If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14
2 Chronicles 7:14 is one of the most popular passages of Scripture in times of national crisis. You may have noticed that this verse is mentioned a lot, so much so that it can become a little ambiguous. References also typically leave out the glorious historical context that lends greater clarity to the power of this verse. Some may be asking the question, “Can God really heal our land?” The average believer might say, “Yes, He COULD, I suppose.” But the real question on our mind is, “WILL God heal our land?” Let’s see if the context can help us answer that question.
2 Chronicles chapters 6 – 7 recount the fascinating story of the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, one of the most significant moments in Israel’s history. The Temple functioned as an earthly reflection of heaven, a dwelling place for the presence of God accompanied by unceasing prayer with music according to the order of King David. The Temple was an essential demonstration of the people’s affection for God and partnership with His purposes in the earth. During Solomon’s prayer of dedication, he took time to list various crisis scenarios where Israel might call upon the Lord for help, invoking the justice and mercy of God. Among them, we find this text:
“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemies besiege them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is…” (v 28). That sounds a lot like our present-day scenario. A plague has broken out across the earth that threatens the lives of millions and the global economy.
Solomon concludes his prayer asking the Lord to make his resting place in the Temple among the atmosphere of unceasing prayer with music, which the Lord answered in spectacular fashion. Not long after, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and spoke this iconic passage:
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.” – 2 Chronicles 7:12-16
More Than A Moment
Notice the “IF my people.” That IF may be the most important two letters in all of Scripture. Can God heal our land? Absolutely, but there is an IF! Unceasing prayer has been the hinge of history ever since. The promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is more than a momentary response to a crisis, but a continuous invitation to experience the love of God and partner with his purposes in the earth through unceasing prayer in the spirit of the Tabernacle of David.
This value is demonstrated in Israel’s Old Testament history and in the first-century church. Every time that the House of the Lord was neglected, Israel fell into crisis. Every time Israel fell into crisis was accompanied by a redemptive invitation to restore the House of the Lord. Jesus emphasized the importance of unceasing prayer to the global advance of the gospel in Luke 18:7-8. James connected the expansion of the gospel to Gentile nations to promised expansion of unceasing prayer in Acts 15:16-17. Paul connected the promises of God to unceasing prayer with music in Acts 26:6-7. Paul also instructed the practice of unceasing prayer the churches of Rome, Philippi, Ephesus, Colossae, Thessalonica, and in every church under Timothy. Unceasing prayer has been a hinge of history ever since the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Today’s global crisis is driving our churches back to the sovereign invitation of 2 Chronicles 7:14. There has never been a better time for our churches to cover our communities in prayer as an important part of our response to this crisis. Arkansas Prays is a resource to strengthen your church and your community with a simple, modern, church-based model of unceasing prayer. Churches in Arkansas are working together across denominations, ethnicities, generations, and locations by adopting a monthly day of prayer until every day of the month is covered! View the calendar and learn how to sign up your church below.