“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways…” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NKJV)
As Solomon prayed at the dedication of the temple, he described the situation where the people would sin against God so that He would deliver them up to their enemy as captives. Solomon proposed them doing the following:
- Coming to their senses, repenting and making supplication in the land of their captivity, saying, “We have sinned, we have done wrong, and have committed wickedness.”
- Returning to the LORD with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity and praying toward Jerusalem.
Solomon’s request was that in such a case God would hear their prayer from heaven, maintain their cause, and forgive the people (2 Chron. 6:36-40). God’s response in 7:14 was a direct answer to Solomon’s prayer. It gives us the conditions that are necessary in order for God to restore His people.
It is interesting that when Daniel was in Babylon, as a result of God delivering Judah into captivity, he followed this same model in his prayer:
“Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, ‘O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.’” (Daniel 9:3-5, NKJV)
For the next eleven verses Daniel confessed his sins, the sins of the nation, God’s righteousness in bringing judgment against them, and also His mercy and forgiveness. Finally, Daniel made his request:
“Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate.” (Daniel 9:17, NKJV)
God has given us the recipe for revival. He has shown us the way to bring spiritual restoration and to heal our land. We find in the prayers of Solomon and Daniel a description and example of what it really means for us to humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways. The question is, are we willing to do it?
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