I see this passage posted around town and on social media. Often the plea is for the people of the United States to pray so God will heal our nation. I want to take another look at this passage. This is part of the dedication of the Lord’s Temple that Solomon built. Solomon and the people prayed over the Temple and for their faithfulness to God. This verse is a part of God’s answer. In the preceding verses, God tells Solomon that He heard the prayer and accepts the Temple as “His house.” He reminds Solomon – and through the king God reminds Israel – that God is Sovereign and holds Israel in His care. If they will be faithful, God will bless them. If they rebel, they will receive punishment and if they repent, God will forgive.
There is a connection to the 21st Century. How does this apply to us today? Let me warn you, this passage is not about The United States of America. This verse is about God’s people and the USA is far from being God’s people. We are a land of religious diversity – not solely Christian.
- My people, who are called by my name – these are Christians, the Church (cf Act 22:16)
- Humble themselves – we are not God, we submit to Him, we bow before Him
- Pray – Talk to God about our lives, needs, the world, society, the church , etc.
- Seek My face – Jesus tells us to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt 6:33). Are we seeking God first?
- Turn from their wicked ways – Notice if MY PEOPLE . . . turn from their wicked ways. Not if the nation they live in. Not if others will turn from their wicked ways, but if My people. Christians, this is us! We must pray, seek God, and turn from our sins.
- Then God will hear from heaven and forgive our sin.
- Then God will heal our land. For us this may not be drought or storms, but the sickness of sin, the principalities, powers, and forces of evil that permeate our society.
Christian, if you and I want to change the world – if we want a Godly nation – it starts with you and me! We humble ourselves, we pray, we seek God’s face, we repent of our sin and the sins of the church, this is where revival and renewal begins.