How’s it going with your time of prayer and fasting? If you haven’t yet come aboard the prayer and fasting train, this is the perfect time to hop on.
We encourage you to fast two meals this Saturday, and/or to fast alongside our Jewish and Messianic friends during the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, which starts this Sunday and ends Monday.
WHEN TO FAST
The Yom Kippur fast begins this Sunday evening at sundown and continues for the next 25 hours, breaking the fast Monday evening.
Good news! Prior to the start of your fast, enjoy a time of feasting throughout Sunday. Indulge yourself as a sign of our self-indulgent sinfulness. Plenty of time for repentance on Monday. 🙂 I love this part! Too much.
WHAT ARE WE FASTING FOR
Yom Kippur literally means “Day of Atonement.” To “atone” means to cover. The Day that God “Covered” my sin.
BACKGROUND: It is the holiest day of the Jewish year, accompanied by fasting, extensive prayer and introspection. Services in the synagogue focus on the recitation and proclamation of the numerous passages in the Hebrew Scriptures that declare the Lord will forgive the sins of the people of Israel. These Scriptural declarations are believed to serve as substitution for the sacrifices that can no longer be made in the absence of the Temple in Jerusalem.
OUR PART: During your fast let’s confess our sins, trying to be as specific as possible. Do not rush this process. Let your hunger drive you to ask God to expose and reveal the hidden motivations of the heart.
It’s also the time to confess the sins of our nation taking each as your own sin. Be sure to include Materialism, Greed, Self-Righteousness, Fornication, Rebellion and Arrogance to the list. Hmmm these sound strangely like my list…
BACKGROUND: Yom Kippur includes an extensive and specific list of 44 sins codified in the prayer referred to as the Al Chet (meaning, “for the sin”), representing all the sins of the children of Israel. Lev 16:21-22
OUR PART: As we confess, we grieve over each sin. Let it produce a sorrow that will lead to genuine repentance (a 180 turn toward righteousness).
BACKGROUND: During Yom Kippur the Jewish people will strike their chests after each sin is read as a sign of grief and repentance. [teshuva (teh-SHOO-vah)]. You don’t have to do this, but you get the point.
OUR PART: Once our sins are confessed, it is time to rejoice in the atonement, the complete undeserved forgiveness of our sins. As you experience hunger, thank the LORD for His sacrifice made on the cross.
Let’s sing and rejoice. Go ahead and dig out your favorite hymns. Ask Siri and Alexa to play Chris Tomlin’s “Love Ran Red” and sing it at the top of your lungs.
I surrender my life
I’m in awe of You
I’m in awe of You
Where Your love ran red
And my sin washed white
I owe all to You
I owe all to You, Jesus
We join our prayers of confession and repentance with great confidence that our confession of sin leads to forgiveness, and our confession of Jesus as Messiah also assures us of salvation!
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
“For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
OUR PART: Pray by name for friends, co-workers, neighbors and family that they will receive the atoning forgiveness of the LORD MOST HIGH. Let hunger drive you to pray for boldness and opportunity to proclaim redemption for the lost.
FINALLY… He is the One to whom blessing, honor, glory and power are due, the One who sits on the Throne (Revelation 5:13).