INSIDE THIS ISSUE
THIS MONTH 03 WHY PRAYER DOESN’T WORK (3) 11 Q & A 13 EFFECTIVE INTERCESSION
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17 KNOWLEDGE 19 CALENDAR 20 RECOMMENDED READING
Why Prayer Doesn’t Work (part 3)
03 Knowledge ~ Jewish feasts 17
Prayer Matters Magazine 3 March 2011
PRAYER MATTERS MAGAZINE is a premier online publication that educates, empowers and engages Christians around the world. It challenges readers to take responsibility to advance the Kingdom of God. The mission of PMM is to equip individuals to become more effective in prayer, fasting and spiritual warfare.
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On The Cover: The death of Jesus
“pray for japan”
PEOPLE OF PRAYER The world is watching in horror as we see the utter destruction that befell Japan last week due to a record-setting earthquake. The scene of chaos looks as if it was taken right out of a Hollywood movie. The disbelief of seeing houses, cars, airplanes and anything else in the way of a killer tsunami leaves one speechless. I read of a man that ran to the third story of a building and after the water reached his chest, he escaped to the rooftop as he watched the city being destroyed. Thousands of people are missing, millions are without water or electricity, nuclear power plants are failing and everyone is in shock. Thankfully, my wife’s family in Japan is safe and sound, but there are countless others who cannot get through and communicate to their loved ones. Pray for the people of Japan. And to our readers there - know that we will be holding you and your country up to the Lord as you face this incredible devastation. God bless you and your families.
RICK THORP, Publisher
March 2011 4 Prayer Matters Magazine
Why Prayer Doesn’t Work (part 3 ~ God’s Will ~ Continued)
by Pator Rick Thorp
Last month we introduced another reason why prayer doesn’t work - praying outside of God’s will. If we are not praying in alignment with His desires, our prayers will not be effective. One of the biggest barriers to praying God’s will is deception. No matter how earnest one is; how much faith we exercise; how long and hard we pray; if our prayers are misaligned, we are wasting our time. 1 John 5:14-15. It says, 14 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” With this powerful promise in our hands, it’s not a coincidence that our spiritual enemies do everything that they can to make us pray amiss. The devil knows that if he can deceive us into believing a lie, then we will not be productive or fruitful in our praying. To counteract the enemies tactics, we learned that if we ask ourselves the three following questions, we will be able to decipher God’s will so that we can come to His throne with boldness. And knowing that we will be heard and our prayers will be answered. Those questions are: 1) Is my prayer in alignment with Heaven? 2) Is my prayer in alignment with Christ’s Character? 3) Is my prayer in alignment with God’s Word?
This month, we continue studying how to know God’s will so that we can avoid the enemy’s deceptive ways. The three questions above are a great place to start, but what about the more specific things in our lives? We know that it is God’s will for us to pray for the salvation of souls, the cultivation of love and forgiveness and that people do not go without food or clothing. What about issues such as which college to go to, how many children to have, or who to marry?
