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Issue 9: October 2019

Pray for us to Have Wisdom

Two men sat with me, a father and son who are
well-known within Christian circles for giving
millions of dollars to ministries and Bible colleges
like Central. My purpose that afternoon was to
thank them for their recent donation to fund one of
our campus projects.

After expressing my appreciation for their gift, I
asked how I could pray for them. The older man
replied, “You can pray for us to have wisdom.” He
described needing wisdom to know the investments
to buy and sell to earn profit to give away. He wanted
wisdom to see not just their own gains and losses,
but also the financial impact on the other person who
bought or sold the investment. And finally, he asked
for wisdom to know which projects and organizations
to choose, out of the overwhelming number of requests
they receive.

As I prayed with them that day, James 1:5-11 came to mind.

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter . . . should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways. The brother of humble circumstances should boast in his exaltation, but the one who is rich should boast in his humiliation because he will pass away like a flower of the field. . . . In the same way, the rich man will wither away while pursuing his activities.” (HCSB)

James describes two challenges we all recognize: future uncertainty and financial challenges. Just as those
philanthropists faced an uncertain market that could lead to financial challenges, we all struggle to understand a future we haven’t yet experienced while seeing beyond our own financial situation, whether of humble means or rich.

When you approach your challenges, you can pray with these three things in mind.

  • Ask for abundant wisdom. God provides generous wisdom,
    both through the truth of His word and the advice of His people.
  • Act in confident faith. Instead of being ruled by doubt or
    indecision, expect God to bring stability as you follow His will.
  • Advance a spiritual perspective. Whether facing abundance or
    scarcity, your spiritual situation is far more important than whatever
    you might possess, lose, or gain.

Confidence in an uncertain future comes from knowing the God who is already there, blessing those who humbly acknowledge His presence as more valuable than anything else we could ever want.

Dr. David Fincher (‘93)

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