Poetry for Prudence
Much of the wisdom and notoriety of Solomon, known to us by what's observed in Proverbs, is the result of a conversation between the ancient writer and God. Some of the value of the text comes from its helpful and longsighted perspective of how God has and will answer prayers according to His eternal purposes.
While we are encouraged in the Bible to pray about anything and wherever we are at, the Bible doesn't necessarily encourage mindless prayer. That is a possibility you know. Colossians 3:18-4:6 lays out a nice, simple template for asking God. Where there are commands to wives (3:18-21), husbands/fathers and children, we can turn those responsibilities into petitions. In other words, we shouldn't only pray for married people and their children when things are going wrong. We shouldn't merely pray our typical (and legitimate) prayers for safety, health and protection. As a church, ASCC should intercede specifically on behalf of married people and the struggles particular to their covenant commitment. We pray for wives to be submissive, husbands to be loving and not bitter or harsh and children to be obedient. We pray that fathers wouldn't be so overbearing that they discourage their kids. It's tempting, you know, in the comforts of home to so let your hair down that also let your guard down. When's the last time you asked someone in our church how their marriage is doing? Go for it. Ask the question. Ask follow-ups. And, then pray based on what you hear. Hopefully, they open up.
Where there are commands to people in the workforce, we can turn those vocations into prayer requests (3:22-4:1). Do you know what your fellow church member does for a living or where they work? More than that, have you taken the time to find out a little bit more about the joys and struggles of their jobs? God cares not only to provide for us through our jobs but he cares that we excel and glorify him as our chief boss. It's tempting, you know, to lose sight of why you show up to work. You can pray some of the Ten Commandments or Proverbs for your fellow church member. It's uplifting to know that my brother or sister in Christ cares enough to specifically mention you especially in the middle of your shift.
More thoughts can be heard on this topic - one that explores the timeless wisdom and practicality from this inspired writer's life. Have a listen, as Pastor Will leads us through a tour of Solomon's 'museum'.