05/11/16 Repent and Pray

READING: 2 Chronicles 6-8

Today, I am struck by God’s willingness to hear us when we pray — and by His undeniably clear call for us to repent as we pray. Listen to the words of Solomon as he prayed in today’s reading about the dedication of the Temple: 

“If your people Israel are defeated before the enemy because they have sinned against you, and they turn again and acknowledge your name and pray and plead with you in this house, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel . . . .” (2 Chron 6:24-25)

“When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them, then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel . . . .” (2 Chron 6:26-27)

“If they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to a land far or near, yet if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity . . . then hear from heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their pleas, and maintain their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against you.” (2 Chron 6:36-39)

"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 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 Chron 7:13-14)

Though these words are directed toward God’s people in the Old Testament, God’s willingness to hear and forgive His repentant people is a gracious theme that echoes throughout scripture. When I read these words, two things happen to me: (1) my sin becomes even that much more apparent to me; and (2) God’s openness to hear me when I turn from my sin becomes that much more phenomenal. 

He hears me when I cry out to Him in my brokenness over who I am. How can I not want to serve such a God? 

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Print this devotion, and carry these Bible texts with you throughout the day. Read them each chance you get to be reminded of God’s grace. 
  • Bask in the glory of God’s grace today. Every time you sin, flee to His throne for mercy and forgiveness. 

PRAYER: God, please forgive me for my wrong. Thank You for hearing my prayers.” 

TOMORROW¹S READING:  2 Chronicles 9-12