I heard something recently that really struck a chord with me: “When you pray, don’t ask for more blessings. Ask for wisdom to use the blessings you already have.” If you are anything like me, so much (too much!) of our time in prayer is spent asking God for things we need – or at least perceive that we need. I don’t know if this malady is exclusive to American Christians, but I suspect it is not. Still, in our culture of constantly wanting more, and success being measured by what we have, it’s easy to slip into the bad habit of always asking. We need to spend more time reflecting on and utilizing the blessings God has already bestowed upon us.
It seems no sooner does God grant us one request, than we have already moved onto praying for the next blessing on our life. We rarely take the time to appreciate, savor, and cultivate the gifts He has given us. Perhaps it’s a result of the automatic and disposable nature of our culture. We don’t give a second thought to throwing out the barely used in order to buy the new. We wring our hands impatiently as a microwave takes all of three minutes to cook our food. We want what we want, and we want it now. And we want it until a newer model is available. It’s as if we have lost the capability to appreciate the moment, much less the blessings contained within it.
God has already blessed us with an incredible array of gifts, talents, and passions. But how often do we take the time to master that with which we have been blessed? We ask for help, power, or provision in an area of our life, and God plants the seed of possibility there. It is our job to cultivate that seed until we see the harvest God will bring. We are obsessed with the quick fix. We want to reap what we have not sown. We want success without work and without risk of failure.
What if instead of asking for more, we instead asked for the wisdom to fully use and cultivate what He has already given? What if we asked for wisdom in how to best use the resources He’s provided to further His Kingdom instead of increasing our own comfort and well-being? What if we asked for wisdom to understand how to glorify Him in our current job rather than always looking for a way to escape from it? And what if instead of praying for health, security, and ease, we instead asked for wisdom to see how we might serve God with our lives regardless of our present circumstances?
We don’t need more. We need wisdom to understand how to use and be content with what we have. Let’s pray for that instead. Jesus knows what you need. He understands your fears and concerns. He will care for you. We need to trust in His provision and seek the wisdom of how we can best serve Him with everything He has entrusted to us. So when you pray, don’t ask for more blessings. Ask for wisdom to use the blessings you already have.