“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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
“… and pray …”
When God calls us to pray, He is calling us to know Him on a deeper level. Prayer is a specific act of devotion to God. When we commune with God in a two-way conversation, approaching His throne of grace – Hebrews 4:16, we experience assurance of His glad welcome, living the benefits of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection – Ephesians 3:12. It is here where we become one with God in a pure intimate relationship just like Jesus’ relationship with Him – Romans 8:17; devoted to God and His ways over our own desires – John 12:49-50, realizing the point of asking God questions in prayer is to know Him and come to a perfect understanding of who He is and what He desires.Jesus prayed for this in John 17:20-21 NKJV, as He said, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
Unity, therefore, begins when we are one with God in prayer.
The power we receive from Him to do what He has called us to do, begins when we are one with Him in prayer – 2 Timothy 1:7.
God desires this.
So, when our prayer focus is knowing God – our hearts are aligned with His will for our lives, and our steps are in His direction following righteousness – Psalm 85:13.We follow Jesus, the God-Man who understands our weaknesses – Hebrews 2:17-18.
We need to read it.
We need that personal time with God reading through His Word, talking to Him about our everyday; and we need to hear the Word taught, as our faith grows when we hear the teaching of God’s truth and we learn how to apply it to our everyday lives – Romans 10:17.
God knows His people perfectly, for He created us. Therefore, the way He laid out His Word, a child can grasp the truths and an adult can be challenged by them; a new believer can gain understanding, while a mature believer continues to grow as the Holy Spirit consistently illuminates truths once a mystery.
God’s ability to meet people right where they are is unmatched.
Therefore, when God calls us to pray, He is calling us to read the Bible – He is calling us to listen to Him. He is calling us to be receptive to His Word. He is calling us to abide in His love by obeying His commands – John 15:9-10. He is calling us to talk to Him. He is calling us to delight in Him, for He alone gives us the desires of our heart — Psalm 37:4; as every good and perfect gift comes from the Father who created the lights in the heavens — James 1:17.
What has God commanded us to do?
He’s commanded us to love Him and to love people – Matthew 22:37-39.
Have we been faithful to His commands?
No prayer has the power to change what God has already established in His Word. Prayer is not an opportunity to manipulate God to do what we desire Him to do. He cannot be manipulated, for He sees right through us and our tone of voice – Hebrews 4:13, and He doesn’t change His established ways at our beck and call; we are the ones to change our thoughts, our words and our actions to come into alignment with Him. We are the ones called to not behave like the world, but to renew our minds by taking in His words of truth and living them out, knowing His will – Romans 12:2.
God’s will is God’s Word.
When we pray God’s Word, His will is done on earth; and that should be every Christian’s desire.
When God calls us to pray, He calls us to present our heart before Him. He hears prayer no matter the location; and the only posture He is looking for is the posture of our heart, mind, and soul. A heart surrendered before the King of kings. A real genuine heart devoid of ritual. A mind focused on Him, for He alone is God; and a soul right before Him, having accepted Christ as their Savior.
This is loving God.
And when we intercede on behalf of others, we love them.
Prayer, therefore, is one way we fulfill God’s two greatest commands to love Him and to love people.
I love the heart of the psalmist in Psalm 116:1-2 NLT who said, “I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”
God bends down to hear the whispered prayer of His own; a loving Father whose love can never be swayed, as He remains the same from the Beginning through heaven’s eternity – Malachi 3:6. Nothing can ever separate us from His love—Romans 8:38-39; and with His call to pray in 2 Chronicles 7:14, He is simply asking us to respond to His love with adoration, lifting up our petitions and intercessions to Him – the One who holds creation.
Will you pray with me?
Abba! I lift up every Christian to You. Thank You for bending down to hear our prayers. Thank You for knowing what we are going to pray for even before we pray, and answering before the words leave our lips – Isaiah 65:24. May we have a heart like Yours, reflecting Jesus Christ to the world all around us. King, You are stirring hearts, minds, and souls calling many to Yourself. Jesus is returning, and You want us to know You even more, while we are here on earth, so that we can share with the world the gems of truth You speak to us. I pray Your church sees You with clearer eyes today than yesterday, desiring to do Your will. Humbled in Your presence, while experiencing true joy – You reign and Your love surpasses. Many have been praying for a revival – I believe You are answering right now. Your divine intervention in all nations is a call out to us regarding where we are at with You. I pray we repent of the sin You point out to us, as the church won’t experience revival when there is rebellion in the heart. Revival begins with us.
What is it Lord? What do we not know about You? In this season, where do You want us to grow, what do You want us to do, how do You want us to view this situation? Open our eyes and give us the wisdom to speak to the people who are wandering from You — James 5:19-20? Give us the words to explain Your truth to those weak in faith – Romans 10:17. How do You want us to live out our faith, for faith without works is dead – James 2:17? You care about every family, You care about every job that is put on hold right now. I pray we all realize what is most important in this life and that what was lost in the busyness is restored. I ask for healing in the nations – James 5:15; for fears to be alleviated – Philippians 4:6-7; for peace in the minds focused on You – Isaiah 26:3; for a hedge of protection – Psalm 91:4; for Christians to find creative outlets to use their gifts for Your glory, recognizing whether big or small – You see who will be impacted by that specific gifting and You care about that individual. May we all cast our cares upon You, for we are Your personal concern – 1 Peter 5:7. Your family is large and You are calling more to Yourself, and You care about every individual need. You alone are able to meet every need, minister to every heart perfectly, and love everyone unconditionally. We thank You! Fill us with the Holy Spirit, Lord, so that we can do what we normally can’t do – Ephesians 5:18. Abba, rid our hearts of any idols, may we only glorify You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Oswald Chambers, 1935, My Utmost For His Highest, March 20.
Alysa VanderWeerd, 2020, The Right Tools, pg. 182.
David Mathis, 2016, Habits of Grace: Enjoying God Through the Spiritual Disciplines, pg. 38.
Greg Laurie, 2011, Discipleship: The Road Less Taken.
Alysa VanderWeerd, 2018, Mountaintop Mornings, pg.xiv