Summary: Praying for our nation as Singapore celebrates her 52nd birthday. We humble ourselves, acknowledge God and seek righteousness.
Like to take a break from the flow of 1 Kings to pause and pray for our nation, as we celebrate our National Day this WED.
• We read a couple of weeks ago how Solomon dedicated the Temple of God, asking God to listen to the cries of the people and bless his people.
• Listen to what the Lord says to him – 2 Chron 7:11-16.
The Lord says (7:14): “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 forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
The healing of the land comes when the people of God turns to Him and seek Him.
• He says if my people HUMBLE themselves, PRAY AND SEEK His face, and TURN FROM their wicked ways.
• Who is the Lord referring to? MY PEOPLE. He says, “If MY PEOPLE, those who are CALLED BY MY NAME…”
Referring to the Israelites then, and to us today, the ONES who are called by His Name, the ones who knows Him and seek Him in the Temple of God.
• We have a part to play for the healing of the land. The nation is blessed because the PEOPLE of God humble themselves, pray and seek Him, and turn from their wicked ways.
• Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.”
This is quite straight-forward. If we HIS PEOPLE, placed in this land, are not going to SEEK HIM, who will? Who are we expecting to pray that God’s will be done?
• The Lord speaks specifically to His PEOPLE. We have the ones with the responsibility to SEEK Him AND PRAY, for the good of the nation.
• If God is going to bless this land, it will come through His PEOPLE, who are humble enough to seek God.
The Lord says, “IF my people…” meaning, it is not always the case. We don’t always understand the need for this.
• We are not humble enough to recognise our sinful ways and our need of God.
• But IF MY PEOPLE do understand and turn to me, THEN “will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Let’s pray that the PEOPLE OF GOD in this nation will do this:
(1) HUMBLE THEMSELVES
• James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
(2) ACKNOWLEDGE GOD Pray and seek His face.
• Ps 33:16-19 16No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. 18But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
He makes the difference.
Shakespeare's Henry the Fifth
In the Shakespearean play Henry the Fifth, King Henry came under great odds in the battlefield. In one scene, hundreds of bowmen in the backline send a downpour of arrows arching over their front lines and landing upon the advancing enemy army.
These arrows are launched with no particular target in mind. They can land on the ground or in the throat of an enemy soldier. The slightest wind will change the course of the flying arrows. So the arrows are sent with a string and a prayer.
The army sings the song, “Non nobis domine, Gloria” meaning, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Thy Name give the glory.” (Psalm 115:1a).
Prayer makes the difference!
(3) SEEK RIGHTEOUSNESS Turn from our wicked ways. Repent.
• The land will be blessed because of this TURNING.
• When God’s people follow God’s ways, they will see God’s blessings.
• The Lord says, IF… THEN will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
It starts with us! It has to start with us, people who KNOWS GOD AND HONOURS HIM.
One more thought before we pray. Look at 2 Chron 7:13.
• God said, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people…if my people who are called by my name…”
• God sends wake-up calls to His people. He says when He SHUT UP the heavens (the drought), or COMMAND the locusts, and SEND a plague…
Clearly God does this, not because He doesn’t care. He does it because He cares.
• Through these sufferings, God gets the attention of His people.
• “Come back to ME. Pray and seek Me. Turn from your sinful ways. I want to forgive your sin and heal your land.” That’s His message!