“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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land’ – 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV).
In 1992 I was a member of a church that went through an acrimonious split. Prior it was a growing church with flourishing ministries spread across the city of Tulsa. But somewhere some members decided to walk out due to some issues, and the Pastor was forced to resign. This led many others who preferred the Pastor to storm out too. Before long the church had split into three congregations!
When people have been meeting regularly to fellowship they become like a family. A church split can be as devastating as a biological family that breaks up with brothers and sisters walking separate ways. It was a time of turmoil.
But just as the church was going through this turmoil, the elders did an amazing thing. They decided to set aside a time for prayer. For some months members were asked to drop by the church after work and participate in communal prayers. The elders encouraged fasting as well during the day.
As members met, repented and cried out to the Lord, this church was restored. The Lord led it miraculously to find a new Pastor; within no time he had turned it around into one of the fastest growing churches in Tulsa. Of this success one elder later told me, “we felt the split was the time to drop everything and turn to the Lord. This is how our church was saved.”
Today, there is a spirit of death passing over many nations, much a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost every passing moment a new death is reported. But if we can remember, once, there was a time when “the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem” (1 Chronicles 21:14). However, the Lord had mercy upon Israel, because of the prayers of his servant David and the elders. “But as the angel was doing so, the Lord saw it and relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand” (vv 15)
In the midst of this turmoil, the battle cry for all believers is to get out, fall on our knees, repent for the sins of the land, and cry out to the living God to hold this terror that is plucking young and old still. He is fully able.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I fall facedown and cry out to you, in repentance of my sins and this nation, that you stay this evil hand of death passing and plucking the old and young, and that you may save the land from ruin, all this I pray in the Lord Jesus’s name!