The book of Proverbs depicts wisdom as a woman calling in the streets (1:20-23), attracting those with even a hit of common sense. Her wisdom can be found in the streets, the town square, the noisy din of commerce, and the city gates where men of consequence held court.
When we ask for wisdom like God tells us to in James 1:5, we have to be prepared for answers to come from various places. The most reliable place of course is the Word of God. There the infinite mind of God is revealed to us. His ways and words, towering above us are put on dramatic display. The whole man is built up and made wise by drinking deeply at this source.
The problem most of us face when it comes to decisions is that the Word of God seldom provides an explicit command that meets the need of the moment. In these cases wisdom and help can be found in multiple, carefully selected counselors (Proverbs 11:14; 15:22; 20:18).
The means of attaining wisdom are right in front of us. People who have a wealth of experience and insight can be found if we will just pick of the phone, write a short email, or stop by the house for a visit. In the streets, the coffee shops, the jobsite, or even city hall, people are a tremendous storehouse of information.
Beyond the Word of God and wise counsel, there is still the old standby consisting of investigation, research, analysis, and combing around for data. After all of this has been carefully done, the decision maker is in a much better (and much less emotional) place to make a wise plan. Prayers for wisdom need to be accompanied by the expectation that God will expect you to work hard, take advice, and be prepared to alter your course based on what you are learning.