Bible Society of South Africa

God’s Perfect Prescription for Prayer – 30 April 2020

By Louise Gevers

Bible text(s)

14if they pray to me and repent and turn away from the evil they have been doing, then I will hear them in heaven, forgive their sins, and make their land prosperous again.

2 Chronicles 7:14GNBOpen in Bible reader

“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 heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

We live in a world broken because of sin and in a country in need of healing. Around our country and around the world, people are coming together to cry out to God to help us.

Humility is what God requires in order that He might truly impact the lives of His people. “He has showed you, O Man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) Jesus modelled humility perfectly, and it is also seen in the lives of other people in the Bible, but it is not easy to imitate because it must come from the heart.

When we humble ourselves, we must admit where we were wrong and how, in following our own will, we have failed. We acknowledge that we don’t have the solution, and we forsake our foolish pride that blinded us and destroyed our peace. This is not easy to do, however, it is from this very state, that God will lift us up. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)

The parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) illustrates the point of the invitation to prayer that God extended to His people through Solomon. The younger son lost the attitude of gratitude and exchanged it for an odyssey of self-gratification, a course that led him into a lifestyle which brought him loneliness and ruin.

The wonderful thing is that he came to his senses and faced up to his wrongdoing. He humbled himself, turned away from his rebellion and went home again to seek his father’s face. This changed attitude brought him true freedom, freedom from the enslavement that had resulted from the so-called freedoms he had thought to pursue. His father restored him, not as a servant, but as his true son.

In the same way God wants to restore us, too, as individuals, and as a country. His invitation to prayer, with its clear prescription and promise, extends no less to us today than it did to Solomon and the Kingdom of Israel of old.

Humility opens the way to self-knowledge, confession and repentance, connecting us to God’s heart where we find true forgiveness, liberty and healing. Let us use this time to reach His heart.

Prayer: Loving Father, give us grace to humble ourselves, and to pray according to your perfect prescription that we may truly act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with You each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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