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{Quick health update. Sutures were removed today. I can tie my shoes pretty normally. My ability to walk has improved. I am slowly healing. I am grateful to Him for His mercy.}

This is the go-to scripture Christians quote in times of national calamity: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:13–14).1

Amen. This what we Christians should do when judgment from God has come upon us. However, although we cite this scripture, we don’t do what it says. We don’t repent. We don’t turn from out wicked ways. Instead, we declare, rebuke, come against, and bind. Here’s what the prime mover of the word of faith heresy for the last few decades “prayed” recently:

“My Father, the Almighty God. The El Shaddai God. The God who is Almighty. He’s more than enough. He is the miracle-working God. Today we speak to this atmosphere. From the State of Washington to the State of Maine, from southern California to Brownsville, Texas, to the tip of Florida, and wherever else in the world its needed. Wind. Almighty. Strong. South wind. Heat. Burn this thing in the name of Jesus. Satan, you bow your knee. COVID-19.” (He spits.)

Evangelicals/Charismatics/Pentecostals worldwide “pray” like this whenever sicknesses or catastrophes arise. We should note that commanding things to happen without seeing any results is trouble-free. No one knows what happens when one commands Satan to bow the knee. It sounds powerful, but this man lays claim to an authority he does not possess. Unfortunately, this “prayer” is a picture to the world of what Christianity is. Apparently, it’s a religion where, at one moment, we call people to repentance but we ourselves do not repent. We just shout swelling words of power.

But let’s take a look at how Daniel, the prophet, responded when he understood that God’s judgment of His people was ending. This is only a portion of Daniel’s beautiful, humble prayer. I encourage the reader to read it in its entirety:

“Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, ‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. To us, O LORD, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets’” (Daniel 9:3–10).

I exhort Christians from every tribe and nation, rather than shout words of rebuke and binding, to instead repent and humbly ask our Creator and Savior to be merciful and forgive us.

Yes, us. Not “them.”

Perhaps you’ve noticed that biblical prophets consistently hearkened back to the time when the Lord delivered Israel from Egypt and conquered their adversaries in the land. These triumphant events transpired centuries before the time of those who were writing. However, the prophets also freely and honestly admitted the sins of God’s people. We Christians should do the same. Jesus brought overwhelming victory. We should recount it in our prayers and praise. However, The Church has committed enormously heinous crimes since its beginning. She is committing them now. Is it just the non-Christian world to which God is now bringing His judgment of a plague?

“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).

 

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles..

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