Oswald Chambers on my calendar shares, “It isn’t so true that ‘prayer changes things’ as that ‘prayer changes me and I change things.’” During these days when we are clamoring for change and the dismantling of injustice, these words of wisdom feel a bit pointed. At the same time, Proverbs 8, June 8, is dedicated to telling us to gain wisdom. Gain wisdom over wealth and riches. Wisdom is personified as an entity that God called forth before creation of our universe and who delighted to see God creating. What caught my eye, though, was that wisdom is teamed up with prudence. V.12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence.” I had to look up the word “prudence” to make sure I understood what it means. www defines prudence as being cautious. Showing “good and careful judgment when handling practical matters” or “wise and well-thought-through decision or action” is considered prudent. The first thing we were taught in Swahili language school, on the first day was, “Haraka, haraka, haina Baraka.” Hurry, hurry has no blessing. We Westerners were known as people who ran around in circles, hurry, hurrying.
So how does this all fit together? Prayer is when I take time at certain times of the day or in certain places or perhaps under certain circumstances. I get up in the morning to spend time in the Word but my husband often asks, “What did you learn in the shower?” Prayer changes me as I listen. I slow down and think before acting, ponder my sermon. Prayer is one way to seek wisdom and to be prudent when making decisions. It is not the only way. In our world today when news sells, when communicative avenues are so available, and there seems to be so many experts about so many topics, it feels like Proverbs advice to seek wisdom that dwells with prudence is good advice as we start another week. Wednesday we will look again at how Daniel and friends, navigating culture as ordinary people were wise. You are invited to join us. May you be wise and prudent as you face the challenges in your life today. Blessings!