Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | July 12, 2015

July 12, 2015 “God’s Preventative Maintenance Plan”

“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. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” (2 Chronicles 7: 14-15)

Good Morning and Blessed Lord’s Day Everyone!

As I have grown older and a bit “more seasoned”, as the expression goes, I have become more aware of the necessity for an annual physical check-up. In fact, most insurance companies encourage their clients to avail themselves of such a check-up and will totally cover the cost to the individual. Preventative medicine is better than corrective medicine. We do the same thing with our automobiles when we keep up with the regular maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer of the vehicle, though rarely do they pay for the service the way our health provider does. Still, such preventative maintenance can pay great dividends in the long run.

Some years ago, certain mega-ministries in our nation experienced embarrassing national scrutiny due to the moral failures of their leaders. Financial mismanagement, duplicity, and a certain air of spiritual superiority led to a reexamination of the priorities of these ministries, greatly diminishing their resources and effectiveness. While embarrassing, God’s discipline led to a greater degree of accountability on the part of these and similar ministries and a  self-evaluation on the part of many of those most directly involved with these failings. I feel confident that it led at least some of these individuals to the prayer steps God outlines to his people in 2nd Chronicles. In 2nd Chronicles 7:14, God directs his people to do the following:  “If my people who are called by my name (in other words, those identified as God’s own people) will – (1) humble themselves; (2) and pray; (3) and seek my face; (4) and turn from their wicked ways; then I, (1) will hear from heaven; (2) forgive their sin; (3) and heal their land This is a prayer covenant…God’s “preventative maintenance plan”… outlined for the people of God.  On our part, it involves humility, prayer, seeking of God, and repentance. Do this, and God’s promise is that he will hear, forgive, and heal.  God follows up this covenant with a further promise. He says, “Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”  This carries with it the idea that insincerity, pride, and self-aggrandizement lead to ineffective prayer to which God is not attentive. Spiritual self-examination is even more important than an annual physical check-up, which most of us do consistently. But there’s no need to wait for a year to do it, or even until compelled to do it because of some moral failing. Each day is a good day to consider the condition of our spiritual lives and our relationship with the Lord. Humbly seek His face. Turn from wrong behavior. God keeps His promises and will indeed listen with eyes wide open and ears receptive to such prayer. Let’s pray!

Most merciful and Gracious God; It is our prayer that no foolish pride or misplaced priorities would keep us from genuine, effective praying. You are deserving of nothing less than our very best, and that is what we desire to bring to you this day as we make our prayers in Jesus blessed Name. Amen!

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