Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.Psalms 62:8 NASB
Picking up from yesterday, let’s talk prayer. First, you humble yourself. Then, you pray.
Prayer is conversation with God. It’s an essential part of having a relationship with God.
Think about it. If you don’t communicate with someone, are you really in a relationship? How many marriages would survive if you only talked once a year or when in extreme danger? That’s like saying you’re in a relationship with 911.
Speaking of 911, if you’re in an emergency it’s always okay to cry out to God and I believe our world is experiencing one right now. Perhaps God is trying to initiate or reinitiate open lines of communication with His people. I think that’s fair to say.
We’ve established that God wants us to pray, but what are we to pray?
Whatever comes to mind. Pour out your heart to Him.
What would you say to your best friend right now? What about your boss? What about your governor? How about your landlord? Your family? If you could say anything, ask anything of them, what would you say? That’s what you pray.
There’s no secret formula. There’s just different types of prayer, just like there’s different kinds of communication. Some are requests for mercy or action. Some are thanksgivings for answered prayers. Some are made for yourself and some are made for other people. Make sense? It’s easy.
In a drought, locust swarm or plague, God tells us in the Bible what to do to turn His hand from judgment to mercy. If you’re experiencing greater than normal affliction and suffering, chances are there’s a sin problem in your nation.
God loves to bless righteousness and must eventually pour out His wrath on wickedness. Think about it. If you had kids and they behaved well, what would you do? Conversely, what if those same kids were rebellious and disobedient? God’s ways are just and fair and we would be fools to question them.
So if we’ve been bad, how do we turn back to good? This is not a question of individual salvation but of our collective actions as a people group.
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 ESV
Seek My Face
To pray and seek God’s face means to have a face to face conversation. To see eye to eye with God. It requires us to humble ourselves, confess our sins, be horrified by our fallen nature. We must see things the way God does. You cannot be in sin and seek His face at the same time.
Seeking God’s face means going to the place where He can be found. And that’s in the Holy of Holies. We must purge ourselves of everything that is false and against what God wants.
Now, by faith, by the work of the Cross, we can boldly approach the throne of God by grace because of the blood of Jesus. We can always go there. There’s nothing so wrong that you can’t ask God to forgive you. But He can’t forgive what you don’t acknowledge as sin.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. When the problem is so big that only God can solve it, go to God with everything you’ve got. Don’t hold back. Pray earnestly. Pray fervently.
Pray until you feel better. If you pray and you pray and you still don’t feel better, pray with a friend. If you don’t have a friend, contact your local church. They would love it. That’s what they’re there for.
With this current pandemic, many folks have compiled thoughtful lists of things you can be praying for. All you need to do is watch the news. They tell you all the pain points. Pray that God’s will be done in all those areas with all the people involved.
There’s two basic ways to go about praying. Using a list, or following the lead of the Spirit. There’s nothing unspiritual about praying from a list. Somebody was probably inspired when they put that list together.
Speaking of the Spirit, our goal in life is to be led by the Spirit in everything we do and say. We are to be one with God, united in heart and mind and body. Once you hang out with Jesus for a little while, you become aware of His voice and recognize when He’s leading you to action.
Now, you should have a good handle on what it means to pray and seek God’s face. Let me know if you have any questions. Join us next time as we turn from our wicked ways. Sounds exciting, right?