2 Chronicles 7:14 is frequently quoted during times of prayer, Lord. I've been reading it over and over and meditating on it in preparation for praying Your own words back to You.
It's interesting to me that these are Your own words that You spoke to King Solomon at the dedication of the Temple he built for worshipping You. You prepared him all his life for that job. You ordained that his father, David, would amass the supplies and draw up the plans and train Solomon to administrate this huge project. All the while You were preparing Solomon's heart to do the building for You. To erect a house, a dwelling place for You on earth.
2 Chronicles 7:14 contains words you spoke directly to Solomon (Your chosen vessel) in a dream one night. You said to him:
I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. [KJV]
Some things jump out of this passage and grab me, Lord:
You weren't speaking to strangers. You were speaking to Your chosen people. At that time the Jews. Now we are Your chosen people also. We are Your vessels, we Christians.
The destruction and plagues and pestilences spoken of here would come from You. Not Satan. Not "bad luck." From You. I can't help but think of all the natural disasters we've experienced in recent years, Lord. Could they be sent from You for Your purposes?
Rest from those tragedies depends on US, Your people, humbling ourselves. First comes our repentence and humiliation. Then will come healing for our nation.
It depends on our praying, interceding, seeking the beauty and pleasure of Your face turned toward us, instead of Your back turned on our sinfulness.
Rescue from this destruction depends on us Christians turning from our wicked ways. OUR wicked ways. Not the wicked ways of our culture. Not the wicked ways of the world. Not the wicked ways of our government. OUR wicked ways. OUR wicked attitudes. OUR faithless, graceless, self-centered ways of living.
The salvation of America depends on the humility of her Christians. Period.
Across America this Thursday people will beg You to turn our nation around. Far better, Lord, that we fall on our faces before You and beg You to forgive our own personal, faithless lifestyles.
Lord, I want to live out of a contrite and humble heart. Forgive my selfishness. Forgive my pridefulness. Forgive my small, ego-centric life. Forgive my fear. Forgive my lack of care and love for my fellow human beings. Forgive my lack of faith to follow You blindly. Forgive my laziness. Forgive my self-reliance.
I dwell in the high and holy place with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. [Isaiah 57:15b KJV]
Do you know what the word contrite means, Little One? It means grieving and being penitent for sin. Isaiah used the Hebrew word dakkah'. It means crushed. A heart that is so repentant for its sins that it is crushed under the weight. A heart that is broken, not by problems and troubles, but by its realization of how filthy and sinful it is and how much that sin wounds and offends Me.
You want Me to heal your land? You want me to restore America to being a godly nation? [BTW, was it ever really a godly nation? Or was it just a good nation?] Let Me start in your own heart. Let me heal it. Let me change it. Let me start a work of revival in your own heart, Little One. Let Me start one by one with each of you who call yourselves Christians.
Note to Readers:
I hope you will join me here on Thursday, May 7, 2009, for the National Day of Prayer for our nation. When you do, please send me a short email that lets me know you were here on Thursday. I ask that you also make a comment on your own blog about the National Day of Prayer, or that you post your own prayer for our nation. If you want to put a link to my blog on your blog on Thursday, or even copy the short prayer in my Thursday post, feel free to do either of those things.
Thursday let's gather around the internet seeking God's healing for America.