In my last post, I shared how wonderful it would be if even ten percent of our population would pray in small groups for just ten minutes a day. We would send up three hundred million minutes of prayer! Every day!
This week, I want to expand on that with several segments based on “healing our land.” At times, I may be stepping on toes—including mine.
The phrase, “heal their land,” comes from 2 Chronicles 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 sins, and will heal their land.” (NIV)
What a promise! God is so quick to gather us into His arms, like every father whose heart melts when he sees true sorrow following bad behavior in his child. One more example of how we are made in God’s image.
Let’s break down this verse into a recipe, one or two steps each day.
Ingredient 1: HUMILITY
“If My people will humble themselves.” What might humility look like in our divided nation?
I picture two people who hold opposite viewpoints sitting down at a table and each taking an opportunity to share their opinions and experiences. Why do they feel the way they do? And the other person listens. No interruptions. The willingness to listen to another person is a first step in humility.
How much could we learn from others who are honestly assessing a situation based on their life’s experiences? The old adage is true: “Before you judge a man walk a mile in his shoes.”
Ingredient 2: PRAYER
“…humbles themselves and pray.” The ingredients to this recipe must be combined in a specific order. Humility must enter the prayer closet before prayer. We must acknowledge to God any failing or sin in ourselves. What kind of prayer do we offer if we show up in front of the Lord with chins lifted and voices demanding that the Most High Perfect God should grant our every wish? Parents are not inclined to give in to a bratty child, and God doesn’t reward such behavior either.
What if the two people I pictured above who listened to each other also chose to pray together? They might still hold opposite views on an issue, but having taken the time to show respect and listen to the other’s story, they would realize, “My ‘enemy’ has friends and family, dreams and fears, just like I do.” They would gain compassion. By praying together, they will have humbled themselves further. Such a combination allows God to do a miraculous work in our hearts. We will begin to love our “enemy!”
Tomorrow I’ll continue the analogy. I hope you stick with me, and feel free to comment. Often, one idea sparks another.