Prayer Focus: Healing in Jesus’ Name
Reading: 2 Chronicles 7:14
14 if my people who are called by my name 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 (ESV)
This text is directed to the Nation of Isreal. Blessings upon their land were always tied to their covenant obedience. At times I am bothered the way this text has been used by prayer movements in the US as if the US has the same status Israel had/has as a uniquely chosen people. This command was given during a particular dispensation of God’s dealing with man. However, I think it is applicable in two ways.
First, throughout Scripture nations are either commended for or cursed based upon universal principles of God’s Word and the intent of nations. This may include how they treat the most vulnerable in their society to the way they debase worship by going after strange gods. So, in a large sense, those of us in the US must ask if our moral fabric, the way we treat the most vulnerable, what we as a nation (corporate identity) worship is worthy of God’s blessing or his judgment.
Secondly, the passage was written to the people of God. The principle is a call to repent from idolatry and live according to God’s covenant to experience God’s favor. What does this mean for the people of God, the Church, to live under the New Covenant? We have been saved by faith in Christ. Through his grace, all good things have been given to us. We no longer live for ourselves but for the person and cause of Jesus Christ. Before we call our nation to confession, what does the Church of Jesus Christ (local or universal) need to repent of? What do we as individuals followers of Jesus need to turn from?
A final note: the call is to seek God’s face! Yes, it is to turn from our wicked ways but what does it mean to seek God’s face? Explore that thought as the motivating principle of your life as you pray.
(1) Lord, we humble ourselves, we pray, we seek your face, we turn from our wicked ways.
(2) Lord, hear from heaven, forgive our sin, heal our land. May you not only heal individuals of infection, may you heal our land of sin. May awakening come to our land in these days.
Note about this Devotional: Bethel Church of Houston is joining a ministry of 5 Churches in Belfast who are united to pray for a great awakening of souls, in their city and land. They initiated a 20-day Pray Hope movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The devotion above is from their material with the comments added by me. You may mind the original devotion here : Pray Hope. This prayer initiative runs from March 22-April 10 (Good Friday). We have responded to their call for others to join them. Bethel Church of Houston has adopted the theme of Pray Hope Over Houston.