We need wisdom in every season of our mortal lives.
In childhood, however, we really can't expect it because we have not grown sufficiently and life has not unfolded yet. We are too fresh, untried, and unproven. Youth is in the experimental stage; life is being tested, knowledge is being accumulated. Youthful wisdom? Not so much. In prime years wisdom and folly are being sorted out; we make some good choices; some foolish decisions take us on detours.
It is in advanced years that wisdom is expected to flower and bear fruit and its fragrance waft to others. (At least that's the proverbial ideal track.) Those are our vintage years when our spiritual grapes should be ripe and sweet. The mature, those who have accumulated many decades, are finally supposed to be wise. Those who trail behind us are expected to happily benefit from our collected, well-tried experience.
In both cases that may not always be so. Sometimes, unfortunately, those in vintage years speak and act foolishly. And because the young insist on making their own mistakes, they are reluctant to profit from the experience of their elders. So history repeats itself. We who are hopefully wise and mature should be careful to dispense our wisdom only when or if it is requested. Otherwise, let's zip the lips! That in itself is golden wisdom.
The wisdom I seek for myself in my mature years is wisdom to live in the will and purposes of God. In my youth, the days seemed to stretch open-ended and could hardly be counted. The aging Moses reflected on this transient life in Psalm 90: “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.” I want to choose and act prudently as the path of life narrows and my remaining days can actually be numbered. My reflection on that theme follows.
My Prayer for Wisdom
God, grant me the wisdom of mature years to circumvent the potential foolishness of aging.
*When You see me playing in the spiritual shallows, Lord, beckon me out of the wading pool into Your deep waters.
*If I feel bogged down in meaningless routine, turn the plain water of my daily life into “the best wine saved until last.”
*When I tend to resist change and settle in my comfort zone, grant me an open spirit and a growing, receptive mind.
*If I’ve lost my get-up-and-go, show me how to “rise and take up my bed and walk.”
*When my leaves are withered and dry, revive me to be “full of sap and very green.”
*When my fruit is scanty and sour, show me how to “flourish like the palm tree.”
*If the embers of my first love for You are growing cold, fan them into flame by Your Holy Spirit.
*When the noise of my busy activity drowns out Your still small voice, quiet me to wait on You in contemplative silence.
*If the soil of my life is depleted and lies fallow, break up the clods, supply fresh nutrients, and make straight my furrows.
*When my prayers seem to be unanswered and my spirit is arid, open the floodgates to let Your Rivers of Living Water flow again.
*Where my life is out of balance and I lose my footing, help me restore eternal priorities to keep from stumbling.
*When my vision for Your Kingdom has grown dim, touch my eyes to see again Your destiny for me.
*If I’ve become slow of speech to declare Your message, open my lips to boldly proclaim Your Good News.
*If I can't hear Your voice clearly, send Your Holy Spirit to be my hearing aid.
*If my memory begins to slip, help me remember that You never leave me or forsake me.
*When I’m weary from the length of life’s journey, draw me close to Your bosom to find comfort and rest.
*If I’m laboring to bear scarcely thirty-fold fruit, teach me to abide in You to effortlessly produce by Your wisdom a hundred-fold.
*Where some good seed of Your Word still lies dormant as I advance in years, send the gentle rain of Your Spirit so I can bear an abundant late harvest.
*When I am tired and lack motivation to press on, restore iron to my soul and strength to my weak knees and limp arms.
*When I drag my feet to do Your will, energize me with the adrenalin of Your Holy Spirit.
*When I’m short of breath from life’s fast pace, inflate my lungs with Your Breath of Life.
*If I grip material possessions too tightly, teach me to hold loosely the things of this world.
*If I open my mouth to speak foolish words, show me how to put a watch on my lips.
*When I’m afraid of the darkness around me, take my hand to walk in Your Light.
*When my emotions roller-coaster out of control, teach me to set my affection on things above, not on things of earth.
*When anxiety about the future threatens to overwhelm me, remind me of Your great faithfulness in times past.
*If my appetite becomes jaded by the world’s junk food, give me Yourself as my Daily Bread and Wine in the Eucharist.
*When I think I’ve reached the limit of my endurance, help me persevere in Your strength to run with patience the last mile Home.
*When thoughts of my mortal end cause me fear, remind me that You are preparing a Place for me in Your Father’s House.
From the Preface of Leona's most recent book, STILL MORE! FLOURISHING ON MY SUMMIT. (Encore by popular request.)
Note: One petition a day for a month to pray, meditate on, and internalize.