22:1-31 – ‘I looked for a man…, but I found none’ (30). God is looking for people who will be faithful in prayer. What happens when God’s people refuse to pray? God’s Word leaves us in no doubt – ‘I will pour out My anger on them…, bringing down on their own heads all they have done’ (31). What a tragedy! The people refused to pray – and there was no blessing from the Lord: ‘You do not have, because you do not ask God’ (James 4:2). Things could have been so different: ‘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 sin and heal their land’ (2 Chronicles 7:14). God wants to bless us. We must pray for His blessing. ‘Ask and it will be given to you…’ (Matthew 7:7-8).
23:1-49 – ‘Because you have forgotten Me and turned your back on Me, you will be punished for all your sin’ (35). We are to remember the Lord. We must not forget Him. We must not let the Word of God ‘go in one ear and out the other’. We must be ‘doers of the Word’ as well as ‘hearers of the Word’ (James 1:22-25). Let’s put the past behind us and make a new beginning with God: ‘Return to Me, and I will return to you’ (Malachi 3:7). ‘Have mercy on me, O God… Cleanse me from my sin… Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation’ (Psalm 51:1-2,10-12). Let this be the prayer of your heart and the blessing of God will flow into your life.
24:1-27 – ‘I will punish you because of the way you lived’ (14). God is calling us to think about the way we are living. He wants us to leave behind the old, self-centred way of living. He wants us to begin a new life, a life that is centred on Him. Real change comes from God. We must pray that He will change us – ‘Change my heart, O God. Make it ever true. Change my heart, O God. May I be like You’. We must pray for a deep work of the Spirit of God in our hearts – ‘Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me… Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me…’. We must pray that we will become more like Jesus – ‘Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, all His wondrous compassion and purity. Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine, till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me’ (Mission Praise, 69,613,410).