By Mark Molina
Thursday, May 7 was the National Day of Prayer. Many communities all over the country stopped to recognize the role that prayer played in the founding of this country. This article is not about that particular event. Rather, I want us to look at what is perspective of God as found in the Bible regarding our responsibility to pray.
“Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: ‘I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 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’.” (II Chronicles 7:12-14 NKJV)
There are many compelling statements in this scripture made by the LORD to Solomon. (1) “When I shut up heaven”; (2) “When there is no rain”; (3) “Command the locusts to devour the land”; and (4) “Send pestilence among My people.” Have we ever stopped to consider that our communities are suffering difficulties that are God-ordained? Why would God deal with us in that way? The answer is very simple: sin.
What is the remedy to these difficulties? Humility and prayer. The relief that our lives and land need is found only in humility and prayer before the LORD. The relief is conditional. It is not automatic like many pastors preach in mainstream ministries today. Some erroneously teach that no matter what one does or how one lives there are no conditions to the healing that we seek. This is the easy way out and it is a lie.
What did we just read? “… 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.” This is the Spirit of God speaking directly to Solomon and clearly stating these conditions for forgiveness and healing.
The conditions are (1) “humble”; (2) “pray and seek”; and (3) “turn from.” Once we meet these conditions the LORD responds with (1) “I will hear; (2) “and will forgive”; and (3) “heal.” We cannot pray without stopping to consider our true spiritual condition. We should not assume that our sin issues are non-issues to a Holy God. We cannot walk in open rebellion to Biblical truth and then have a realistic expectation that God is going to “bless us!”
Well Pastor, how can you say that? The Bible says we are under grace. That is partially true. In context that scripture reads, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John1:17 NKJV). The grace of God is never absent from the truth of God. “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13 NKJV). Here we see that there is grace to receive the mercy of God. It is conditional upon the confession of sin.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (I John 1:8-10 NKJV)
The Bible clearly states the condition required for forgiveness and healing. Truth is required. Healing is not always a manifestation of physical healing but rather freedom and peace in the mind and emotions. “I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah” (Psalms3 2:5NKJV
Let your prayer begin with confession. Let it begin with truth.