The cry for revival is loud in the mouth of the church. We all want to see God purge the church. We want to see revival and great miracles happening again in our midst. We want to see the supernatural move of God in our services. We want to see God use the church to impact the world mightily like we’ve never seen before. “The church is sick” many say. “This is the true church of God”, some argue. I agree that there is a lot of work to be done in the church.
Some say we need to pray more. I love prayers and i believe in the power of prayer. However, i honestly think there is more to be done other than prayers. In most cities in the world, there is always a night vigil happening every week by churches. A lot of prayers are going up for the church. People are praying for the land. But why are we not seeing the result we want to see? Does God no longer hear and answer prayers?
If you have been in church long enough, I am sure you must have heard 2 Chronicles 7:14 quoted during prayer sessions.
Most times it’s used to charge the congregation to pray and also to buttress the importance of corporate prayers. I agree it is a part of it. However there is a huge part that is often overlooked and I believe this is the missing link.
In this verse, God gave four conditions for forgiveness.
- Humble ourselves by admitting our sins
- Pray to God asking for forgiveness
- Seek God continuously
- Turn from our wicked ways
We are very good at doing the first three. We often think that doing those alone will cut it. The truth is that true repentance goes beyond mere talk. It is a changed behaviour and this is where the fourth point comes in.
It’s important to note that the verse above wasn’t addressed to unbelievers. God called these people “my people”. So it goes to show that even as God’s people, we are capable of being wicked. Wickedness isn’t only the extreme cases that first comes to our minds. I found the below definition of wickedness on google.
The International Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) defines wickedness as;
“The state of being wicked; a mental disregard for justice, righteousness, truth, honor, virtue; evil in thought and life; depravity; sinfulness; criminality.”
I like the above definition because it captures every area that can be covered. In a nutshell, sin is wickedness.
So what God is saying in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is that we need to change our wicked ways for revival to happen. Praying until we loose our voices won’t do it if we don’t repent – change our ways.
What this looks like practically is this. Before I pray, if there is someone who I have offended, I need to make peace with that person. I need to apologise so God can hear my prayers. If after apologising, that person is still holding the grudge, at least I know I have done my part. I can’t force anyone to forgive but I can sure play my part by making a peace move.
If I have an argument with my husband at home, I need to ensure that I make amends before I run to go take a prayer session in church.
This also looks like telling that lady or brother who I have been jealous of that I am sorry for allowing that spirit to consume me. I feel a lot of pride is standing in our way of worship today. We no longer see the need to apologise to others. Christianity is two ways – relationship with God and relationship with man.
One of the prerequisite to see God is for us to follow peace with all men.
Our prayers aren’t being answered because they are coming before God as a bad smell. The prayer of a sinner the bible says is an abomination to God.
So let’s stop using prayer as a mask. Let’s stop playing God. Let’s stop pretending. God is calling for us all to repent from our sinful and wicked ways. His ears are still opened to hear. He wants to answer our prayers. We need to play our part so He can play His.