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"If My People Pray. . ."

It's probably only a Hollywood thing or a myth, but I have a picture in my head of a red phone on the President's desk (likely close to the ashtray).  In the myth, it is a direct line to Moscow during the Cold War.  In movies, it's a direct line to the guy ready to fire nuclear missiles or something.  In any case, imagine having a special phone that connects you to one person and one person only.  You pick up your phone and there's someone on the other end. No busy signal.  No unanswered calls.  Now imagine your red phone connects you directly to God.  

In 2 Chronicles 6:12-42, it is as if Solomon prayed that every person in Israel would have a red phone. Throughout that prayer, Solomon asked God to hear the people.  Then in 2 Chronicles 7:12-22 God answered Solomon's prayer.  First God said, "I have heard your prayer" (2 Chronicles 7:12) but God also said, "If my people pray, I will. . . " (2 Chronicles 7:14).  God granted Solomon's request for a red phone for everybody.  

Some people in the world today think that red phone was the temple.  This is why they stand in front of a wall associated with the temple and pray.  Sometimes they even stick little notes in the cracks.  But if this was the case, it would be like trying to talk through a single broken part of the plastic housing of a telephone that was utterly smashed, with not one component attached to another.

But Matthew 7:7-8 assures us this is not the case.  God still wants to hear from, and talk to us.  Prayer and the Word together are the red phone, not a temple, or a place.  Each person can still receive that answer Solomon received:  "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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place" (2 Chronicles 7:14-15). Matthew 7:7-8 says, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."  

Only a few moments later in Matthew, Jesus says, "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock"  (Matthew 7:24-25).  Luke's account gives us just a hint more perspective.  It says, "Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock" (Luke 6:47-48).  

Did you catch that?  Jesus said "everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them."  God still wants us to pray.  Through prayer and his word we hear from God. Through prayer we talk with God.  And through both we can do what he says.  We do indeed have a red phone! 

Soli Deo gloria!
Pastor Bryan