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2 Chronicles 34:22-28 (Click to read NIV or select your preferred translation of the Bible. Please read the scripture first.)

God honors those who honor him. Josiah had chosen to honor God by removing the high places, and Asherah poles. He honored God by restoring the temple. And he honored God by reading the recently found Book of the Law. As he read the book he became keenly aware of the guilt of the Israelites and the many ways they had sinned against God. Josiah repented by tearing his robes and by seeking the Lord’s counsel.

Because of Josiah’s repentant heart, God chose to honor him in his lifetime and to postpone his wrath on the Israelite nation.

If there was ever a time when repentance was needed it is today. It is needed at every level from leadership to those in the upper, middle, and lower status positions in government and society in general – even in our churches and denominations.

As individuals, we must begin with ourselves. We must prayerfully reflect on our own lives and repent (agree with God about the sins in our lives and make the necessary changes) of any sins we see. Only then can we effectively pray for our churches, our society in general, and for its leaders.

Father God, you see our sins much more clearly than our clouded eyes are able to see. Help us to see through your eyes the things we need to repent of in our own lives. Give us willing hearts to address these problems and to deal with them in a Godly way ridding our lives of them completely. Then bring to mind the leaders that we need to be praying for on a regular basis. Lead us Lord, in the way you would have us to go.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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2 Chronicles 6:18-31  (Click to read NIV or select your preferred translation of the Bible. Please read the scripture first.)

The impact of Solomon’s words in verse 18 is a reflection of the wisdom God gave to Solomon. In spite of all the great craftsmanship and the elaborate construction that went into the building of the temple, Solomon knew that the completed house of worship could never contain the totality of God himself. God’s spirit could indwell the temple and it would certainly be a holy place. But it could only limit God to expect him to allow himself to be contained in the temple.

Solomon continued to pour out his heart in prayer for the people who would come to the temple. He prayed for justice among his peoples and forgiveness for the repentant. He prayed that the people’s hearts would be teachable when God’s discipline brought famine or other afflictions upon them, bringing them to repentance, followed by God’s forgiveness and healing. Solomon prayed that as a result of their afflictions, repentance, and forgiveness, the people would learn to fear God and walk in his ways.

There are many truths we can take away from these verses.

  • We cannot put God into a box. We can search the scriptures to learn about him, and sometimes it may stretch our minds beyond where they want to stretch. But we must never assume that the almighty God we worship must fit into a shape or form that we can understand fully. If he could, he couldn’t be God – we would be greater because we could contain him.
  • We should regularly pray for God’s spirit to indwell our churches, that God’s presence would be so strong that it would bring conviction on those who would do wrong.
  • We should pray for teachable spirits among our church members so that they would recognize situations when personal hardships or disaster is brought on by the hand of God to bring them to repentance for some grievous sin. (I am not saying that every such disaster is caused by our own great sins, though more often than not God will use our hardships to teach us something we need to learn.)
  • We should pray for members to come to God with a repentant heart that they may know the cleansing freedom of his forgiveness.
  • We should pray that Christians will have a healthy fear of God, that they may always walk in his ways and enjoy a growing relationship with him forever.

Father God, may we never tire of praying for our churches that they may truly glorify you. May your spirit indwell every worship service, that those who are in your house will feel your presence. May those who worship you with a right heart be filled with your refreshing joy. May they leave your sanctuary as salt and light that will draw others to you. And Lord, may those who come into your heart with wrong motives, or with sins they are trying to hide, may they feel the conviction of your presence. May they feel their hearts laid bare before you that they will repent in shame, receive your forgiveness, and then discover the true peace that comes from having a clean heart before you, the same peace that had been waiting for them from the beginning.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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