January 27, 2021

Praying for Wisdom

And those who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who grumble will accept instruction.
Isaiah 29:24
The end of Isaiah 29 is beautifully hopeful. Religious reform, healing, and justice are all promised in the age to come. But the final promise—found in the final verse—is of understanding and an end to grumbling. We live in an era of persistent complaining and seemingly intentional incomprehension. How can I understand a brother or sister if I won't actually listen to what they're saying?

We might not be able to fix another person's stubbornness, foolishness, or grumbling. But God can. And so not only should those who lack wisdom pray, but we should as well: First of all, for ourselves, for we are often less wise than we imagine ourselves to be; and also for others. Not only does God have the power to change people, but prayer helps us change our attitudes. If I pray that God will grant me wisdom, it will help keep me humble. And if I pray that God will guide another to understanding, God will help me understand who they are and where they come from.

Isaiah's prophecy will come to pass, and, as James reminds us, it will be brought about by the prayers of the faithful.

If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.
 James 1:5
After thinking about today's devotion, pray these hymn lyrics:
Blow, wind of God! With wisdom blow until our minds are free 
from mists of error, clouds of doubt, which blind our eyes to thee. 
Burn, wingèd fire! Inspire our lips with flaming love and zeal, 
to preach to all thy great good news, God's glorious commonweal.
 Henry Tweedy
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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