Devotion for 14 April 2020

Kia ora Cambridge Baptist and friends,

Be encouraged God is with us.

When I was a university in student in the early nineties one of my favourite Christian singers was Michael Card.  Michael Card is known for a kind of folksy style and lyrics that are deeply bible saturated.  So, I was delighted to see that one of his popular songs written in 1993 for the National Prayer Day, “Heal our Land” appearing again on the Christian charts and youtube.

The chorus of the song is taken 2 Chronicles 7:14: “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”.

Recently, I have been reflecting on those words and asking myself what does it actually mean to “humble ourselves and pray”.  Most Christians would acknowledge that humility starts by accepting that we can do nothing in our own strength and that everything good we have is from God’s gracious hand.  In prayer we acknowledge this by thanking God for what we have and asking God to do what we can’t - in this case to heal our land.   But if we were to go deeper into what humility is, we could say at its core it is the absence of pride, just as darkness is the absence of light.  That means we simply can’t make ourselves humbler by focusing on being humble, as becoming humble can then become a source of pride - when we believe we have achieved it.  Interestingly, C.S. Lewis describes humility not so much as thinking less of ourselves, but as thinking of ourselves less.  So that suggests that the pathway to truly being humble is actually shifting our primary focus and our thoughts from ourselves to God and others.   True humility begins when we begin to pray your will be done and not mine. Your kingdom come and not mine - even when the outcome may not be what’s best for our physical comfort and security.

In this time of need let’s turn our hearts and mind constantly to God, so our prayers are based on what he desires rather than what we want and then I believe we will see our land healed.

God bless



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