“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilent among my people, 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, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
-2 Chronicles 7:13–14
These verses are often quoted or mentioned when we think about revival. Even in a particular country or nation, I’ve heard them quoted or mentioned in saying, “If we would just do this as Christians in the United States, then God would bring blessing to the United States.” When the reality is, this is a specific promise that was given to God’s people, the people of Israel. It’s specifically attached to the land that he had provided for them, and his physical blessings in that place.
God, we humble ourselves before you right now. We confess that you are God, we are not.
At the same time, we definitely see a picture here that is reiterated all over scripture, that God responds to repentance, and prayer, and people seeking His face with mercy, and forgiveness, and healing. Not in a way that, “Okay, if you trust in Jesus, if you follow Jesus, if you obey him, that you are guaranteed physical prosperity or blessing in this world.” But the universal principle that we see all over scripture is true. It is good to humble yourself before God, to pray, to seek his face, and to turn from wicked ways. It’s always good for an individual to do that, it’s always good for a family to do that, for a church to do that, for the church to do that, for any people to do that, for the nations to do that. And so, it’s entirely right for us to pray exactly this over our lives, and our families, and our churches, over the nations where we live and the nations of the world. So, let’s pray 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, in light of what we see all over scripture.
God, we humble ourselves before you right now. We confess that you are God, we are not. You are perfect in all your ways, and we are sinful in our ways. We are all prone to seek our ways over yours. And God, we confess our sinfulness before you. We confess our tendency to turn to wicked ways, to selfish ways, to ways that seem right to us but are not right in your eyes according to your word. And so, we pray that you would help us to turn from all wickedness today. God, we pray that in each of our lives.
I just think about all the people who are praying along with this short podcast episode today, God help us to turn from wickedness today, help us to seek your face today even now. And when this little short podcast episode is over, God, that we would seek your face all day long. That we would meditate on your word in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, all day long we would be careful to do according to it.
And we pray, God, just as we read here in 2 Chronicles 7:14, that you would hear us from heaven, that you would forgive us of our sin, that you would bring healing that we need in our lives, in our families, in our churches, and as the church, in our nation and among the nations. And God, we pray for your blessing on the nations where we live and nations where you are calling us to go, as we pray today for unreached people. We pray for Halebi Romani people in Egypt. God, we pray for the spread of your grace, and your mercy, and your healing, and your forgiveness to hundreds of thousands of them through the proclamation of the gospel among them. God, please cause the gospel to go to the Halebi Romani of Egypt, cause laborers to take the gospel there. Help us to be obedient to your call in our lives to make your glory, your healing, your forgiveness known among all the nations.
God, we praise you for promises like this, that we see all over your word, for your mercy toward us, for your willingness, your eagerness to forgive us, your promises and commitment to help us walk in obedience to you and experience your blessing. God, we want to experience the fullness of your blessing in our lives today as we turn from wickedness, as we seek your faith, as we pray and you respond in your mercy.
Jesus, we praise you for making all of this possible in your coming, your living, your dying, your rising from the grave and ascending on high, and opening the way for us to pray like this in your name, according to your word in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, we pray. Amen.