotient).

Street Smarts is the ability to survive in the most adverse situations.  Many people who are developmentally disabled I’ve met can outsmart the most street-wise individual in New York City.   While SS helps with survival, it’s not always attractive.   Carrie loves getting attention.  When she speaks she cannot be understood by anyone, even her parents.  Whenever we attend self-advocacy conferences, Carrie doesn’t let that fact stop her from joining in and even monopolizing the discussions.  Carrie has enough street smarts to know that under those circumstances, she won’t be interrupted or asked to sit down even though no one can understand her. 

Cunning Quotient is the ability to get your way even though the deck is stacked against you.  This ability is often used by normal people while playing poker and other competitive games.  Saul is a member of Special Gathering who attends regularly.  He is a dedicated Christian with autistic tendencies.  I admit it.  I love Saul a lot.  He is kind and he goes out of his way to bless me with his prayers.

Saul knows that if he hangs back a little as all the other Sepcial Gathering members go to get their refreshments, he can quietly go through the alternate refreshment line that isn’t meant for Special Gathering members.  This line has a greater variety of goodies.  Saul knows that because no one else notices, I will pretend that I don’t see him; and I’ll let him get by with it.  Yep, I make an exception just because he is Saul, the person who never gives anyone any trouble or asks for any other special favors.  That’s cunning.

The Wisdom Quotient is, of course, the most godly of the abilities and Judy embodies this quality.  She is a wise young woman who sits quietly and prays while others vie for attention.  One Sunday, I had been hurried because everything had gone wrong.  My van had not been at the church when I needed it; and I had to arrange other transportation.  The sound system had not worked.  Most of my choir members were absent.  My husband was sick. 

As I fumbled trying to find my sermon for the morning, Judy reached over from the choir.  “I pray for you,” she whispered.  “Lord, Linda doesn’t want me to know it but she is really upset this morning.  Please help her as she preaches.”

I was shocked and humbled.  Wise Judy had seen my plight and she prayed for me.  Great wisdon in action.

In what ways have you seen your members show street smarts?  Cunning?  And wisdom?