Today's Reading: 2 Chronicles 7-9; John 11:1-29
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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Do you really want God to hear your prayers? Would you like to know how to get God to listen to you? Read today's verse and notice what God Himself is telling His people to do to get His attention. The children of Israel had turned from God. They practiced idolatry of all kinds, worshipping other gods, disobeying God's laws and living their lives according their own desires. Regardless of the depths of their sin and wickedness, the Lord showed them mercy. God wanted to give them a chance for redemption but the people needed to come back to Him.
The Lord clearly tells the Israelites what to do: humble themselves, pray, seek, and turn. In return, the Lord says that He will hear, forgive, and heal. Right here, in this one verse, we receive a message from the Lord that is just as relevant today in our lives as it was back then. First of all, we are told to humble ourselves. If you notice the order, humility comes before prayer. God wants us to come to Him in submission, in lowliness and brokenness, recognizing our desperate need for His saving grace. Then, we pray. We pour out our hearts to the Lord, asking, seeking and knocking for His response.
In prayer, we must seek not only answers, but we must seek His face. To seek God's face demonstrates our love for Him, our desire to know Him, and our relentless pursuit of His attention. We need more than just words; we need intimacy and fellowship with Jesus. Finally, our prayers must include confession and repentance of our sins. Again, not just in words asking forgiveness, but in a true desire to change. To change means that we are willing to turn from our "wicked ways" and start following the Lord's ways by obeying His Word.
Regardless of where you are today in your relationship with the Lord, be assured of one thing: He wants more of you. If you feel distant from God, He wants you to know He is not distant from you. If you feel close to God, He wants to be even closer to you. If you humble yourself before Him, pray and seek His face, and are willing to turn from your sins, then He promises to hear, forgive and heal you. Just ask Him. Humble yourself before the Lord today and open your heart to Him. Be sincere, honest and vulnerable before Him. If you come to the Lord in this manner, you will definitely have His attention, and your heart will be ready to receive His answers.
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