MARCH | 2011 How do we know His will on specific matters? Certainly, the scripture tells us not to marry a non-believer, but it doesn’t tell us whether we should marry person ‘A’ or
person ‘B’ or hold out and wait for person ‘C’. Those kinds of specifics are obviously not laid out in scripture. That is where confusion and deception can set in when praying for God’s will. There are times when we are praying for God to reveal His will to us, when in reality, it is God’s will for us to make our own decision based on wisdom, counsel and the leading of the Holy Spirit. He has given us His Word; He has given us His Spirit; He has given us our own mind, and sometimes we need to take action without waiting for the heavens to open and an angel to announce to us which direction to take. As long as we know that our decisions are in alignment with what is taking place in heaven, are part of Christ’s character, and based on God’s Word, then we are free to move accordingly. Certainly, there are times when we absolutely need to wait on the Lord. If we are in tune, the Holy Spirit will tell us to stop, wait and listen. 5
Prayer Matters Magazine 3 March 2011
Oftentimes we get caught up into praying for the smaller things in our lives and we don’t get an answer from God. Why? Perhaps He was waiting for us to make our own decision based on His values. If we spend all of our time going to God to ask Him what His will is concerning every decision we have to make, it actually takes away from interceding and praying for other people and advancement of His Kingdom. At times, maybe the question shouldn’t be, “God, what is your will”, but rather, “God help me make the wisest decision I can that will bring glory to Your Name”. God certainly wants us to bring all kinds of prayers and petitions to Him, and it’s okay to go to Him for our needs. However, He has declared many times that our needs are met as long as we seek Him first, and that we as His children, have His blessing and favor bestowed upon us. In other words, if we believe His Word, that He will take care of our needs if we seek Him first, then we could focus our praying on issues outside of our own circumstances. We need to be aware that the enemy can deceive us and make us so concerned about our own specific situation (that God said He would take care of anyway) that we are pulled away from praying about larger issues of God’s plan and interceding for the lost, backslidden, sick and those in need. I’ve heard people say that they pray for God’s will in EVERY situation. But in reality, they don’t. For example, did they pray about which color shoes to put on? How about what time they should take a shower that day, or it they should eat
MARCH | 2011 teriyaki or sushi? That would be absurd. No one in their right mind thinks we should waste God’s time asking what His will is on those types of things. It’s obvious that those decisions should be made on our own accord utilizing the tools that God has given us. However, deciphering God’s will about more important decisions such as which country to live in, which college to attend or what house to buy, can be more daunting. Those things aren’t reveled in His Word. So what do we do? We need to rely on the things mentioned above: • Ask the three questions outlined from last month: 1. Is my prayer in alignment with Heaven? 2. Is my prayer in alignment with Christ’s Character? 3. Is my prayer in alignment with God’s Word? • Ask for and use wisdom • Seek counsel from others such as your pastor or trusted Christian friends • Be in tune with the Holy Spirit to rely on His leading and guidance
The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:17)
On the following page, I’ve listed 100 scriptures that plainly reveal God’s will. They are examples of how simple it is to learn His character and know His desires for us. March 2011 4 Prayer Matters Magazine
100 Scriptures Revealing God’s Will 1. All people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:1,4) 2. Those in authority lead a quiet, peaceful life (1 Timothy 2:2) 3. Laborers sent out to harvest (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2) 4. All saints utterance and boldness to speak the Word (Ephesians 6:18-19) 5. Open doors to speak the Word clearly(Colossians 4:3-4) 6. Rapid spread & acceptance of God’s Word (2 Thessalonians 3:1) 7. Have deliverance from wicked people (2 Thessalonians 3:2) 8. Keep servants from the Evil one (John 17:15) 9. Peace in Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) 10. Blessings toward your persecutors & abusers (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28) 11. Brotherly love (Hebrews 13:1) 12. Let your conduct be without covetousness (Hebrews 13:5) 13. Be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1) 14. Walk in love as Christ loved us (Ephesians 5:2) 15. Don’t be deceived (Ephesians 5:6) 16. Do not be partakers with sons of disobedience (Ephesians 5:7) 17. Walk as children of the light (Ephesians 5:8) 18. Have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11) 19. Expose works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11) 20. Walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh (Galatians 5:16) 21. Stand in your liberty (Galatians 5:1) 22. Have faith in God (Mark 11:32) 23. Love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind, strength (Mark 12:30) 24. Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31) 25. Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
26. Weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15) 27. Rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15) 28. Love one another (John 15:17) 29. Seek God’s Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33) 30. Do not be wise in your own eyes (Proverbs 3:7) 31. Fear the Lord and depart from evil (Proverbs 3:7) 32. Do not love the world (1John 2:15) 33. Trust in the Lord with all of your heart (Proverbs 3:5) 34. Be holy (1 Peter 1:16) 35. Think about whatever is true, honorable, fair, pure (Philippians 4:8) 36. Think about whatever is acceptable and commendable (Philippians 4:8) 37. Think about whatever is of excellence and praiseworthy(Philippians 4:8) 38. Be strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10) 39. Put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:1017) 40. Pursue the things which make for peace (Romans 14:19) 41. Pursue things which may edify another (Romans 14:19) 42. Fight the good (1Timothy 6:12) 43. Desire Spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1) 44. Seek those things which are above (Colossians 3:1-4) 45. Warn those who are unruly (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 46. Comfort the fainthearted (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 47. Uphold the weak (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 48. Be patient with all (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 49. Don’t render evil for evil (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 50. Pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 51. Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22)
52. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 53. In everything give thanks(1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 54. Do not quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 55. Do not despise prophecies (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 56. Test all things (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 57. Hold fast what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 58. Abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 59. Do not spurn the gifts and utterance of the prophets(1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 60. Don’t despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) 61. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27) 62. Don’t grow weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9) 63. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage(Psalm 27:1) 64. Cast your care on Him (1 Peter 5:7) 65. Let your requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6) 66. Humble yourselves (1 Peter 5:6) 67. Let not sin reign in your mortal body(Romans 6:12) 68. Submit yourselves to God (James 4:7) 69. Prosper and be in health (3 John 2) 70. Freely give. (Matthew 10:8) 71. Present your bodies a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) 72. do not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:1) 73. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1) 74. Love without hypocrisy (Romans 12: 9) 75. Abhor what is evil(Romans 12:9)
76. Cling to what is good(Romans 12:9) 77. Be kindly affectionate to one another(Romans 12:10) 78. Be fervent in spirit, serving the lord(Romans 12:11) 79. Rejoice in hope (Romans 12:12) 80. Be patient in tribulation (Romans 12:12) 81. Be steadfast in prayer (Romans 12:12) 82. Associate with the humble (Romans 12:16) 83. Do not be wise in your own opinion(Romans 12:16) 84. Don’t repay evil for evil (Romans 12:17) 85. Live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18) 86. Do not avenge ourselves (Romans 12:19) 87. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you (Ephesians 4:31) 88. be ye kind one to another (Ephesians 4:32) 89. Be tenderhearted (Ephesians 4:32) 90. Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32) 91. Be of one mind (1 Peter 3:8) 92. Have compassion with each other(1 Peter 3:8) 93. Be courteous(1 Peter 3:8) 94. Refrain the tongue from evil (Psalms 34:12) 95. Do good (Psalms 34:12) 96. Seek and pursue peace (Psalms 34:12) 97. Rest in the Lord (Hebrews 6:12) 98. Be sober and vigilant against the devil (1 Peter 5:8, 9) 99. Forgive men their trespasses (Matthew 6:14) 100. Have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5) (article continued on page 9)
The above 100 scriptures is just a sampling of God’s instructions, precepts and commands for His children. They are plainly laid out for us to live and abide by. God’s will is not supposed to be a mystery. The below diagram illustrates the difference between God’s will as revealed in His Word, and decision-making using wisdom, counsel and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Either way, knowing and praying His will and walking in His Spirit will overcome the deception of the enemy, help us pray more effectively and ensure that our prayers will be answered. v
Rick Thorp is the Founder and President of The Joshua Group, a multifaceted prayer movement that includes ministries such as Prayer Matters Magazine; Prayer-for-a-Million; and PrayerMap, a unique prayer program for churches. Mr. Thorp has been in church leadership for over 31 years and is ordained by John Eckhardt, Founder and Presiding Apostle of The IMPACT Network. He is a passionate writer, speaker and teacher with a mission to spread revival and the power of God to the saved and unsaved alike. He resides in Tacoma, Washington, USA, with his wife Jennifer; has a daughter Ashley and two grandchildren. For more information about the ministry, go to: www.thejoshuagrouponline.org
Why Prayer Doesn’t Work - Diagram relating to knowing God’s Will
Prayer Matters Magazine 3 March 2011
...build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Jude 1:20
Q MARCH | q and a
Who do I address in prayer?
Prayer Matters Magazine 3 March 2011
A MARCH | q and a
If the concept of Trinity is true that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all the one God, then is it not possible that we can pray to each of the members of the Trinity? Or, should we only pray to the Father, or only pray to “God”? Jesus told us to pray to the Father in Matthew 6:9 when He said, “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” What is the proper method of prayer?
We can answer this question when we realize that God Himself is worthy of prayer and God is a Trinity of persons. Therefore, it would seem fair to say that we can pray to each member of the Godhead.
