If My People Will...
When King Solomon completed and consecrated the Temple that his father, King David, had dreamed of building, he asked the Living God to be attentive to the prayers prayed in that place. In 2 Chronicles 6 we can read the prayer. Solomon petitioned God to respond when there is famine or drought or war or sin. The response Solomon pleads for is that God will hear from heaven and forgive. That God would hear from heaven and uphold their cause.
The Temple was consecrated in a week-long festival. Finally, King Solomon sent the people back to their homes: "On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their homes, joyful and glad in heart for the good things the LORD had done for David and Solomon and for his people Israel." (2 Chronicles 7:10 NIV)
Then God appeared to Solomon in a vision at night and responded to Solomon's prayer with this great promise:
"When Solomon had finished the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the LORD and in his own palace, the LORD appeared to him at night and said: I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there." (2 Chronicles 7:11-16 NIV)
God hears the prayers of His people on behalf of their nation. This was specifically true for the one nation among all nations God had chosen as His covenant people, for the people of Israel. I believe this promise is also true for whatever nation is the homeland for the people God has chosen for Himself by faith in His Son, Jesus.
Clearly, these United States of America need healing. There is political divisiveness that is the worst I've seen in my lifetime. There is racial unrest. There are violent protests in our cities. There is a pandemic. There is unemployment. There are raging wildfires. There is a contentious election in just 44 days with radically different visions embodied in the two candidates of what America should be.
Clearly, our nation needs prayer. I believe we need an awakening. We need a revival. We need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit who can change lives and heal nations. And God has promised, "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways..."
It is so easy to get caught up in survival and miss the bigger need for revival. It is so easy to ask God for what we need in our own lives and miss the kind of praying that leads to awakening. Yet God invites His people, called by His own name (Christ's ones in our case), to humble ourselves and pray and seek Him and repent. Then He will hear. Then He will forgive. Then He will heal.
Have I humbled myself and acknowledged my great need for God? Have I prayed for more than my own comfort or pain? Have I sought God to know Him, not just to get things from Him? Have I turned from evil ways, whatever the siren call of temptation in the world around me?
If My people will call out to Me in travailing prayer (like the anguish of labor pains), I will birth something new among them. If My people will seek Me with all their heart, I will transform their life and their land. If My people will call to Me in humility and repentance on behalf of their nation, I will send an awakening.
The deep need is all around us. The call of God is a call to pray for a move of God for the healing of our nation and our world. I'm praying for awakening. Will you join me?