Church, It’s Time to Pray
In a previous blog entitled, “God is in Control”, I offered a biblical perspective regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. I stated that God is in control. Nothing happens outside of His divine providence. He is on the throne. He has always been on the throne. He always will be on the throne. He never takes a day off. He never gets sick. He never gets weary. He watches over His creation, and He governs in the affairs of man. If this is true, and it is, then there is a purpose to the coronavirus.
2 Chronicles 7:13-14 (ESV) - “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 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.”
The things we are facing as a nation is because it is God's judgment being unleashed. (Oh, I probably should have mentioned that this will not be politically correct) Why? Why are we facing God’s judgment? We are under judgment because we have rejected Him in our national life. People seem to forget that there are two areas that God is concerned with. First, God is concerned with our personal life. Secondly, God is concerned with our national life. He is Savior and Lord. He is Redeemer and King.
When a nation rejects God, they will face the judgment of God. America is not so special that she is somehow exempt from this principle. America has rejected God His rightful place in our national life, and now we are facing His judgment. I know that does not settle well with those who have a “God is only love” message, but that does not change the fact that what I am saying is true to Scripture.
God determines when and how judgment comes to a nation. COVID-19 is only one way in which America is being judged by God. The Scripture above reveals that there will be other ways of judgment, namely drought, and famine, which could come about from lack of crops, work, or economic crash, unleashed in the future. These judgments will come upon us unless there is repentance.
America is suffering the judgment of God because we have rejected Him in our moral and national life. The problem is the modern church seems to think that government or entertainment is the problem and the reason why we are coming under judgment, and if they would change or do something about it, our problems would decrease. Those entities are not innocent, I assure you. However, the Scripture makes it clear, the entity to do something about the current situation is the church!
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV - “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.” (emphasis mine)
What is the church to do? Four things. If the church, and by the church, I refer to those who are actually saved, and placed into the body of Christ by the Spirit of God, will do the following four things, America might just avoid the rest of the judgments. After all, the purpose of judgment is to bring about repentance and righteousness. So, what are the four things the church must do?
First, humble ourselves. To humble oneself means to acknowledge one’s spiritual bankruptcy and poverty apart from Jesus Christ. It means that we must recognize that we are nothing without Christ and the power of His Spirit. The modern church has gotten too prideful. We think that we can accomplish spiritual things with our money, programs, and facilities. We are finding out that we might be attracting a crowd, but we don’t really have a church. It's just people who say they believe, but they act and think like the world. We must humble ourselves and depend on Jesus.
Secondly, we must pray. Praying is the key to living a supernatural life. The disciples asked Jesus, “Teach us to pray”. They noticed that the key to Jesus’ earthly ministry was His prayer life. Thus, they did not ask Him to teach them to work miracles, but they did ask Him to teach them to pray. To have effective prayer, our prayers must be 1) Specific. Ask specifically what you need, and what you desire. 2) Scriptural. Remember, when asking, make sure you ask according to God's will. 3) Sustained. In other words, be persistent in your prayer life. There are numerous parables in the New Testament to illustrate these points.
Church, it is time to pray!
Thirdly, seek His face. Not only should the church pray, the church should seek His face. What does it mean to seek His face? It means that we are not merely asking God to give us something or to save us from trouble, but we are actually seeking Him and His ways. Psalm 32:8-9 from the ESV reads, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.” When we pray properly, we will have an effective prayer life and ministry. When we seek His face, we have His understanding and guidance in future affairs.
Lastly, repent. We must humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and repent. That is what is meant by the terminology, “turn from your wicked ways”. Repentance is more than saying, “I am sorry”. It is saying, I am sorry, combined with a change in action, thought, deed, or lifestyle. It means to turn and go the other way. Notice. It is God's people that need to repent, not the world. Thus, 2 Chronicles 7:14 reads, “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.”
If we want national healing and a national revival, then the church must repent for America’s rejecting Christ and His Kingship over America. Church, it is time to pray! If the church will humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and repent, then God will do three things.
First, He will hear. God will not ignore the prayers of His people. He will hear if we will pray. Secondly, He will forgive. God will forgive the sins of the nation when the church repents for the sins of the nation. This, in turn, puts the nation in a position to receive God's grace, favor, and blessing. Lastly, He will heal. Once we are forgiven, He will heal our land. He will pour out the rain, both physical and spiritual to end the physical and spiritual drought. He will also heal the land so that it will be productive. Lastly, He will heal our land so that pestilence will no longer be a threat.
Biblical, accurate, prayer produces results. The whole nation does not need to pray in order to experience these results. However, the church must pray in order for the nation to experience these results. Church, it’s time to pray.