Jesus said in John 14:14, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” Therefore, it would seem safe to say that we can pray to Jesus and ask Him to answer our prayers. Also, we can see further confirmation of this by looking at the phrase, “call upon the name of the Lord.” In the Old Testament that phrase is used only of God and it includes the meaning of worship, adoration, and prayer. Psalm 116:4 says, “Then I called upon the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, I beseech Thee, save my life!’ What is interesting is that this phrase is applied to Jesus in 1 Corinthians 1:2, “to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.” Paul obviously knew the significance of the phrase, which included prayerful appeal, and applied it to Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians 1:9 it says, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” The word “fellowship” is the Greek word “koinonia” which is also translated as the word “communion.” 1 Corinthians 1:9 says that we are to have an intimate fellowship with Jesus. That is fine. But, how can we have fellowship with someone with whom we never talk? Therefore, this verse can also be used to support the idea of praying to Jesus. If it is okay to pray to the Father, and the Son, is it alright to pray to the Holy Spirit? The answer would be yes because the Holy Spirit is also God. Nevertheless, we never see an instance in the Bible where anyone prays to the Holy Spirit. Why is that? The answer is that the Holy Spirit does not bear witness of Himself. He bears witness of the Son (John 15:26). But still, we can pray to the Spirit because we are also called into fellowship with the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 13:14 says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” Finally, we can simply pray to God. We can address God, the Lord, in our prayers and as we feel led, address the members of the Trinity. v
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Guidelines for Effective Intercession Many intercessors want to pray for their against a stone. You will tread upon the ministers or a missionary but do not allion and the cobra; you will trample the ways know what to pray for or how to great lion and the serpent." (Psalms 91) pray. These guide-lines will help intercessors to pray more objectively than merely • Practice your God-given authority to saying "Lord please bless my minister, bind the devil and resist the evil one Amen" so that the spiritual worker may be free to do His work. For their health One of the most effective ways in which • Pray that the Lord will remind the the devil can impede missionary and spirspiritual worker of his promises. itual work is by assaulting spiritual workers physically in order to restrict their For the spiritual worker's spiritual usefulness and effectiveness. health and state of mind The weather, evil onslaughts, conditions • Remember that it is the Lord's will at work, continuous criticism, little visthat his children should be healthy ible progress, misunderstanding etc, all and strong enough to do their work: contribute to stress, depression and de"Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy spondency. Because of onslaughts by good health..." (3 John 2). the forces of darkness, spiritual work is not only difficult but also enervating. • Pray the Lord's protection over the spir- Furthermore the sins and hardening of itual worker's body so that he can do people's hearts makes spiritual work exhis work effectively: "Surely He will save tremely difficult. you ... from the deadly pestilence ... You will not fear the terror of night nor the • Claim the Lord's protection over the arrow that flies by day nor the plague spiritual worker's mind (2 Timothy that destroys at midday. If you make the 1:7). Pray that he will rest in Christ Most High your dwelling, even the Lord and experience the peace of Christ who is my refuge then no harm will beand knowing that he can be completefall you, no disaster will come near your ly delivered from fear, uncertainty and tent. For He will command His angels anxiety (John 14:27). "For God did not concerning you to guard you in all your give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirways; they will lift you up in their hands it of power, of love and of self-disciso that you will not strike your foot pline". (2 Timothy 1:7) "Peace I leave
with you; My peace I give you, I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27). • Pray that the spiritual worker will refuse to listen to any accusations from the devil against a fellow worker (Zechariah 7: 10b). By spreading suspicion of believing brothers/sisters or a fellow worker, Satan can cause immeasurable damage to the Lord's work.
Pray that the Lord will fill him with peace and happiness irrespective of the circumstances: "... the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10) "... and you are to rejoice before the Lord your God in everything you put your hand to". (Deuteronomy 12:18)
That the spiritual worker's heart be filled with the love of God Sometimes spiritual workers live in abnormal conditions; situations when natural love is not enough. This can cause inapproachability, impatience, harsh words, anger and sometimes also bitterness in the spiritual worker. Do not forget that the spiritual worker is a human being who is also subjected to sin.
