Prayer in the Lord’s Name (2) – Pray and Seek My Favor

What is it to pray and how do you pray?  I want to read another portion of Scripture on prayer.  It says, “When My people, who bear My name (that means the Lord’s people, you and me), humble themselves, pray, and seek My favor and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from My heavenly abode (or from heaven) and hear and forgive their sins and heal their land.” It says we are to humble ourselves. This verse from II Chronicles has become a rather popular verse today on the subject of prayer because it contains several principles on prayer.  Before I cover it piece-by-piece, I want to make the comment that some people like that verse and some apparently don’t like it.  Some people in the Christian community have said that since this verse is from the Old Testament, it does not apply to us today in the New Testament, or does not apply to Christians. They say to look at the context of this verse.  What is the context of this verse? The context is God speaking to Solomon. God is telling Solomon, “If My people (that is God’s people) obey Me, follow Me, walk with Me, and do the things I want to do, then everything will be just fine.  But, if you turn away to do evil things and things that I am not happy with, then evil will come on your land, the enemy will come in, and all kinds of problems will occur.”  He says, “If you will pray and turn back to God then I will restore the land and solve all the problems.”  So some people say this passage does not apply to the New Testament because the context is for Israel.  I have two comments on that.  In the book of I Corinthians, it is talking about Moses and the things that happened in the Old Testament.  Paul is saying that all these things happened as an example for us. In other words, what happened was really for us, an example to us. That means what?  We can take this passage out of the Old Testament and apply it to the New Testament.  Why? Because there are some principles there for us that do apply even though that verse is actually addressed to the children of Israel.  Secondly I would say it this way, if some people want to say this verse does not apply to us because it is taken out of context, and is speaking to Israel and not to the Church, I would ask, “What about the Ten Commandments and the Psalms?  I do not believe that the Ten Commandments and the psalms were really not written for us, but we still enjoy them. So, based on those principles I believe we should accept this passage in II Chronicles 7:14 as applying to us today. There are several things mentioned in this passage and I would like to quickly go over some of them.  First of all it says, “My people.” It doesn’t just say, “Hey you people over there.”  It says My people, His own personal people, “Who bear My name.”  We, as Christians, bear God’s name.  It says we are to humble ourselves.  What does that mean? This means to admit who we are, and be willing to admit our failures, problems, and so on. It says to, “Pray and seek My favor.”  What does it mean to pray?  We will get into that in just a few minutes.  We are to seek His favor, seek after God, and after the things of God.We are to turn from our evil ways. In other words, it is one thing to seek after God, but it is another thing to turn away from things we know God is not happy with. We need to turn from evil things.