Summary: Applying God’s Remedy to What Ails Us - 2 Chron 7:14 - How to begin praying for revival, remedies and reformation in your community.
Applying God’s Remedy to What Ails Us - 2 Chron 7:14
We live at a time when there is an increasing secularization of Americans. The Barna study reports that only 12% of people under 25 years of age attend church on a regular basis. More frightening is the fact that only 12% of these people, when they leave home, will continue to be involved with their church. It seems that it will not be long before America sinks to the level of 1-4% church attendance that is common throughout Europe.
"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 will I hear from heaven and will forgiven their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chron. 7:14)
Illustration: When the Pastors of the Dwelling Place Church and the Assembly of God partnered to pray for transformation of the city of Hemmet, California, they saw revival break out throughout the city. The Methamphetamine plants were driven out of the city and many of the leaders from all sectors of the community came to Christ and brought a renewal to the entire town. Then, God blessed their own congregations so that they saw unprecedented growth and blessings that were far beyond all that they could ask or think. (Eph. 3:20) Transformation is a theme that George Otis has demonstrated in his documentary videos that is happening when people apply the power of God that is found through obedience and trust and prayer such as is found in 2 Chron. 7:14. I would encourage you to watch Transformation videos that highlight how God brought about change in all the dimensions of community in his documentary videos. Look up George Otis on www.google.com for more information.
Only when we pray with repentance according to God’s formula found in 2 Chron 7:14 will we see God’s rescue us from self-deterioration. Let us trust God with prayers for revival in our Christian community will we see God bringing healing, restoration and transformation to our communities.
1. REALIZE our need to cooperatively pray for the revival of our Christians instead of competing with each other for church attenders. "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray." It was only when Pastor Julio Ruival, of Cali Columbia, prayed that the Pastors and spiritual leaders came together for a city wide prayer meeting, that God chased the drug cartel out and brought evangelical Christianity to more than 30% of the city. Too many Pastors are competing with each other rather than praying with each other for God to bring about spiritual, social, emotional, social and economic transformation of their communities.
2. HUMBLY PRAY that the Lord will provide whatever is needed to reawaken Christians from their slumbering lethargy, apathy and inaction. The alternative to humbling ourselves before God is to be humbled by Him. Peter wrote, "For God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you at the proper time." (I Pet. 5:5,6)
Humility always comes before fruitfulness. God is the one who brings the fruit but we need people who will be busy in planting and watering the seed as Paul and Apollos did in the New Testament days. Paul wrote, "I planted and Apollos watered, but God caused the growth." (I Cor. 3:5,6)
3. SEEK GOD’S FACE. Praise God for His attributes and worship Him in the beauty of His holiness. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart, commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will bring things to pass. (Psa. 37:3-7) To seek the face of God is to know Him through His characteristics. May we praise Him for His power, love and joy as we study His word. David wrote, "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles and judgments he pronounced." (Psa. 105:4,5) When we seek the face of God we are gaining greater intimacy with Him through our worship, adoration and submission. The more we observe His face the more we will become like Him. Paul wrote, "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2 Cor. 3:18) Allow the Lord to transform you and your Christian community more into His likeness as you praise, study and focus on Christ as the author and perfecter of our faith. (Heb. 12:1,2)
4. REPENT OF OUR SINS. God told Solomon, "Turn from your wicked ways." Most of us need to reverse course regarding our sins of omission. There are many evangelistic, service and relational ministries that we should engage in but we are found wanting. Even the most seasoned Christian can become more Christlike. We all need to find ways of putting away grievances, impurities or sins of faulty attitudes or erroneous assumptions we make about ourself or others. Give all of your hurts, anger and fears over to the Lord. Allow the grace of God to let you work through the pain, disappointment and criticisms that have formed a callous over your heart.