Leaders pray. That is part and parcel of our calling. Whether you pray for those you supervise at work, or the children who play at your feet at home, or the young people you mentor in soccer….you pray. That is who we are. That is part of our calling.
And as leaders in our nation, we should pray. We should pray “for kings and all those in authority” Paul tells us (1 Timothy 2:1-2) but we are to be the ones on the front end of the plow, cutting through the hardened soil of our land that is baked by sin and we do that in prayer.
God calls us to pray. “If My people, called by My Name….” is a call to a very specific group of named people. It is not a call for all people to pray. God does not expect all people to pray. I had a conversation this morning about a young man in my extended family group who posted on Facebook, ” Prayer is doubt. If you really trusted God’s plan, you would not have to pray about it.” But my young friend has totally missed the mark with that comment. And by his belief system, he betrays that he is not among those who are specifically “called by My Name.”
But those who are so called have a responsibility to pray, not to express our doubt that the gracious hand of God will prevail, but our confidence that it will prevail. We pray to express our dependence on the Lord. We pray to express our assurance that God’s will is going to be done, but that we want to be a part of seeing that come to pass.
And so we pray for America. We pray for the city in which God has sovereignly chosen to place us. Every person one earth is where they are…born where they are….raised where they are because God has put them there. You are here because God put you here….where ever “here” is for you! But we are to pray for the peace of the city in which God has chosen to place us. That word from prophet Jeremiah was spoken to the people of Judah who were captives in Babylon…a wicked, godless culture that mocked the God they claimed to serve.
As we pray for the peace of the city, God’s peace that comes to His people, called by His Name, will flow out to the people around them. Others will be blessed because God is abundant in pouring out His blessings. And God is severe when disciplining and calling His people back to Himself.
The prayer of Solomon which we apply today to ourselves is a conditional prayer. It begins with an “IF.” There is no promise…no guarantee…if the conditions set forth by God are not me. Sometimes it is our reluctance in meeting those conditions that close God’s hand against us.
Today God wants to bless. God wants to overwhelm us. God wants to give….
FOR MEMORIZATION: “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 will I hear from Heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
FOR REFLECTION: In your own life, have you met the conditions God has set forth to bless you and the family, the city, and the nations around you?