When Praying for Wisdom

I was looking for recipes for Sunday dinner. "Dear Lord, help me to find something to fix for guests," I prayed, and suddenly God had me looking at my motives. Did I want to impress with my culinary skills? If so, God wasn't that concerned about helping me. He wanted to help me if I wanted to fix a good dinner for the right reasons.

What would be "right" reasons? I wondered. I don't want to waste a lot of time sorting through recipes or cooking. I want the guests to enjoy the meal and feel loved by my preparations for them. When I could offer up to God those reasons for His help, I knew I could trust Him to lead me to the proper menu.

Paul stated it plainly; "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit" (Phil. 2:3). Is my primary concern upbuilding God's kingdom or is it personal profit? If God's scrutiny reveals pride, I'll miss gaining the needed understanding. "...with humility comes wisdom" (Prov. 11:2).

Often when we're praying, the proper question is "Are my motives right, or do I want this for selfish purposes?" God tests our hearts. To those who humble themselves, He is delighted to both guide us in our asking but to also answer our requests.

Thank You for Your promise to guide me continually. Give me grace to discern when my request for Your guidance is selfishly motivated.

"We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts." (1 Thess. 2:4).