John 9:24-41; 2 Chronicles 7; Malachi 4
After Solomon built the Temple, after the celebration, God came to Solomon at night and responded to the worship and the prayer of Solomon who implored God to hear the prayers of His people as they came to the Temple and prayed. The one part of God’s response that almost everyone knows is “… 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) It was an amazing promise. Often we fail to heed the warning at the end of God’s response that if the people turned away from God and worshiped false gods that destruction would be their fate. And it was. Since the Temple is no longer available, does this promise even exist anymore? For Christians, the answer is “Yes!” Jesus declared His body to be a Temple of God. As such, when we seek God in repentance through Jesus Christ the promise still holds true. The promise, though, is that when God’s people pray, He will hear. When we see what is happening around the world with persecution; when we see lukewarm Christianity being practiced; we as God’s people must humble ourselves and pray. We must appear before God in a united front confessing our sin and seeking His grace. So often, our Christianity in the west is a bunch of soloists looking for God to take care of us as individuals. What if instead, we repented of our sin and prayed daily for the persecuted church seeking God’s protection? What if instead we repented as churches and prayed in our churches for God to draw people closer to Him and heal the spiritual drought in our land. No longer can individual Christians seek to stand up on their own. We must repent together with other brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world. We must pray together. We must seek and do God’s will together. Can we approach God with one heart and one goal or will we continue to focus on our individual issues?
Oh Lord, I come before You know as Isaiah did. I am a man of unclean lips amidst a people of unclean lips. May we all repent and seek Your guidance. Today I pray for the persecuted church around the world. Lord, protect them from those who would do evil, but continue to give them the boldness to witness to Your love no matter what the consequences. Bless Your church, Oh Lord.