“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
My family and I spent Thanksgiving in the Great Smokey Mountains. Our cabin had an amazing view right outside the living room and kitchen window. The night we arrived it was too dark to see anything. I was a little bummed because I could not find the mountains. I had looked specifically for a cabin with a great view but saw nothing. I went to bed that night and when I woke up I went straight to the front door. I opened the door, caught a brisk cool breeze and saw this. The view took my breath away. It was more beautiful than the picture. I was speechless. I stood there for minutes taking in the sight. It was in that moment I started to think about 2 Chronicles 7:14.
“Humble themselves and pray,” were the few words that stuck out from that verse. All my life I’ve read and heard that verse thinking, “Of course you come to God in prayer with a selfless attitude.” That’s true but now I see the verse in a different way.
Picture yourself standing next to this mountain in the photo above. You don’t even have to stand next to it to recognize that you are tiny compared to its size. You would agree that at that moment you feel a little inadequate to pick up that mountain and move it. It’s not possible. When we come to God in prayer it’s a lot like standing next to a mountain.
I love what Tim Keller says in his book “Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God.”
“[Prayer] is the way we know God, the way we finally treat God as God. Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life.”
When we humble ourselves that is when we are saying “God you are mightier, bigger and in control of my life. I no longer am my own god. Instead, I am placing you in that position.” Once again it’s like standing next to that mountain. You know that you are tiny. You know you can’t move it. But yet you respect it. You are in awe of its presence. You don’t question that it’s a mountain. That is what it’s like to come to God in prayer.
If you read my post How My Nervous Breakdown Led Me to a Breakthrough you know that I struggled for a while with anxiety and depression. I also found myself refusing to pray and be close with God. I was running away from that intimate time because I didn’t want to face who I was. A broken person who was struggling to survive. I didn’t want to give up control or power. Ironically, I had zero control in that season of my life. I refused to humble myself because I did not want to recognize God as God. I was okay worshipping Him in church and talking about how awesome He was. But I was running away from what I needed the most. Why? Because I knew it would change me.
Tim Keller says it best.
“Prayer is the only entryway into genuine self-knowledge. It is also the main way we experience deep change—the reordering of our lives.”
We continue to hide behind the religious laws and fake Facebook statuses while ignoring the fact that we need to change. Deep down we know we will change when we humble ourselves to get on our knees and pray.
Have you struggled with humbling yourself before God? Has it been a while since you prayed? What are you running from?