I think praying for repentance is wonderful. And we should pray for our leaders no matter their political party. However, as a truth seeker, I want to rightly divide the Word of Truth. So, can American Christians today claim 2 Chronicles 7:14 and hope for God to "heal our land" if we repent from our "wicked ways"?
About twelve years ago a friend of mine named Ken Klein was teaching a group of us at a seminar here in Dallas. Ken was teaching on prophecy and suggesting hard times might be in front of us as our country moves further away from God's commands. During the Q&A session, someone in the audience stood up and quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14. Ken gently instructed him that this verse does not apply and gave him an in depth lesson on the context of this particular passage. That teaching has stuck with me over the years. I believe Ken was right, and I even found an almost identical statement of what Ken was teaching:
Today we live in "the dispensation of the grace of God for us Gentiles." God's program with Israel is temporarily set aside during this present dispensation. The "new creation," the church the body of Christ, is what God is forming now, and it is NOT a nation with a land on this earth. Instead, the body of Christ has a citizenship in heaven and is awaiting the Lord's return to gather us together unto Himself and to take us into the heavenly places. Neither are we today, in this dispensation of grace, being treated by God like He treated Israel. He has not put us under the law today, but we are under grace. -- THE MISUSE OF II CHRONICLES 7:14 (Note: This page no longer exists at this link.)If you've forwarded those email messages quoting 2 Chronicles 7:14, I'd encourage you to think about it deeper before blindly passing them along. I don't get overly exercised when believers take this verse out of context or spiritualize it in an effort to call people to repentance and prayer, but I do make of point of questioning the sender to get him or her to think deeper about rightly dividing the Word as Paul commended Timothy to do. I believe Christians need to place our hope in things of eternal value rather than getting distracted by our present circumstances.
In conclusion, James 3:1 holds those who teach to a higher level of accountability, and I take that warning seriously. I believe people in places of authority in the church or with responsibilities for teaching the Bible (myself included) should be very careful to rightly divide the Word. Forwarding an email message is a tacit endorsement of its content including whatever theological perspective it contains. I want to be known as someone who rightly divides the Word. Don't you?