A friend once came to me asking for forgiveness for something he had done. He came in a spirit of humility – with a genuine spirit of repentance. I was so moved that it brought tears to my eyes. Of course I forgave him!
God wants us to come to Him with a humble and contrite heart. He wants us to confess our sins and to demonstrate a true spirit of repentance. When we do, that moves the heart of God and He delights in showering His blessings upon us.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God says, “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 describes an opportunity for Israel to get right with God. They had become a sinful people by pursuing their own way, independent of God’s desire for their lives. Consequently, God had removed His blessing from them and there was trouble in the land. God was telling them that He was providing an opportunity for them to return to the place of blessing, but there were several things they must first do. He told them they must allow themselves to be humbled, and then they must pray.
The word “pray” is a word that actually means “to judge or decide.” In this verse it’s in a stem of the verb that means “to act as an arbiter or mediator.” So the sense of the word, pray, in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is this: When there are adverse circumstances that are the direct result of our sinful ways, then:
- We need to be humbled by the situation and recognized that God is not pleased with us.
- We need to pray (in the sense of begging God’s forgiveness) in an effort to mediate between our sinfulness and God’s righteous judgment.
Like my friend, who humbled himself and asked forgiveness, we also need to humble ourselves and ask God for His forgiveness. That is what this verse means when it says to pray.
Now you know the real meaning of the word.
Say – many of our troubles are trumpets to call us to prayer. Think about it.