As Solomon led the people of Israel to dedicate the new Temple for the worship of God, the Lord said to him in a night vision, “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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
In this covenant, God teaches us valuable goals for our own prayers which we offer to the Him. There are four attitudes or postures for which we can strive, which can make our prayers more likely to connect with God’s ears and heart.
Humble themselves: A proper posture in which to approach God is “. . to humble himself. . . for bowing one’s head like a reed.” (Isaiah 58:5) We must distance ourselves from the attitude of William Earnest Henley in Invictus, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” God tells us to whom He listens: “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.” (Isaiah 66:2) Jesus was our example in this: “. . but not My will, but Thine be done.”
Pray: In the act of praying to God, we are demonstrating acknowledgment of our dependence upon Him. We confess that we are helpless without His intervention. We are small and weak; He is wise and strong. This attitude honors Him.
Seek My face: We most earnestly hunger to gaze eye-to-eye with our Creator. We long to be acknowledged by Him and heard, for Him to know our hurts and our need.
“To You I lift up my eyes,
O You who are enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,
Until He is gracious to us.” Psalm 123:1-2
“I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.” Psalm 130:5-6
Turn from their wicked ways: Theses attitudes and posture result in action and changed direction.
“For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:16-17
“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.” Proverbs 28:13
The wonderful promise to those who approach God in this way is that He will forgive our clueless stumblings, hear our hearts, and respond to our expressed needs.