. . . if My people who are called by My name put away their pride and pray, and look for My face, and turn from their sinful ways, then I will hear from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (MSG)
Christians tend to blame unbelievers or the devil for the troubles in the world. We will spend hours talking about all the woes of the world – sagging pants, gun violence, corrupt politics, celebrities’ conduct, prayer removed from schools, etc.; when what is needed is prayer. It is apparent from 2 Chronicles 7:14 that God has charged His people with the responsibility of healing the world in which we live. With that charge, He also gave us a guideline to follow – praying and seeking His face.
Prayer has always been used by God’s people to bring down injustices, and to right the wrongs in the world. Scripture teaches us that whenever the children of Israel were in trouble, and they turned to God and cried out to Him, He delivered them. In 2 Chronicles 20:9, Jehoshaphat reminded God of this very same scripture when he heard that his enemies had formed an alliance to defeat him. 2 Chronicles 20:3, states that Jehoshaphat “… set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast for all Judah.” The end result of his seeking God was that the Lord spoke, “Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:17, and Jehoshaphat enemies were defeated.
As slaves on plantations, my ancestors prayed and cried out to God until He caused a rift in this nation that led to the Emancipation Proclamation freeing them from slavery. During the Civil Rights Movement, the Church didn’t just preach about the issues, and they didn’t just participate in marches and sit-ins; they also prayed. They prayed because they knew lives were at stake. They prayed because they knew the protests would be of no effect without prayer. “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (dynamic in its working).” James 5:16 (AMP). They prayed because they knew that only God could change the hearts of hardened men and cause them to pass laws for equality. “The king’s heart (those in authority) is in the hand of the Lord, as are the watercourses; He turns it whichever way He wills.” Proverbs 21:1 (MSG).
The same holds true for today. Our nation, our land, our neighborhoods need to be healed. 2 Chronicles 7:14 does not single out a particular denomination, race, or nationality; God simply says “if My people.” If you are the called out ones, God’s elect, the ones set apart by God; this scripture lays the responsibility of this nation and our neighborhood’s healing squarely upon our knees. It is time to do as Jehoshaphat did and set our hearts and minds to seek the Lord. It is time to stop blaming and it is time to stop talking. It is time to take responsibility – it is prayer time!
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Ephesians 6:12 & 18