Have you ever wished God would tell you, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you”? Think about that. What would your answer be? How much time would you take to answer that question? Would your answer benefit just you or would it benefit others? If God promised to give you anything you wanted, that would be a big deal. Personally, I’d be afraid of giving the wrong answer, but in this situation, there really isn’t one.
I asked you that question, because that’s exactly what God asked Solomon in I Kings 3:5. Solomon had just sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings to the Lord and God visited him that night with that question and promise. The Bible doesn’t say how long Solomon took with his answer. What he asked for has stayed with me my whole life. The final part of his answer in verse 9 was, “Give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?” (GNT)
Solomon had some big shoes to fill being king after David. He recognized that he needed help in ruling the people, so he asked for wisdom. One of the biggest things that stands out to me is that God asked him what he wanted and he answered with what he needed. There’s a big difference there. Our wants are usually different from our needs. I may want a Lamborghini, but what I need is a reliable car to get from A to B.
Let’s go back to your answer to the question. Was it a want or a need? What about your normal prayer time? Is it a list of needs or wants? I think it’s ok to ask God for the wants, but when people ask for their needs, God goes above and beyond. II Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (NLT). When God gives what we need, it’s enough to share. So the real question is, do you want what you need or need what you want?