Last night I went with a friend to her church’s college group (and then to Applebee’s afterwards! As a side-note Applebee’s has really improved over the past couple of years). Though the main passage being looked at was Revelation 5 the leader of the group also pulled out 2 Chronicles 7:14 to elaborate on the importance of prayer. And then he went further, claiming 2 Chronicles as 7:14 to be the model for revival. He read aloud passages from the Bible, such as Ninevah’s repentance in Jonah, as well as stories of revivals from around the world to show that each reival starts with first a person humbling themselves, praying, and repenting. In short, an atmosphere that has only prayer but no repentance can never spark a revival.
So often I hear Christians blaming everything and everyone for the “woes” of the land, but 2 Chronicles says something different. God says if “my people who are called by my name…then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” The model for “revival”, in every since of the word, of the land is clearly God’s people turning away from their own sin, then God’s work can be done. It’s not nonbelievers standing in God’s way, it’s his own people.
We should all as individuals examine ourselves. What are we doing to hinder God’s work? Then, repent and rejoice, because our sins have been forgiven and we do have the power to turn away. When the church begins doing that we can hope to see revival, starting in our own lives.