[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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14
In 2 Chronicles 6, King Solomon had just finished building God’s temple in Jerusalem and had offered up a prayer of dedication. In this prayer, Solomon affirmed that he wanted to lead his people the way God wanted him to lead. After the prayer, God’s glory filled the temple. The people offered sacrifices and held a feast. Later that night, the Lord appeared to Solomon and told him that if the people ever rejected His ways and turned away from Him, but then repented, He would hear the prayers of His people.
God will deal with a nation that turns its back on Him. If a culture wants to be free of God, He will let it have that freedom. But freedom from God brings dire consequences. Pagans do not normally turn to God when things get rough. But this Scripture isn’t addressing pagans; it is addressing God’s people, who are called by His name.
God’s covenant people are the ones who are supposed to pray for their nation. In the Old Testament, His covenant people were the Jews. In the New Testament, the covenant people make up the church—the body of believers who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Sin bearer and Redeemer.
God will pay attention to our prayers when we come to Him humbly, seek His face, and turn toward Him.