Pastor, I don’t know what you’re dealing with right now, but I suspect you may need some sort of healing. Maybe it’s a health problem or a broken relationship. Maybe it’s a problem in your church.
The good news is God gave us a model for praying for healing and restoration in the Bible. About 3,000 years ago, God promised King Solomon to heal and restore God’s people. That promise still stands today.
But notice that 2 Chronicles 7:14 isn’t a promise to everyone. It’s a promise to God’s people.
God says, “Then if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, if they will pray and seek me and stop their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land” (NCV).
In that famous verse, God gives four conditions for answering our prayers for healing and restoration.
1. We need to admit we’re not in control.
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT).
Start with humility. Recognize that we’re not God, and we’re not in control.
Humility is our choice. Many people get confused about what true humility looks like. Think of it like this:
— It’s confessing our sin to God the moment we realize it.
— It’s forgiving quickly.
— It’s refusing to retaliate when we’re treated unfairly.
— It’s looking to serve others, not expecting to be served.
— It’s when we pray for our enemies.
None of that is easy. In fact, it’s all hard. But when we’re humble, God promises to help. God opposes the proud every time. But when we’re humble, God is on our side. He’ll guide us (Psalm 25:9), bless us (Isaiah 66:2), empower us to make changes in our lives (James 4:6), and reduce our stress (Matthew 11:29). That’s the beginning of true healing and restoration.
2. Ask God for help.
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT)
God is ready and willing to help. The truth is, we’re not waiting on God to act. He is waiting on us to pray.
How do you pray for healing?
— Ask with confidence. We don’t need to worry that something isn’t worth bringing to God. Jesus tells us we can pray about anything! (John 16:23)
— Ask in Jesus’ name. Jesus’ name gives us instant access to the Father every time (John 16:23).
— Get other people to pray with you. (James 5:13-15) We don’t need 50 people praying for us. It can just be two. But it’s important to gather with others and pray.
— Believe and expect an answer. Pray in faith. God might not answer the prayer how we want, but he will answer (James 5:15).
— Keep praying until God tells you to stop. Restoration could happen instantly or over a period of years. God is in control of the timing. We can’t stop unless he tells us to stop.
3. Seek God, not a miracle.
“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT).
It’s okay for us to want a miracle, but we need God more. When we seek God, we’ll get everything he wants to give us.
But seeking God isn’t something we do in our spare moments. We don’t do it after three TV shows and several hours on social media. Seeking God can’t be at the bottom of our list of priorities. It needs to be the primary focus of our lives.
It’s rare to find someone truly seeking God with everything they are. But if we do, God will do just about anything for us.
4. Turn your attention from the world to the Word.
“Turn from their wicked ways” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT).
When most people see the word repentance, they believe it’s a negative word. They picture a man on the street yelling, “Turn or burn.”
But the Greek word for repentance, metanoia, literally means to change your mind. We repent when we think differently about something than we did previously. We repent when we think about sin differently, when we think about God differently, and when we think about ourselves differently.
It’s also not just turning away from something bad. It’s turning toward something that’s good.
To find restoration, we need to stop focusing on what the world says about our situation and start trusting what God is saying about our situation.
I have no idea what you and your church are facing right now, but I know that God wants to bring you healing. I also know, as a leader, God will start with you.
Where do you need healing?
Are you ready to take the first step?
Ask God for help.
Seek God’s face.
Turn away from your sin.
Then get ready for God’s healing.