If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face… (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV). There is a step beyond prayer. It’s the place of seeking His face—not just His hands, not just His blessings and benefits, but seeking Him and His face. For too long we’ve wanted Him to slip His hand out from under the veil to dispense our allowance, while He has longed for us to enter in to behold Him and worship Him. If you get His face, you gain His favor. His hands bless where His favor flows.
The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, without painful toil for it (Prov. 10:22, NIV). God’s people are special to Him despite our inadequacies. He realizes man has fallen short of His glory, hence He sent His Son to be the mediator between Himself and us.
2 Chron. 7:14, NIV reads: If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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.
In this passage, God wants His people to:
- Humble themselves
- Seek His Face
- Turn from their wicked ways
When these are done by man, God’s response would be to:
- Hear from heaven
- Forgive our sins
- Heal our land
The start of reconciliation with the Lord is to fear Him so He can fill our hearts with His wisdom. That means we come to Him with a humble heart. Prov. 1:7 says, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and Prov. 9:10 NASB, says likewise, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. However, humility is key because the opposite of humility is pride. When people do not fear the Lord, the society becomes lawless quickly. When people fear the Lord, the Spirit of God governs the lives of men, Jesus becomes exalted and his blessings and favour flows and encompasses the people.
The antithesis to humility is pride. Pride goes before a fall like it was for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Even though they were wise, they both allowed their humility to be stolen first by satan and their wisdom was corrupted, so God cannot be questioned when He said we should humble ourselves first. Do you want promotion, then fear the Lord and humble yourself before God. In 1 Peter 5:6-7, it reads, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. If you live a humble and submissive live to God, there is a time He has programmed for your exaltation.
In the passage under review, God demands we pray as a condition before He answers. Jesus said we should learn to ask, knock and seek. He wants us to be persistent. It’s good to know specifically what we are praying for so we can know when the prayer is answered. General prayers is not enough many times. If we are praying for the church, we should be specific for example, revival, or the Pastor and the elders, for the sick or those in need, church finances, etc. If we are praying for the nation, we should equally be specific: for those in authority, for economic prosperity, for Law and order, for good harvest, etc. When we pray for ourselves, you know in your heart where the shoe pinches. It could be for yourself and family to have good health, jobs for the unemployed, your children and their academic work, etc.
The next step is to seek His Face. When we seek His face it is to get more acquainted with Him. It’s not to line up your request. God deserves our praises and only Him deserves the glory. That means spending quality time with the Lord even when it is not convenient. When cultivating friendship we spend time to know the person. So it is with God. Abraham was called at 75 years old, had Isaac at 100 and died at 175 years old. That means he spent a whole 100 years knowing God and seeking His face. Being a person of resolute faith, he earned the honour of being called a Friend of God.
The ways of man does not promote the righteousness of God. God is angry with the wicked everyday (Psalm 7:11). He judges the righteous, how much more the wicked.
When we fulfill our part, God says He will hear from heaven. Heaven is just a block away when conditions are right from our end. God dispatches His angels to attend to us, and remove all obstacles on the way hindering our prayers. Our sins are forgiven and then He heals our land.