Reading through the Old Testament I see a continuous cycle. Israel saw God's miracles, He destroyed their enemies, yet they quickly forgot God, they worshiped pagan idols, got involved in sexual immorality, they failed to care for the poor and needy, they abandoned the Lord and He turned them over to their enemies. They would cry for help and in due time God would deliver them.
Fast forward to King Solomon, and on the day he dedicated the temple, the word of the Lord came to him and said, "... 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 will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
I know this verse was written for the nation of Israel, but the principles remain true today for the people of God. Many New Testament verses that tell us to humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, turn from our wicked ways.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:3-11
Serve each other in humility, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 1 Peter 5:5-6
Watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak! Matthew 26:41
The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Philippians 4:6
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18
Seek His Face
James preached on the Day of Pentecost about the conversion of the Gentiles, "so that the rest of humanity might seek the Lord, including the Gentiles — all those I have called to be mine. The Lord has spoken — he who made these things known so long ago." Acts 15:17
We should seek God in His Word because... "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16
Turn from our wicked ways
Paul preached to the church at Corinth, "you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?" 1 Corinthians 3:3
Our greatest need is not more intellectuals or people of great social influence. We need men and women of faith, men and women of humility and men and women who are strong and fervent in prayer. These are the things that will create spiritual success in the life and work of the church.
I have a dream is that the living and true God would be glorified in our country. My dream is that Christians would be known by their love, rather than hypocrisy. I envision Christians not just going to church on Sunday but being the church all week long, building relationships, sharing their faith and making disciples. I hope that the true believers would look for ways to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, visit the sick and imprisoned, house the homeless, clothe those in need, care for widows and orphans, remembering that Jesus said ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’