We have heard (often) the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14 that say "If my people who belong to me humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear (them) from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." That passage is several sermons worth of God's amazing and true promises. It is as relevant and true today as it was when 2 Chronicles was written. So I ask you, "Do we need God's healing?" I hope you can perceive that the answer to that question is obvious!
So ... how do we follow God's instruction here (I hope another good question)? I have a few suggestions.
1. Humility - WOW, is this a scarce commodity in both our political and religious leadership. It seems that everyone believes THEY are right. My denomination ... my party ... my special interest group ... my brand of individual faith ... are all right. Logic demands that we step back and understand that "all being right" cannot possibly be true. And God says when we are not humble it causes God to turn a deaf ear to our prayers. We would all be well served to do a Biblical search of what God considers the "no-brainers" of the faith. These include things like praying, humility as a virtue, tithing, fasting, sacrifice, and the overwhelming power of God over history.
2. Prayer - It deserves a double mention but I am not talking about our wish list for God to do our bidding. I am talking about less outgoing words and more listening. I am talking about the kind of prayer where we expect God to use us a a solution to the issues we list. I am talking about God-sized and Jesus-centered prayer.
3. Seeking - Most people I meet want a God that gives them what they think they need. In the Old Testament when one seeks the face of another it is an action of respect, meekness and expectation of another's advice or wisdom. It is coming to that other person believing that the other has something worthy, valuable and worthy of the "seeking" journey.
And that is only half the passage!
If you have looked around the past week you will see a nation that is filled with (and I ask your forgiveness for this ahead of time) spoiled little brats. The brats are from every political, philosophical and religious perspective. And they all have one thing in common ... no foundation. They seek the face of pundits, ideological men/women and self. God is clear ... if we seek outside of His wisdom, we seek in vain and we will find it impossible to turn from or even see our sinful ways.
Kari Jobe writes a prayer in a song that says ... "Pour out Your presence, speak thru Your word, we pray in every nation, Christ be known, our hope and salvation, Christ alone!" In Jesus' name ... Amen!