I asked this question to my Facebook friends. And I would like you to know how they responded also.
Some of them would ask God for a long life, good life for their children, peace and reconciliation in the family, blessing for the family and friends, healing for a sibling suffering from cancer. Others also asked to have a good job, good grades in school, personal happiness and contentment and for the loved ones. A friend would also like to ask a big hug from God and to be given a moment to be with his tatay who already passed away. A friend also wanted an answer from God because of the difficulties and suffering that he endures now. Some would also like to ask for world peace, for the conversion of others, to help the poor and to touch the hearts of the indifferent people.
I also asked some children. A boy said he would like an ice cream, others said a toy car, a Spiderman costume, an iPad, an iPhone.
Well, about 2,866 years ago, a young man was also asked by God what he wanted for himself. He was told to ask anything from God. And in all honesty, that young man asked something from God that surprised God himself.
He asked for an “understanding heart to judge God’s people and to distinguish right from wrong.”
That man was the young King Solomon. God was truly surprised because unlike any other kings, Solomon did not ask for more riches, or a great army, or expansion of his kingdom, or a long and happy life.
The young Solomon asked for an understanding heart so that he may govern well the people according to God’s desire. He did not ask something for himself alone but he ask that heart so that he may become wise and compassionate to his people, to God’s chosen people.
It is our basic tendency to ask God for ourselves for our personal desires and for those who are only close to us.
Our prayers and hopes are indeed shaped by our own concerns, fears, and insecurities.
We tend to ask God what we want and become indifferent to what God actually wants for us. We have actually that tendency to put ourselves, our wants and needs first before others.
This is the attitude that the young King Solomon is teaching us– to have an attitude for others, an attitude that shows concern to others, that listens to the more important needs of others and not just for ourselves.