“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.” — 2 Chronicles 7:14
This Scripture is widely quoted among those who look for help and healing. What a promise this is. The Lord said that He will “hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
The passage is God’s answer to a prayer made by young King Solomon. In the preceding chapter, Solomon had prayed to the Lord for the people of Israel. He knew that God’s people had a history of going back to sin. They would pray and seek God in troublesome times, but after the danger passed only a few would maintain their devotion to God, and the rest would gravitate back to their old ways.
So at this time of dedication, Solomon asked the Lord for forgiveness of sins, protection from the enemy, deliverance from sickness and that God would have respect unto the prayers made by his people.
The first thing we notice about God’s response is that it is conditional: “If my people.” The word if has been called the biggest little word in the dictionary. In this passage, it means that the blessings that follow can be received only if the conditions are met. God hearing from heaven, forgiving and healing will come only through humility, prayer, seeking God and turning from wicked ways.
The Bible is not an index of quaint phrases that we can just use as lucky charms for the ailments of life. It is God’s revelation to man on how to live a life pleasing to God and free from sin.
But we also know that this promise was not limited to the people of that time. This is God’s will for all. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, all mankind is offered forgiveness and healing.
To access all the promises of God, and God Himself, we must begin with prayer. But from our scripture reading, we find that prayer begins with humility: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray.” Praying people are humble people.
What is prayer? It is a request, a petition. The act of true prayer is an admission of a lack or need. This is why prayer begins with humility.
Oh, I wish to God that everyone reading this article would join together in humility and prayer. What a mighty healing would come to our land, community, families and hearts if there was daily prayer at every church and house.
The greatest thing we can do is humble ourselves and pray to the Lord God of heaven.
Bradeen is the Pastor of House of Prayer Christian Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.