“Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars.” Proverbs 9:1
Lady Wisdom has set an example for us: she has built her house; she has hewn out her seven pillars. In following her lead, I have hewn my own seven pillars out of the Word of God. I call them my prayer pillars because I hope to prayerfully build my house (my life) and my home (my family life) upon them. I share them again now because I find them to be very comforting amid this pandemic.
As I studied Lady Wisdom and this Proverb in particular, I learned that the word hewn has two possible meanings. The first meaning is ‘to chop or cut out something with a tool.’ As you read through these seven pillars, you can see that I have cut these seven pillars out of the rock of God’s Word by the Scripture references that follow each one. And depending on how familiar you are with the Word and what Bible study tools you have to use, you may want to cut your own prayer pillars out of the Word as well.
Either way, the second possible meaning of the word hewn is ‘to conform to, adhere to.’ Based on that, I decided that I should try to pray through these pillars regularly. I decided to ask the Lord to conform my life to these principles and cause me to adhere to them in real life. With this in mind, I asked the Lord to give me the ability to recognize these pillars at work in my daily life. I do this because I don’t want this to be some abstract disconnected spiritual sounding prayer that has no real life impact. I know myself well enough to know that if the Lord doesn’t make these truths real in my daily life – I will forget them. Or even worse, I will change my mind about them.
Of course, I want to always have the things of God in the front of my mind. I honestly do. But the sad truth is, it doesn’t take much to make me forget about what matters in life. Sometimes all it takes to make me forget about what truly matters is stepping on the scale in the morning and realizing that I gained a few pounds. Thank the Lord that salvation is by grace alone because it is pretty pathetic how quickly I can go from singing, “All I want is Jesus” to daydreaming about all the other things I want (like a new car, new flooring, or sometimes even – depending on how stressed out I feel – a new life). These are some of the reasons that I decided to pray that the Lord would conform me – my life, desires, and will – to these principles.
One last thing about pillars. Although pillars in our day might primarily serve as a decorative aspect in house construction, there was a time in architectural history that pillars functioned as key load-bearing components in a building’s (space’s) structure. Likewise, these seven prayer-pillars are not superfluous appendages to the design of my house- they are seven essential doctrines upon which I am building my life.
- The glory of God – for which God has willed all things to exist (Leviticus 10:3, Exodus 33:17-23; Isaiah 43:6-7; Colossians 1:16).
- The sovereignty of God – when this reality is balanced with a right understanding of God’s perfect goodness and kindness – brings joy, peace, and hope to me. The knowledge of God’s sovereignty gives me mental and emotional steadiness in difficult times more than any other truth (Proverbs 16:33, 21:1; Isaiah 45:5-7; Acts 2:23-241 Timothy 6:11-16).
- The faithfulness of God – strengthens, comforts, and assures me of His steadfast love, especially in times of adversity (Lamentations 3: 22-24; 1 Corinthians 13:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12).
- The promises of God – upon which I can stake my life and gain guidance for every decision that I must make (Isaiah 55:10-11; John 17:17; 2 Corinthians 1: 17-22).
- The fear of God – which is the beginning of wisdom and the confidence of my life (Job 28:28; Proverbs 14:33, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
- The hope of the kingdom of God and His Christ – which is undoubtedly to come soon (Luke 11:2; Titus 2:11-14; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:13-14; Revelation 11:15).
- The meekness of wisdom – supported by every other pillar in my life – is an internal testimony of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence, Who is enabling me to build my life with these seven pillars of prayer. Proverbs 14:1. (Luke 7:35; Philippians 2:1-7; James 3:13).