The Verse of the Day for May 4, 2016, the day before the National Day of Prayer, comes from 2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, shall 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 will heal their land.
This verse has been invoked countless times in conjunction with corporate prayer gatherings, and, indeed, has been the theme verse of the National Day of Prayer and other similar occasions.
While this verse often brings to mind people within a particular geographic location, the actual emphasis is on “my people” who could be the people of God in any place across the globe, wherever two or three or more are gathered. Certainly, this is the will of God for the people of God from around the world.
2 Chronicles 7:14 is in reality an “if . . . then” conditional sentence which opens with a conditional clause, followed by a main clause that expresses the results from meeting the conditions set forth. God specifically sets the conditions for “His” people, those who call upon His name and those whom He designates as belonging to Him, those called by His name. If these individuals will perform certain actions, then God will respond accordingly. He sets the conditions with a series of verbs, each of which is connected to the others by “and.” All of these actions must be performed as part of the conditions:
. . . humble themselves
Followers of God should first of all “humble themselves.” This condition is reinforced with these exhortations
James 4:10 (NLT)
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
In addition, believers should also “pray.”
Again, throughout the scriptures God’s people are exhorted to pray:
As the Lord Jesus Christ told his followers, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint,” even as Paul encouraged believers to “Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We are also reminded in Philippians 4:6 (NLT):
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
and seek my face
To the three previous conditions, His people are to “seek His face.” Like David, we are to yearn to be in God’s presence:
Psalm 27:8 (AMP):
When You said, “Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I will seek [on the authority of Your word].”
and turn from their wicked ways
The final condition that must be met is to “turn from your wicked ways.” God expresses His desire for His people:
Ezekiel 18:23 (NLT):
“Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.
Isaiah 55:7 also makes known this:
Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
If these four conditions are fulfilled on our part, God will do His part, expressed with three distinct actions:
I will hear from heaven
God will hear from heaven, the place where the ears of God are open. The Verse of the Day is part of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple, where he goes on to say:
2 Chronicles 6:21
21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.
We are also reminded that
1 Peter 3:12
“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”
and forgive their sins
In 1 John 1:9 we find another conditional sentence that relates to the results received: that God forgives our sins if we confess them:
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Psalm 103:3 reiterates this message, in that God “forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases.”
Ezekiel 6:33 also proclaims God’s ultimate desire to forgive Israel’s iniquities and restore their land
‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.
and heal their land
This expression of God’s will is revealed in this portion of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 6:24-25
If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy,
because they have sinned against You,
and they return to You and praise Your name,
and they pray and plead for mercy
before You in this temple,
25 may You hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of Your people Israel.:
May You restore them to the land
You gave them and their ancestors.
Isaiah 49:8 (AMP) reveals also God’s desire to bless the land of Israel:
This is what the Lord says, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep watch over You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land [from its present state of ruin] and to apportion and give as inheritances the deserted hereditary lands,
The celebrated verse associated with corporate prayer reminds us once more that God is not a respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of conditions which must be met before God fulfills His terms of the agreement. God, however, is a respecter of conditions. Many times the terms of condition are expressed by the use of “if.” Throughout the Bible we find that God has set up “If . . . then” statements” that reveal promises that He will fulfill if we do our part.
We now close with a musical rendering of this familiar verse: