“[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
King Solomon reigned over Israel. In 2 Chronicles 6, Solomon had just finished building God’s temple and had offered up a prayer of dedication. In this prayer, Solomon was basically saying that he wanted to lead this people as God wanted him to lead. After the prayer, God’s glory came down to the temple and filled it. 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, the prayers of His people would be heeded.
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 “My people who are called by My name” (v. 14). The people who are supposed to pray for their nation are God’s covenant people. In the Old Testament, His covenant people were the Jews. In the New Testament, the covenant people are the church—the body of true believers who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Sin-bearer and Redeemer.