“If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” This is one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, 2 Chronicles 7:14. In the verse right before it God talked about drought, locusts, and pestilence being the problems that would prompt His people to pray. The occasion was the temple dedication. Solomon had spent years constructing the temple his father David had planned for, and the time of blessing and dedication had arrived. In the larger passage before this verse Solomon asked God to always have His eyes and ears open to this temple so that when His people experienced hardships of any kind they could pray toward this holy place and God would hear them. God spoke to Solomon in the night and assured him that His eyes, ears, and heart would be attentive to the prayers offered in and toward this place.
He also assured him that if he turned from God to idols, God would uproot him and his house from the land. Sin separated Israel from God’s continued blessing. Centuries later Israel and Judah were defeated and taken captive to Babylon, yet God renewed this promise. In Jeremiah He promised to gather them out of all the lands to which He had driven them, saying, “Than you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Today His people can still reach His heart. We no longer have to pray toward a temple because we have direct access to God Himself when we pray. Drought, locusts, and pestilence are still real problems in parts of the world, but hardships cover the globe in many forms. The nightly news is rarely good news. There is violence, evil, tragedy, and sickness everywhere. Our land and our world needs healing, and many are held captive by sin. But God’s solution has not changed. If His people, born-again Christians, humble THEMSELVES. Nowhere are we instructed to correct or humiliate the world; we are to humble ourselves. And pray. Pray, not just complain, not just rant, not just petition or boycott or picket, not post really clever insulting statuses on social media, but really pray. Seek His face. Meet with Him face to face, however long it takes to see things from His perspective. Turn from OUR wicked ways. How long is that list.? Do we turn from just our most wicked ways? Does He really mean all wickedness of thought, word, and deed? Are we willing to turn our backs on all our stuff and selfishness for the sake of the world?
If we will, THEN He will hear, forgive us, and heal our land. I think it’s time to stop trying other solutions of our own making and follow the instructions He’s so clearly given us. The eyes of the Lord move throughout the world looking for one heart, one man or woman whose heart is completely His. For that one person He will move heaven and earth. How can we ever know how much difference your obedient prayer will make, or mine? When we obey and do our part we find ourselves covered in the full armor of God which will enable us to stand. Stand. Stand and pray. Pray with our minds and in the Spirit for all His saints and for His kingdom to come. We will be led by the Spirit of God who is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; not boastful, challenging, or envious. Let us join His ranks in humility, grace, and prayerful attention. Let’s allow His love to be poured out through us by the Holy Spirit on a world that cannot fathom anything but strife and conflict. Let’s not wait until we see others agreeing with us or until a “movement” is organized. Let’s join Him now on His terms to pray for the world around us even if we feel alone. He will raise His army on their knees. Every battle is the Lord’s, and He always wins.