“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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
This is the promise God gave to Solomon, the 3rd King of Israel.
Gods asks his people to do four things:
- Humble themselves
- Seek Gods face
- Turn from their wicked ways
He in return promises to do three things:
- Hear from heaven
- Forgive their sin
- Heal their land
In contrast, if these conditions are not met, God will cast his people out of his sight (v20), he will not hear their prayers, he will hold their sins against them, and bring disaster upon them (v22).
Humility is the opposite of pride. It means that we stop thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought and realize who God is. He is sovereign. He is the eternal creator. He is our Lord and King. We are his precious possession, which means that although we are precious, we are not our own. Humility recognizes the fact that we need Gods help, wisdom, counsel and guidance and that we can’t be successfully self-governed.
Prayer is also an act of humility. Prayer is partitioning, asking, communicating, and calling upon God to change our environment and situation for the better – to bring his kingdom to earth as it is in heaven. Prayer also helps us bring our will into alignment with his, and it asks him to allow his will to be done on earth through us.
Seeking Gods Face
To seek Gods face is done primarily in prayer, but worshipping the Lord in Spirit and truth also helps us to more clearly recognize his voice. We draw close to the Lord as we communicate with him, and as we pay attention to what he is saying to us.
Turn from wicked ways
This is repentance. Repentance turns from sin towards God. God doesn’t hear the prayers of the wicked. But he hears the prayers of a righteous person.