The challenge in the prayer of 2 Chronicles 7:14 ends with a challenge for change. We can pray all we want but if the end result does not produce the necessary change that God requires then we are just reciting “vain repetition.”
When was the last time you prayed with an expectancy that God would produce a change; making you a better husband or wife, a wiser parent or more obedient child (yes students, I am addressing you too!), a better leader or supervisor of people? When did you pray, “Speak Lord, for your servant hears?”
We pray wanting God to hear our prayer, but not just to nod in assent to what we are saying. We pray asking God to do something that we are asking, to give something that we need, to provide something that we lack.
In short, when we pray fervently, seriously, we pray with an expectation that SOMETHING WILL BE DONE. But do we pray with the same understanding that God expects change from us?
We are to make choices. “If My people….will turn from their evil ways.” (HCSB). This is about choosing the direction and trajectory of your life and hoping that it is in accordance with God’s plan, will and purpose for our lives. Jack Hayford once told a gathered group of pastors that change is choice and choosing to do what WE want or what GOD wants.
Sometimes choosing means saying YES to something good by saying NO to something bad. We must “choose against ourselves.” Our flesh wants to sleep in. God calls us to meet early with Him. Our flesh wants to eat the wrong stuff. Our diet says, “eat healthy.” We will watch this summer as the world’s top athletes meet in Rio for the Olympics. Their skill, their physique all tell us that morning after morning, day after day, meal after meal, they have said NO to the wrong things and that they rise early to gain a prize that is, at best, temporary.
To “turn from our wicked ways” produces a result that is eternal. When God sees genuine change in the hearts of His people He pours out the blessings we most need: being heard from heaven… having our sins forgiven… healing for ourselves and our land.
To continue in the wrong direction brings disaster. At some point, the road that you may think is the right one will lead to death. It comes to a tragic end.
Something like that is happening in our land. People have chosen “against God” and “for themselves” for far too long. The road will end soon.
When it does, will you be on the right one?
FOR MEDITATION: 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 sins and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
FOR REFLECTION: Are you on the road going in the direction that God sees as best? What must you do to turn back to the right road?