Pray for Our
I see a lot of yard posters with the words to pray for our nation, and reference a passage of scripture that it is based upon. While we must admire the people who display these posters, there is a lot which is missing from the poster that we must be aware of. Here is the complete passage:
2Chronicles 7:14 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.
First we notice that this instruction is given to those who are called by God’s name. This is not giving us the actual name of God, but it is describing a people that belong to God. Those who claim to belong to God are the ones being addressed and encouraged here.
Notice that the first thing they need to do is to humble themselves. The apostle Peter told us to “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God” (2 Peter 5:6). Humility is one of the most important characteristics for the person who wishes to come into God’s fellowship. “God resisteth the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Those who are filled with pride, and refuse to submit to God are not humble people.
Praying to God is a privilege that many do not bother with. One reason is that many realize that in order to pray to God, you must be on good terms with God. Proverbs 15:29 reads: “The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.” There is the real problem; many people do not attempt to be righteous before God. We also know that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)
Seeking the face of God is just like saying that you want to be in a spiritual relationship with God and the Bible indicates that this is on God’s terms, not ours. A lot of people claim to have a personal relationship with God, but they do not live like a Christian ought to live.
The next thing mentioned is to turn from their wicked ways. This will be the hardest part for many people. Primarily, the reason is because they do not want to depart from their wicked ways. People live in sin, and they love it. They do not want some preacher telling them that their behavior is what God calls “sin”. Or maybe they do. It is just that they do not like being told about the consequences of their sin. A fiery hell awaits those who reject God and do not keep his commandments (2 Thessalonians 1:6-8).
Now if, and this is a very big “if” the people actually do this, God promises to bless us. God has always promised blessings if people would obey Him, and cease their sins.
God promises to hear our cries and petitions. This has happened in the past, and God responded with deliverance and a physical salvation. Since God has a good track record of keeping His promises, we can be sure that God will do as He has said. “Forgive the people, and heal the land.”
A proper study of God’s word will show that in the Old Testament, the land and the people were both united in their relationship with God. How the people conducted themselves determined if God blessed them or brought hardship upon them and the land. If the people rejected God, God promised to send drought, famine, locusts, diseases, and even foreign armies to punish them, and hopefully get them to change their ways, and start living right. You can find these promises in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26.
I request of all those who have read this far to share the message of this great passage with others. Encourage people to repent of their sins, and change their ways. Help them to seek the Lord for the purpose of serving Him and giving God the glory. The more of us who do this will help our land. Yes, it is a great challenge before us to get people to change, but it is necessary.
This nation lost the right to call itself a Christian nation long ago. This nation was founded upon Biblical principles, and because of that, has become the greatest nation in the history of mankind. But there is a far more important nation than the U.S.A. That nation is the spiritual nation of God’s kingdom. The more people who focus upon that kingdom will realize that God’s principles and commandments work the best for everybody concerned. But as long as this nation turns their back on God, the land will not be healed.
While it is admirable to be concerned with this nation, and the people in it, we must place our allegiance upon the Christ. When people start acting like true Christians, they become better neighbors, family, friends, and citizens. This world we live in is very close to being a utopia where everybody is living for the purpose of helping others. We have a few, but we need many to join the ranks of this heavenly kingdom.
To be a part of this Kingdom, one must believe in the Christ as the Son of God, and that He died upon the cross for our sins. Realizing our life has been sin before God, we must change, that means, to repent. We should be willing to confess the name of Christ before men and others so they know where our heart resides, and we must be baptized for the remission of our sins to have our sins washed away. With our sins washed away, we can come into a relationship with God and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Having done this, we must remain faithful until death.
We at the Eastside church of Christ in Ranger are hoping to find souls that are tired of all the sin, and moral depravity of our nation. We want to help souls get to heaven. We need help and encouragement to remain faithful to God. Come worship with us.
We are at the corner of Strawn Rd and Young St. We meet on Sunday for class at 9:45am, worship at 10:45am and 5:00pm. We meet Wednesday at 7:00 for class. May God bless you in your study of His Word.
By Carey Scott via Ranger Times 7/24/2011
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