Home Monthly Prayer Focus May: Wisdom Prayer

May: Wisdom Prayer

0 comment

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (Jas 1:5)

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13)

“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Ps 25:4-5)

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way: walk in it.’” (Isa 30:21)

Our May 2024 Contending in Prayer Guide is focused on Wisdom Prayer where we ask God for wisdom as we encounter all the many decisions we need to make in our lives. In the New Testament, wisdom can refer to the wisdom of the world (which ultimately amounts only to “foolishness”) or the true wisdom given as a gift from God (1 Cor 1:19-30; 2:1-7; 3:19). God’s wisdom is given by the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:10; 1 Cor 12:8; Col 1:9) and is ultimately about knowing what fits best with God’s character, God’s Kingdom, and God’s purposes (Eph 1:17).

We want to pray wisdom prayers whenever we are facing big life questions (e.g., Should I change careers? Should I consider dating this person? Should I move to a different town/city? Which church should I be going to? Etc.) or for smaller questions (e.g., How can I get to know my neighbours better? Which car should I purchase? Which apartment should I rent? Etc.). There is no life question too large or too small for us to bring it to the One who gives wisdom generously (Jas 1:5).

While we might assume that praying for God’s wisdom means that we will receive guidance that produces happiness, success, and no suffering, godly wisdom does not define the goal this way. Godly wisdom might lead us to be downwardly mobile, moving away from economic success but responding to God’s call to something more important. Godly wisdom might lead us to “sell everything” and follow Jesus (cf. Luke 18:22) or leave our family (cf. Matt 4:21-22) or our entire means of income (for Peter and Andrew this involved their “nets”; Matt 4:18-21). Wisdom prayer might make our lives more complex, more sacrificial, and more Christlike—that is the whole point. Wisdom prayer is not a means to manipulate God for our personal success—but a means of aligning ourselves with God’s Kingdom (which is often described as “upside-down” in comparison to the kingdoms of our world).

When we are pursuing wisdom prayer, we are asking that our decision (large or small) would conform to God’s character and God’s Kingdom purposes. God’s wisdom will always be consistent the Holy Spirit who produces “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal 5:22-23). When it comes to finances for example, God’s wisdom should lead us to be good stewards of what God has given—not wasting money or pursuing extravagance—but living in a way that leads to greater generosity, greater worship of King Jesus, and greater contentment. If it’s a decision about career, relationships, or living situation, the decision should lead us to greater effectiveness in our calling to “seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness” (cf. Matt 6:33).

Wisdom prayer is not about overcoming every obstacle or picking the most lucrative mortgage fund option, but about discerning how a decision fits with God’s will, character, and Kingdom mission. Wisdom prayer is certainly Kingdom prayer!


  • What decisions are you facing where you need God’s wisdom? (You may want to make a list of bigger items and a list of items that seem smaller [you might be surprised at how significant the “smaller” items might actually be].)

Wisdom Prayer: Praying in the Pattern of Colossians 1

Colossians 1:9-12 provides us a model for wisdom prayer. Read each section of the biblical text in italics and then add your own prayer. You may want to go through the process each day for each decision you are seeking wisdom for. After you have prayed a wisdom prayer, be attentive to God’s Spirit through the next hours and days. God often speaks wisdom through Scripture, other people, a still small voice, or surprising circumstances and opportunities.

“We continually ask God to fill you with knowledge of his will through the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives…

God, I pray now that you, by means of Holy Spirit wisdom, would fill me with knowledge of your will as I face this decision today. Jesus, I need your wisdom as I face a decision about ______________________________.

…so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way…

God, I pray that in this decision and the outcome, I would live a life more worthy of you and more pleasing to you in every way.

…bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience…

God, I pray that in this decision and the outcome, I would grow in the knowledge of you and in character that is consistent with the fruit of the Spirit.

…and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” 

God, I pray that this whole process would be enveloped in joyful thanks to the Father, because you love and care about me and this decision, and because of Jesus, you have welcomed me into the kingdom of light. 

God, I pray that I would hear your voice in this decision saying: “This is the way, walk in it!”


Leave a Comment