James may as well be a carnival barker for as many times as a person seriously asks God for wisdom. I’m being a bit harsh here, I know. But, my impression of what we ask God to give us is not for Him to give us wisdom. The requests are more akin to: success, good health, power, wealth, friends, and – ah yes – souls. The last request, of course, requires wisdom from God and is the most noble of the six desires. How many times, however, do we ask for the salvation of a soul without also asking God for the required wisdom?
“And if any of you needeth wisdom, ask he of God, which giveth to all men largely [that giveth to all men largely], and upbraideth not; and it shall be given to him.”
Wisdom is “accumulated philosophic or scientific learning : knowledge. Wisdom is the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight. Wisdom is good sense : judgment. Wisdom is generally accepted belief. Wisdom is a wise attitude, belief, or course of action. Finally, wisdom is the teachings of the ancient wise men” — think Proverbs referred to as the Books of Wisdom.
What we need from God is knowledge, insight, and judgment. What we ask for is power and prosperity.
God “upbraideth not.” He freely gives His wisdom; if only we seek it.