“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, I will hear from heaven and heal their land.”
2 Chron. 7:14 is used so freely today without even asking ourselves, “Who was God speaking to, what was He referring to and how should it effect us now?"
Huge prayer gatherings are based on the idea that if we will just pray hard enough, long enough and with enough people, God will “heal” America and somehow the Kingdom of God will come here (or into whatever country the praying believers currently live in). But we must ask if this is actually a New Covenant concept or if we have missed the point completely.
Why Is This Important?
This is an important question because it deals with the very foundation of understanding the shift from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. What actually makes the New Covenant, new? In the Old Covenant, the land was literal and the kingdom was visible. In the New Covenant, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” and “The Kingdom of God is within you“; not matter what nation you live in.
So this question deals with how the Old Testament “shadow” of the natural Kingdom of God through the literal people of Israel, has changed to the “substance” of the spiritual Kingdom of God within everyone who has made Jesus King of their lives…no matter what country they live in.
We are told in passages such as Col. 2:17, and Heb. 10:1, that the Old Covenant, and everything pertaining to it, are shadows of what would be fulfilled in Christ. The Word says He is the substance of all Old Testament shadows. This truth is what makes the New Covenant actually NEW.
How Should We Read The Old Testament?
Whenever we read the Old Testament we must always ask ourselves, “How is this fulfilled in Christ?” Remember, Heb. 1:1 tells that in the Old Testament, God spoke His words and gave revelation of His will through the prophets; but now He has spoken through His Son.
2 Chronicles 7 talks about the temple, the land and the throne of David. So what does this mean in the New Covenant? Why didn’t any of the New Testament writers, all Jewish men, instruct the believers to follow the command of 2 Chron. 7:14? My suggestion is that they knew it was already fulfilled.
The New Testament clearly tells us that Jesus is the true temple; and because He lives in us, we are the temple of God on the earth. The land is a shadow of what Jesus clearly defined as His kingdom within the hearts of people from every nation, tongue and tribe. And one of the most important truths about the Christ is that He is the heir to the throne and kingship foreshadowed in David. This is why the New Testament writers called us strangers and pilgrims in this present world.
The Promise Has Already Been Fulfilled!
The promise of 2 Chron. 7:14 has already been fulfilled in Christ. God has fulfilled His own promise through His own Son by bringing His Kingdom into human hearts; and promising that His Kingdom will one day rule over all the earth. Now, anyone who receives Him as king, receives the healing of 2 Chron. 7:14. We are His Kingdom, we are His land.
God shows no respect to genetics, racial heritage or geography. In Christ, He has made one new man out of every Jew and Gentile who believe. And one day He will return and establish a literal kingdom that will cover the earth by making all things new. (2 Peter 3:13)
Isn’t it good for people to come together and pray? It is, if we come together and pray according to the will of God. There is no model in the New Testament of praying for the healing of individual nations or individual lands. But there are several models for praying for “doors to open for the declaration of the mystery of Christ” (Col.4:3). 1 Tim 2:1-4 gives us an excellent model.
“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Who Was This Written To?
This was written to people who were being severely persecuted by the Roman government; in many cases, they were being hunted down like animals. And this was not a call for some large gathering but instruction for each believer as part of their everyday life.
Rather than pray for some kind of “healing of the literal land“ now, we are told to pray for His Kingdom to come into the hearts of more and more people, now. And the King wants to use us to fulfill that prayer every time we share the Gospel, which is “the power of God for salvation to all who will believe, the Jew first and also to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16).
So, What Do We Do Instead?
We will be far, far more fruitful if we spend more time with people, sharing the Gospel of Grace (Christ wants to live in you) and demonstrating His goodness, since it is His goodness that causes people to repent and brings healing into the “land” of human hearts. (Rom. 2:24)
Instead of spending so much time, effort and money in so many large prayer gatherings, perhaps we would be better served if we spent far more time, effort and money to “Go into all the world and make disciples in every nation…”
Mark Drake is an internationally known author, teacher and leader. He focuses on equipping leaders around the world in New Covenant Grace.