• Pray for the Lord's continuous reassurance (encouragement) and support. Pray also for like-minded persons and friends with whom the spiritual worker can build an open relationship. "Be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord." (Psalms 31:25) • Pray that he will be able to demonstrate the love of Christ to his fellow • Pray that the spiritual worker will workers. It is sometimes more diffilearn to offer resistance to Satan and cult to love a fellow worker who lives to prevail over the powers of evil from or works with you, than the unbelievhis position of authority in Christ and ers and/or church members who you refuse anything that comes from the only see for a few hours per week. devil. (1 Peter 5:8-9; Luke 10:19) The Lord's richest blessings are experienced when there is love between • "The accuser of the brothers" is always spiritual workers. "... because God has ready to tempt the spiritual worker and poured out his love into our hearts by to accuse him of failure or not being in the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us" God's Will (Revelation 12:10) "Be self(Romans 5:5) controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion • Pray that he will be able to display the looking for someone to devour. Resist love of Christ to unbelievers. People him, standing firm in the Faith..." (1 often do not recognize and appreciPeter 5:8-9) "I have given you authoriate the work spiritual workers do or ty to trample on snakes and scorpions acknowledge their sacrifices. Pray that and to overcome all the power of the the spiritual worker will not look for enemy; nothing will harm you" (Luke acknowledgement and appreciation 10:19) from people. But do pray that the people
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concern will often soften a hardened heart. Pray that God Himself will equip the spiritual worker for his task • A general fatal mistake people make is to try to rely on their own power, wisdom and abilities. Pray that the spiritual worker will only rely on the power of the Lord in everything he embarks upon. • There can be lasting fruit when the spiritual worker is filled with the Holy Spirit. Pray for the filling with and being ministered to will be appreciaalso the anointing of the Holy Spirit tive and grateful to the spiritual workso that he can do his work effectively. er. • Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal Pray that the spiritual worker will be Scripture to the spiritual worker so humble and live a holy and sanctified that he can understand it better and life or the ability to communicate it to • Pray that the spiritual worker will people correctly and effectively. not indulge in known, unconfessed sin. Pray also that he will not be- • Pray for wisdom and patience to deal come haughty because of his spirituwith difficult people and situations. al knowledge and that he will be the Pray for wisdom and discernment to servant God wants him to be. "Your be able to do his work spiritually. attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who... made Himself • Pray that the Lord will give him boldnothing, taking the very nature of a ness to share the Word and that the servant, being made in human likeHoly Spirit will give him the correct ness" (Philippians 2:5-7). words. • Pray especially that the spiritual work- • Pray that he will discern what the er will not be critical or cynical beLord's will is in every situation. cause this does extensive harm to the work of the Lord. That the spiritual worker will know how to exercise his authority over • Pray for his testimony among unbe- the devil lievers. A fierce, unapproachable atti- • Christ won the complete Victory tude when preaching will often harden on Calvary. It is the responsibility a sinners heart, while love and sincere of the spiritual worker to exercise
Prayer Matters Magazine 3 March 2011
this authority over the forces of evil. • Pray for protection of their early posPray that the Lord will enable the sessions. Pray against theft and accispiritual worker to accomplish this dents. boldly and with spiritual wisdom. Revival For the household/family of the More can be accomplished during a few spiritual worker weeks of revival than in a year of regular • The well-being of the spiritual work- ministry. The Lord promised to pour his er's family is crucial if he wants to do Spirit on all flesh in the last days; pray for his work effectively. The onslaughts the fulfillment of this promise. in this area are numerous and make high demands on his family. "And afterwards I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters • Pray for the spiritual worker's wife/ husband and that nothing will come between them to cause separation between them. The bond of marriage is of paramount importance. People often pray for the husband but the spouse of the spiritual worker is forgotten. Pray for their marriage generally. Pray that: ~ the husband will love his wife as Christ loved his Church ~ the wife will be submissive to her husband in everything as Christ is submissive to his Church ~ that the children will obey their parents and be God fearing as well. • Pray for the children - for wisdom to raise them properly and that the children will receive enough love and attention.
