the holiest day of the Biblical year, aside from Shabbat!
“Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict [deny, humble yourselves, fast] yourselves and present a food offering to the LORD,” Leviticus 23:27-28, ESV.
“This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you,” Lev 16:29, NASB.
“Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land,” Lev 25:9, ESV.
Each of the three fall festivals has its own flavor.
- Yom Teru’ah (aka Feast of Trumpets, & Rosh Hashanah) is a very special celebration; a time of anticipation & excitement. A time of new beginnings.
- The 10 days between Yom Teru’ah and Yom Kippur are the days of final preparation for the solemn Yom Kippur. These 10 days are called the Days of Awe.
- We may ask, what is “awe”? Remember how our nation was after 9/11? There was a hush, a reverence, over the land. The solemnity we felt after 9/11 will pale compared to what we will experience when we stand before our King.
- Yom Kippur is a solemn holiday. In the Torah (Lev 16; etc), we read that Yom Kippur was the only time the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies and call upon the Name of YHVH to offer blood sacrifice for the sins of the people.
- Sukkot is a holiday of joy. (We’ll discuss more about Sukkot in next week’s Call To Prayer.)
For weeks, throughout the month of Elul, we have been preparing ourselves for Yom Teru’ah and Yom Kippur. We have looked at ourselves introspectively. We have interceded. We have fasted. We have seen God, our Heavenly Commander in Chief, answer our entreaties. As we conclude these days of preparation for Yom Kippur, let us ponder Yom Kippur’s being the rehearsal of the Great Day of Judgment.
Tuesday evening begins the Yom Kippur fast. Many wonder: how should I fast? Orthodox Jews do not eat or drink for the 25 hours. Others, with health challenges, cannot fast at all. However, we encourage everyone to give up at least a favorite food. Personally, we drink only water and thin liquids during this fast. Yom Kippur is not only a memorial but also a dress rehearsal for the Day of Judgment when we will all appear before HaShem and all things hidden will be exposed.
Let’s use the hours of this holy day:
- To help ‘clean up our acts’ spiritually. Are there things the Lord has been asking you to do or to quit – have you been resistant? This is the time to surrender these to Him.
- To seek God. To reflect on His intervention in our lives.
- To pray for others, for our families, our nation, and Israel. Remember others depend upon our prayers!!
Exercise: greet one another with “Tzom Kal!” (“May your fast be easy – and may your day special before Him!”)
“O, Lord, our God, how majestic are You! Thank You for these days of preparation, of Teshuvah. Help us to seek You with more passion, to walk more fully in Your presence. Bring Your healing touch to our country – we continuously beseech You to turn the hearts of Americans to You. Turn Israelis to You – heal Israel, bring Your peace to Your land. Prepare the hearts and minds of Your followers for Yom Kippur. We love You, Lord. In the precious Name of our soon-coming Messiah, we pray.”
IMMEDIATE Prayer Requests:
- Howells: needed sale
- Rhonda, Elin, Tere, April, 3-year old Josh: healing.
- Friend (Georges): healing
- Nieces (Marsha): God’s peace after the death of their father
- Marty Goetz: recovery from open heart surgery
- Individuals in crisis! (inter-relational, emotional, physical) – we need to stand guard against the enemy.
- Protection for pastors.
- Pray for Israel!
- Protection of the persecuted church.
- Pray for America.
- Attack on our loved ones to be broken and stopped.
- Shar: overcoming and sense of purpose.
- Bevin (Les’a’s friend’s husband): physical and emotional healing.
- Jessica (Lori & Jim’s daughter): return to the God of her youth – the God of her parents.
- Prayer for wisdom and favor as we encounter suffering people.
- FRIENDS: many of our friends are hurting physically and emotionally.
- FAMILIES & MARRIAGES: peace, harmony, serve God; strong, healthy, and Christ-centered; spiritual, mental, and emotional healing. God will bring families together. Spirit of division will cease. Family relationships healed! Family members who are far off will return and serve God.
- PRAYER FOR OUR SOLDIERS: spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally whole!
- Protection of believers all over the world.
- Encouragement for the heavy-hearted
Read all He is doing through prayer!
- Duane (Coles’ friend): miraculous recovery from stroke
- Rhonda’s & Colin’s surgeries went well
- Kerene: approval for new medicine!
- Tere got an excellent report from doc!
- Children are applying Scripture memory verses to their lives!
- VBS was terrific!
- Coles’ trips: amazing – thank you for your prayers!!
- Rhonda is receiving answers! We rejoice with her!