PRAYER IS THE KEY AND FAITH UNLOCKS THE DOOR
(II Chronicles 7:12-18) (12) And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. (13) If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; (14) 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 I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (15) Now mine eyes shall be open, and my ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. (16) For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. (17) And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt observe my statures and my judgments; (18) then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.
This passage is important because it says God’s people have a responsibility for the society in which they live. Jesus said we are the salt and light of the earth (Matt. 5:13,14).
If our country is going down the tubes, we must take personal responsibility because we are responsible to heal wounds and light the way.
If we are going through difficulty and chaos as a nation, we as believers must say “Lord have we been failing? Have we been playing and not praying? Forgive us!!!”We must be those who are lights, praying rather than complaining.
Months, maybe years had passed since Solomon’s prayer of dedication (chapter 6). After all this time God told Solomon that he had heard his prayer (7:11; 8:1).
How often do we look for immediate answers to our prayers and when nothing happens, wonder if God has heard us? God does hear, and he will provide for us, but we must trust that he will answer at the proper time.
In chapter 6 Solomon asked God to make provisions for the people when they sinned. God answered with four conditions for forgiveness: (1). Humble yourself by admitting your sins, (2). Pray to God asking for forgiveness, (3). Seek God continually, and (4) turn from sinful behavior.
True repentance is more than talk—it is changed behavior. Whether we sin individually, as a group, or as a nation, following these steps will lead to forgiveness. God will answer our earnest prayers.
Prayer is defined as speaking or communicating with God. For a person to pray there must be (1) an acknowledgement of God’s existence, (2) HOPE THAT God knows and cares about us, and (3) expectation that God is able and willing to respond to us. Prayer as described in Scripture is an expression of covenant relationship. According to the Old Testament, God established a special relationship with Abraham and his descendants. According to the New Testament, God in Christ, reached out beyond Israel to establish a personal bond with all who would accept His offer of salvation.
Faith is belief, confidence, trust, and reliance. In the Bible, religious faith is a life shaping attitude toward God. The person with faith considers God’s revelation of Himself and of truth to be certain and sure. The person with faith then responds to God with trust, love, and obedience. God made promises to Abraham, and the Bible says “Abraham believed the Lord, and God credited to him as righteousness (Gen. 15:6).
To be righteous means to be rightly clothed. That is what we are when, like Abram, we simply take God at His Word. Righteousness: God thought it. Jesus bought it. The Spirit taught it. Satan fought it. But saints, we got it!! We are robed in righteousness.
Isaiah 61:10 states “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garment of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bride-groom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
Isaiah’s zeal for his people and his desire to see the work of salvation completed caused him to pray without resting, hoping that Israel would be saved. We should have Isaiah’s zeal to see God’s will done.
This is what we mean when we pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It is good to keep praying consistently for others.
In the New Testament, the object of faith is Jesus. Biblical faith has two aspects: on God’s part there is an act of revelation that calls for a response; on man’s part there is a response of faith that evaluates God’s revelation as trustworthy and responds wholeheartedly to the Lord. God presents Jesus as His Son, whose death wins us forgiveness, and we, by faith, rely completely on Jesus for our salvation.