Subject: Condition 2 of 4 of ‘How to Make America Great Again’ – Intercessory Prayer
2Chronicles 7:14 “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and PRAY…”
When Vice President Mike Pence ended his February 23rd CPAC speech, he quoted our verse for this week as the blueprint our nation must follow to bring healing to our land: “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 will heal their land.”
But can this verse be used for America? God originally spoke it to King Solomon, who asked God to forgive Israel if they would confess their sin: “…Your people have sinned against You, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to Your name and turn from their sin…, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel… Forgive, and deal with everyone according to all they do, since You know their hearts (for You alone know the human heart), so that they will fear You and walk in obedience to You.” (sections from 2Chronicles 6:26-31).
God responded to Solomon in 2Chronicles 7:14 much like a doctor – with His medical prescription that would bring healing of the patient’s illness. This prescription has four conditions that are so applicable to any nation that yes, it not only can be applied to America but also to any people in any nation at any time.
Last week we examined God’s first condition for healing America: His people, who claim the name of Jesus Christ, must humble themselves. This week, we are examining God’s second condition: they must pray. The question is, what does God mean? Is it really that simple – be humble and pray?
The Old Testament actually has ten different words for prayer. In 2Chronicles 7:14, the word for prayer is “intercede”. Most people pray to commune with Him or to ask Him to meet a need. People don’t often pray for God to intercede on behalf of America. But Dr. Walter Kaiser says that if we don’t intercede, “we must count on being soundly thrashed by the present world system in our families, our churches, our courts, and our nations. Mark it well: where intercession goes thin or ceases altogether, there the saints and the churches drift into spiritual lethargy, and the forces of evil have a field day in the culture.”
So can anyone intercede for America and know that God will hear? Jesus Himself tells us: “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3). The true Intercessor, whom the Father sent to heal any nation, is Jesus Christ. So you must know Jesus personally to have Him intercede through your prayers. This is explained in many places in the Bible – let’s look at the Old Testament book of Isaiah as an example.
Listen to how the prophet Isaiah described the nation of Israel at that time: “We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we are as dead men in desolate places… For our sins testify against us… in transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing from our God… Justice is turned back… so truth fails…” (sections from Isaiah 59:10-15).
How did God respond to the nation’s crisis? As the next two verses in Isaiah 59 tell us, God sent an Intercessor to bring salvation to Israel: “Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own ARM brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.”
Who is this “Intercessor”, who was sent by God the Father to Israel? God calls this Intercessor His “Arm”. This “Arm” is the same “Arm” eight chapters earlier in Isaiah 53: “To whom has the ARM of the Lord been revealed? He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are HEALED. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone each to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the sin of us all.” (Isaiah 53:1,5-6).
There is only one person recorded in history as sent by God to intercede on mankind’s’ behalf by taking our sins upon Himself in order to heal and save us: Jesus Christ! And the New Testament confirms that the hope for mankind is a personal relationship with Christ: “God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery…, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27).
If you are someone who has Christ living within you, and you want God to heal America, begin by meeting His first two conditions of 2Chronicles 7:14 – humble yourself, and pray.
“The Evidence of Faith’s Substance”, Article #233