Warning to Christians: Don’t Pray for Wisdom

How many of you were taught to pray for wisdom? Remember James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Christian youth leaders like to teach teenagers to pray for wisdom because of course teenagers are at risk of doing so many unwise things. When I was a teenager I prayed for Wisdom thinking that it was like being smart. Don’t do it. Being wise is not like being smart. It is more like being empathetic though that doesn’t explain it all either. There have been many life situations where I thought I knew what was right because I had read the books. Then I experienced those things myself – and  said ‘Ah, now I understand’.  I can tell you that those ‘Ah, now I understand moments’ were always painful. Do you really want that?  Don’t pray for wisdom. It is like praying for pain.

Of course, the world is full of pain anyway. I suppose it is possible that a person who does not pray for wisdom could experience the painful situation and just not learn anything. I suppose it is possible that God does not cause things to happen so that we can learn from them. Maybe he just helps us to learn from the bad things that do happen. In that case it would be foolish to not pray for wisdom.

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