It’s no surprise that we are witnessing the rapid deterioration of a nation right before our eyes. As a result, many are struggling with fear, anxiety and uncertainty—yet God offers hope, tremendous hope.
I recently had the privilege of speaking to our church audience from 2 Chronicles 7:14. Both messages can be heard here and here. The sacred text says, “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Note that it does not say, “If Hollywood or Washington or the media turns to God,” but “if My people” turn.
I can already picture the emails coming in: “Second Chronicles 7:14 doesn’t apply to us. It was for Israel.” As a lover of theology with a contextual underpinning, I can appreciate these statements. Many Scriptures, taken out of context, have done great damage to the church and our witness. The context of 2 Chronicles is that when God brings judgment on His people as a result of their sins, He would heal their land (think rain and a bountiful harvest). God said if they humble themselves, pray, seek Him and turn from their sin, He would reestablish His blessings.
I have a question for those who don’t like using this verse in modern America: Is it a bad thing if America humbles herself, prays, seeks God and repents? Is it possible that blessings could follow such an outpour of repentance and spiritual renewal? Although the context may not apply to us, the principle of seeking God always applies.
Should we minimize the importance of Zechariah 1:3 because it wasn’t written to us?—”Thus says the Lord of Hosts: Return to Me, and I will return to you.” Should we discard Micah 6:8 as well?—”He has told you, O man, what is good—and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” God forbid! Like 2 Chronicles, there are very important principles in these Scriptures—principles that lead to national restoration in the midst of catastrophes. Let’s take a quick look at each principle:
1. If my people humble themselves: The process of revival and hope must begin with humility. “Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you” (Andrew Murray). The amount of pride in the church is astonishing. We’ve created an American Idol mentality with many wanting center-stage attention. We often look more like Hollywood than the character of Christ.
If we are to see a genuine move of God (which is the only hope for our nation), then we must humble ourselves and confess our pride. Our blessings have become a curse; our abundance has taken us away from God. Pride is so powerful that many people reading this will get upset rather than humble themselves and seek God afresh. I have not mastered this area. I’m a prideful person working on humility on a daily basis. But we must recognize pride, repent of it and return to God with a broken and teachable attitude.
2. If my people pray: Second Chronicles says, “If My people pray,” not preach or teach. I enjoy preaching and listening to sermons, but Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.” Prayer is the life source to our faith; it is the building block of our soul. We need people of extraordinary prayer, brokenness and humility. Men and women filled and clothed with power from on high. Those who do the most for God are always people of prayer.
When Martin Luther prayed, the church was reformed. When John Knox prayed, Scotland was revived. When John Wesley prayed, America was restored. When George Whitefield prayed, nations were changed. When D.L. Moody prayed, America fell to her knees. When Amy Carmichael prayed, India received the Gospel. And on and on it goes. When you pray, you move the hand of God. The dry, dead, lethargic condition of the church simply reflects an impotent prayer life.
God is not too busy, He’s not on vacation and He’s not sleeping. He is an ever-present help in times of need. You can call on Him at 2 a.m. or in the midst of the storm. He hears the prayers of His children, but we must once again cultivate a life of prayer. Five-minute devotionals aren’t going to cut it in these dire times. We need powerful times of prayer.
Prayerlessness in the pulpit leads to apostasy and dead sermons. Prayerlessness in the pew leads to shattered lives and depression. Prayerlessness in men leads to the breakdown of the family. Prayerlessness in Washington leads to the breakdown of society. “When faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live” (E.M. Bounds).
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Charisma News