While reading the Bible and praying for Ukraine today, the theme of repentance was prominent in the majority of the passages I read.
2 Chronicles 7.14 contains an excellent prescription for repentance.
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
(1) Pride is the most prominent character trait of Satan. Humility is essential for a genuine relationship with God.
The thoughts of Satan are consumed by the pride of self-will. Five times Satan says “I will” in these verses.
You said in your heart,
“I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
on the heights of Zaphon;
I will ascend to the tops of the clouds,
I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14.13-14)
Humility is defined by the self-giving love of Jesus.
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
But emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross. (Philippians 2.5-8)
As we humble ourselves, let’s pay attention to how often self-will figures into our attitudes and actions.
Let’s cooperate with the Holy Spirit to learn self-giving love, which is the true mark of humility.
(2) In prayer, we seek an intimate encounter with God.
The Old Testament prophets made a distinction between religious activity and genuine intimacy with God.
Intimacy with God will change how we think and behave. Let’s seek encounters with God that transform us and our world.
(3) The definition of repentance is “to turn from our wicked ways.”
When we surrender our self-will to God’s will, and when we become intimate with God, we will be transformed.
When are aligned with God, our prayers take on power.
Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15.7).
When we follow the admonition of 2 Chronicles 7.14, abiding in Jesus will take place and our prayers will be effective.
Let’s do this for Ukraine and for our world.
The Bible passages that I have referenced above are a reflection of God’s wisdom.
The world’s system that has embraced the pride and self-will of Satan is not able to comprehend God’s wisdom.
— 1 Corinthians 2.6-8 – Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish.
But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.
None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Twenty years ago, Richard Foster wrote his revolutionary book, “Celebration of Discipline.” Not long after his classic on the spiritual life, he wrote a book with a far lesser appeal, “Money, Sex, and Power.”
Foster’s book on the spiritual disciplines transformed many lives, mine included.
Even though “Money, Sex, and Power” was not too well received, it accurately identifies the “wisdom” of “this age” and the “rulers of this age.”
Money, sex, and power are three prominent elements of a self-centered culture that believes that the fulfillment of self-will is wise.
In this troubling time, we are better served by following Paul and the prophet Jeremiah.
— Jeremiah 9.23-24 – Thus says the Lord: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth;
But let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord.
Rudy Ross and I continue our emphasis on prayer for Ukraine and Paul’s letter to the Corinthians on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Rudy has many insights you will want to hear. He is a lover of God and has spent years in the study of the Bible.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.