October 15th – Prayer Makes All The Difference

Every day in our land politicians, educators, leaders, the guardians of law and order, health and economy, all grapple with the question “What will heal our land?” When seeking re-election, or to be elected, the most dynamic leaders promise a prosperous, just and joyful future, while millions mutter “Tell me the old, old story”, and cynics say “One lot of sinners out, another lot of sinners in – what’s new?”
Every good scheme, every good idea or policy, crashes on the rocks of our personal human perversity. When things are going wrong, we blame each other. When things are going well we forget about each other, and only very rarely does our nation ever consider seriously the root of the matter. It’s not the others, it’s not “them”, not “they”, who need to be changed, It’s us. It’s me.
We never consider the call and promise which God made to the nation of Israel as being relevant. We looked at this Bible call to pray way back on May 12th, in which we are told not to stand before each other blaming the criminals, the godless, the atheists, the agnostics, but to see that the root of the problem is in us. God says “If my people, called by my name”, people who profess to be in a right relationship with me, will come to me prepared to be broken of their self-pity, their self-importance, their self-righteousness, and truly pray – so that they do not merely say their prayers, but pray genuinely seeking God’s face, to meet Him, not merely have a religious experience, but seek Him as a person to know, to recognise: “if my people are willing to turn from their wicked ways” – yes wicked ways: turn from the images of our idol, addicted society, our abuse of time and pleasure (Oh the hours we waste just staring at T.V.), our delight in gossip, our pontificating what ought to be done, while not being prepared to lift a finger,then God promises. Oh, let’s hear the promise again, and take it to heart:
If my people, who are called by my name, will 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. II Chronicles 7:14
The letter of James rebukes our prayerless-ness.
You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4: 2-3
A Prayer:
Lord, teach us to pray with humility, willing to quit our sinful ways and seeking your face and your mind.
Now read Ezra Chapter 9.

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