Tuesday 6 September 2016

2 Chronicles 7:12-16 « Yahweh appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him, “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice. “If I shut up the sky so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, who are called by my name, shall 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. Now my eyes shall be open, and my ears attentive, to the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and made this house holy, that my name may be there forever; and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually. » (WEB)

King Solomon just finished building the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem.  And in the cloud of glory God spoke to the king confirming that He had chosen Jerusalem as the place in which He would have a house of prayer for all peoples and that His eyes would forever be in that place.

God told Solomon that if ever He would send pestilence, plague, or tempest on the land, and if His people would pray, then He would come and heal the land.  This is both a troubling and reassuring verse of scripture.  God did not say, If ever the devil comes and attacks this land; or even: If a heathen nation comes against you.  Rather, God admitted that at times it is HE that brings sorrow upon the land.  And I must admit, dear friends, that this troubles me.

However, when we are faced with what seems to us as inconsistencies with the goodness of God, we must keep our eyes on our heavenly Father and trust Him. And we must always declare that He is good!

Many people will read this verse and stumble and never come to what is the most important part of the text.  And it is because we fear evil that we fail to perceive the plan of God when it is revealed to us in the darkness of night.

God says to us, When you cry to me, I will hear you! And I will answer you!  When things happen that we cannot understand. When we suffer loss, depravation, and lack.  When we are like the disciples in the boat on the sea of Galilee in the middle of the storm, in the middle of the night, when it seems that all hope is lost, God says to us, When you cry to me, I will hear you! And I will answer you.

I want to remind you that the Daniel Fast is not just a time to improve your diet.  It is first and foremost a time to pray and to seek the face of God.  Abstaining from certain foods is just an aid to help us pray with more intensity and more focus.

And whereas you can pray nicely by yourself, we encourage our churches to have prayer meetings during the week when the brothers and sisters can come together to worship and pray.  God did not say, When my child prays…  Rather, God said, When my people pray.  There is something very powerful that happens in our individual lives when we gather together with other brothers and sisters to worship, pray, and seek the face of God.

If your church is not conducting a mid-week prayer meeting, or you are not able to find one close to where you live, you can join the Bon Berger Church for their on-line prayer meeting each Tuesday of the fast at 8:00 pm (Paris time).  Click here or see the add on the blog for more details.  However, we strongly encourage you to join with the brothers and sisters of your local church for a time of prayer at least once a week during the fast.

I want to encourage you today to seek with intensive force the face of God during these three weeks of the Daniel Fast.  Make a decision now to not just endure the fast but to get everything out of it that God intends to give to you.  If God’s people will humble themselves and seek Him now, He will move and do miracles on their behalf.

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