will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servant, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days". (Joel 2:28-29)
For the necessary provisions and finances • Pray for financial support. Many spir- • Pray that he may be continuously reitual workers suffer want as a result newed spiritually and for personal reof low funds and many have to leave vival. their ministry because there is just not enough money to buy the neces- • Pray the same for his co-workers and sary provisions. colleagues. v
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Jewish Feasts and Hol As Christians we can be respectful of the Jewish feasts or holidays of Israel while knowing that Jesus came not to destroy the works of the law but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17). Many Christians do not realize that the seven Jewish feasts of Israel are still observed today by Jews. We should become familiar with the feasts in order to better understand the roots of our faith as well as God's redemptive plan throughout the ages. The feasts can be observed in Leviticus 23 in the order of their seasonal observance. Listed below are the Jewish feasts and their significance. Passover
This is the first of the Jewish feasts which comes in the spring in the Jewish month of Nisan or Abib. This corresponds with our Easter celebrations. The Passover feast celebrates the Jews being delivered out of Egyptian slavery. The name Passover is taken from the first Passover in which each Hebrew household sacrificed a yearling lamb without spot or blemish. The blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the crosspiece and side posts of the door. The Angel of Death passed over the homes sprinkled with blood, while those without the blood had the first born child slain. As Christians we see The Lamb as Jesus Christ, our Messiah, who offered himself up as our sacrifice and we cover ourselves in His blood. The Jews observe the Passover as having agricultural, historical and spiritual significance. Other than reminding them of their ancestors receiving freedom from their bondage to Egypt(historical and spiritual), it also reminds them of their dependence on God for rain which marks the end of their rainy season.
Feast of Unleavened Bread
This feast occurs during Passover beginning the day after Passover eve and lasting for seven days. During this time the Jews removed all leaven from their households and eat matzah or unleavened bread. The unleavened bread reminded them of their ancestors who hurriedly left Egypt for the Promised Land and did not have time to wait for their dough to rise. As Christians, we see the unleavened bread as sin (leavening) in our lives that must be removed in order to walk in holiness with our Lord and Savior. An interesting part of the Seder dinner revolves around children. After the father wraps a broken piece of matzah in a napkin and hides it, the children search for the afikomen. Many aspects of the Seder feast such as the afikomen ceremony consisting of a pierced, striped piece of broken matzah, demonstrate God's foreshadowing of the Lamb of God who took the sin of the world upon Himself. The Greek meaning of afikomen is translated as "I have come" which many Jews are not aware of. As Christians we are aware that our Savior has come and He will come again.
The Feast of First Fruits
Also related to Passover and Unleavened Bread, this Jewish feasts is celebrated "the morrow after the Sabbath" or the day after the first day of Unleavened bread. The Jewish feast was a celebration of thanksgiving for the barley harvest during biblical times. The significance of the barley harvest was this was the first grain of the season and the Hebrews saw it as a promise of larger harvests in the future. As Christians, we see Jesus as our First Fruit, because just as the barley harvest was the promise of more to come, He is our promise of resurrection and eternal life since he conquered death and the grave for us.
Prayer Matters Magazine 3 March 2011
idays of God
MARCH | knowledge
Feast of Weeks or Pentecost
The Feast of Weeks comes exactly 50 days after the Passover Sabbath. The name Pentecost means '50'. The Jews refer to this feast as Shavuot which in Hebrew means 'Weeks'. This feast is also a feast of thanksgiving for the wheat harvest. Many believe that this is also the day that the Law was received from Moses on Mt. Sinai. The particular significance for this one of the Jewish feasts is that the priests offered two loaves of bread which were made with newly harvested grain and contained leaven or yeast. As Christians, we see the loaves as two groups of God's people, the Jews and the Gentiles, given eternal life and made one in the Messiah, Jesus, at the birth of the church on Pentecost. Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah
This feast is several months after Pentecost
As Christians we see this long period of time as the time we wait until Jesus our Lord and Savior returns for us. The Feast of Trumpets, also called Rosh Hashanah, is the beginning of the Jewish New Year. God commanded the blowing of the trumpets in biblical times on the first day of the seventh month to call the congregation of Israel together for ten days of judgement before the Creator. The righteous are written into the Book of Life, the wicked are condemned and those who are not wholly righteous or wholly wicked are allowed ten days to repent and thus escape judgement. As Christians whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life, we do not fear judgement but look forward to the day when the trumpet blows and the archangel calls out to us while we join together with other believers and ascend into the clouds with our Savior.
Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur
After the ten days of repentance and searching themselves, the most solemn day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, was observed by biblical Jews. This was a time of prayer and fasting. It also marked the only time when the high priest could enter into the Holy of Holies inside the temple. He was covered with the blood of a sacrificed animal to beg forgiveness for the sins of the people. The current Jewish tradition does not include animal sacrifice at a temple. They rely on the repentance for forgiveness of sin. However they have no assurance God has heard or forgiven them because Leviticus 17:11 teaches that the atonement is in the blood. As Christians, we know Christ offered His own blood as our atonement or covering of sin. When this happened, the veil of the Temple was torn in two,from the top down, signifying that He opened the way into the Holy of Holies for us. Because of this all who believe have access to God and a covering for sin.
Feast of Booths or Tabernacle
The final feast is referred to as Sukkot which in Hebrew means Tabernacle or Booths. This marked a time for the biblical Jews to build open topped tent-like structures and live in them during this time as a reminder of the temporary dwellings the Israelites lived in in the wilderness. Modern day Jews still build three sided huts with an open roof. They decorate them with tree boughs and autumn fruits to remind them of the harvest. During this festival, the Temple worship included the ritualistic pouring of water from the Pool of Siloam, which was symbolic of the prayers for the winter rains. As Christians, we are reminded of John 7:37-38 which Jesus states "If any man thirsts, let him come unto me and drink". The Feast of Booths is significant in Revelation 21:3 which states "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God". This article compliments of: www.child-bible-lessons.com March 2011 4 Prayer Matters Magazine
EVENTS | calendar
March 10-12 | Coral Springs, FL MORNINGSTAR LIONFIRE CONFERENCE Rick Joyner, Tom Hardiman, Randy Cutter, Worship by Leonard Jones www.newdawn.org
April 13-17 | San Jose, CA MIRACLES SIGNS & WONDERS Heidi Baker, Lance Wallnau, Georgian Banov, Danny Silk, Banning Liebscher, Ben Dunn, Jesus Culture www.globalcelebration.com
March 23 | Chicago, IL GREATER WORKS MINISTRIES Apostle John Eckhardt www.gwm.com
April 20-23 | Pasadena, CA HEAVEN ON EARTH CONFERENCE Pastor Che & Sue Ahn, Bill Johnson, Georgian Banov, Heidi & Rolland Baker, John Arnott, Randy Clark www.hrchurch.com
March 23-26 | Hagerstown, MD OUTRAGEOUS LOVE CONFERENCE – THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! Brian Lake, Dr. Mark Chironna, Bishop Joseph Garlington, Benjamin Arde’ & Brian Kenny www.brianlake.org March 25-26 | Kansas City, MO EZEKIEL CONFERENCE, WORLD REVIVAL CHURCH Steve Gray, Kathy Gray, WRC leadership team www.worldrevivalchurch.com 19
Prayer Matters Magazine 3 March 2011
BOOKS For these and other Spirit-led books, go to www.arsenalbooks.com
Building Your Personal House of Prayer Larry Kreider
Prayer life need help? Christians often strug gle with their prayer lives more than any thing else. The reason we are not spending enough time with God each day is not because we don’t want to, we may not know how to. With the unique “house plan” developed in this book , each room corresponding to a par t of the Lord’s Prayer, your prayer life is destined to go from duty to joy! Includes a helpful Daily Prayer Guide to use each day. v
John G. Lake on Healing Compiled by Roberts Lairdon
John G. Lake was one of the most powerful healing evangelists of the twentieth century. His lifes work included countless conversions, healings, and deliverances, as well as the establishment of hundreds of churches and ministries. Now, the wisdom and experience of Lakes teachings on healing have been collected in one book. Through these teachings, you, too, can: receive physical and emotional healing; discover the spiritual roots of sickness; overcome fear and hopelessness; remove hindrances to healing; defeat the attacks of Satan; walk in divine health; minister healing to others; win souls for eternity; experience a new joy in your life. v
March 2011 4 Prayer Matters Magazine
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