** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 33
Daniel’s Prayer of Repentance
When I think of prayers of repentance I recall the prayer Daniel offered up in Daniel chapter 9. Daniel was seeking the LORD for insight and understanding on the prophecy in Jeremiah regarding when the captivity would end in Babylon. Many of us probably have pondered when our own captivity would end.
Daniel displays an interesting protocol when petitioning The Almighty. He details that he sought the LORD by prayer and supplication with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. It’s interesting that Daniel chooses to humble himself three different ways here to bring himself before the LORD.
Now that the table is set, Daniel is ready to begin protocol. First, he praises the LORD by stating how great and awesome He is for keeping covenant with lovingkindness to those who love Him and keep His commandments. Next Daniel confesses on behalf of the entire nation for they have sinned, committed iniquity and acted wickedly against the LORD. The nation has rebelled and turned aside from His commandments and ordinances. Daniel goes on to state Israel has not listened to the LORD’s prophets who spoke to Israel’s kings, princes, fathers and people.
Daniel acknowledges righteousness belongs to the LORD. Open shame belongs to Israel in all the places He has scattered them for the rebellion and unfaithful deeds they have committed against the LORD.
Daniel continues, according to the Torah, a curse will be poured out upon Israel for choosing sin, rebellion, disobedience and turning aside from the Word of the LORD. Great calamity is a result of turning away from Torah, the foundation
of all matter.
Daniel also acknowledges compassion, forgiveness and blessings belong to the LORD. He pours these blessings upon those who turn away from sin, iniquity and transgression.
Now comes the amazing part, Daniel realizes that the LORD is righteous in keeping the calamity in store for the disobedient. The LORD is righteous in administrating punishment because He is doing what He has promised. The LORD is keeping His oath.
Following protocol, Daniel asks the LORD to turn from His wrath because He alone is righteous. He asks the Almighty, listen to this, “shama” his prayer, to incline His ear and “shema”. Daniel asks the LORD to open His eyes and look and see the condition of His people. Oh LORD “SHEMA”, Oh LORD forgive, take action and do not delay, because we are called by your name is Daniel’s plea.
Do you see the protocol Daniel took to ask for insight? Many of us would just simply say, Oh LORD please give me insight and wisdom to understand your prophecy. Daniel followed a protocol for petitioning the Almighty.
Daniel’s prayer protocol is so moving to the LORD that He immediately, while Daniel is still praying, sends the Angel Gabriel. Another interesting note is that Daniel understood the protocol of what time of day to make the petition, notice in verse 21 it states that it was about the time of the evening offering. Wow, that is the 3 pm time.
Perhaps we should consider Daniel’s protocol when approaching God Most High. The LORD was so pleased with Daniel’s prayer that an answer to his request was dispatched before his prayer was finished.
Gabriel says that Daniel is “highly esteemed.” Daniel was assured that the insight and understanding he sought would be granted.
During the 40 days of repentance may we keep Daniel’s prayer protocol in mind when we approach The Creator of heaven and earth, the King of Kings and the LORD of LORDS.
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 32
The Sin of Small Things
While we seek the Father’s Face for the ability to make Teshuvah/gain repentance
during these 40 days, the sins of our actions and words may become the primary focus. Certainly we will be reminded of the things we have done or perhaps failed to do as well as the words that we have spoken that injured or grieved someone. While I stand guilty among the many for these things, I am sensing the Ruach haKodesh leading me to deal with failures in my thoughts and motivations more than anything else.
Consider with me this line of thought. Avram was called in B’reshith/Genesis 12 to come out from among his culture, family, and history to walk in a new place, taking on a new life, receiving a new inheritance. This man and his wife are still among the most honored and respected people of all time for their obedience to this call and rightly so. But, what if Avram had obediently left his past and then failed to embrace his future. Let’s suppose for a moment that he entered into the Land, Eretz Yisrael, but never did anything proactive as far as engaging those around him in order to influence their understanding of Who Yah is. He might have simply entered into the territory and sat there, missing his opportunities and failing to grasp the grand plan of Yah for him and his family. Thankfully, he rose to the occasion, influencing peoples, challenging rulers, and receiving the Covenant of Redemption that has continued into our own day.
One year ago this month, August of 2018, I clearly heard Yah speak to me saying, “Barry, you need to open up your mind and think bigger than you’ve been thinking. There are BIG things that I want to do through you but you are thinking too small for Me to do them. Think BIGGER so that I can do what I want to do through you.” Where I thought I was walking humbly as a servant before Him, counting my lack and small returns to be the result of servant heartedness and sacrifice He was seeing that I was limiting His work through me. I had heard others encourage me from Zechariah 4:10 about not despising the days of small things. I had assumed that my assigned lot in life was to have a limited scope of influence. I was trying to be faithful in the small things so that He would make me a ruler over many. My plan wasn’t working, leaving me broke, broken, and barren. What was worse was that I was limiting and frustrating Yah’s desire and plan for Laura and me, all the while thinking that I was being
Our minds, our thinking about ourselves, our opinions of ourselves, and our imaginations all have an impact on how our Creator uses us to bring about His will and plan for us and those around us. Consider that the entire work of Yah, His entire grand plan for all the ages is filtered through our minds and willingness to believe in Him great enough to be moved into action. If we would take the limits off of Him and began to think bigger, with greater possibility and imagine that all the power necessary to do what needs to be done, not only could be but would be able to flow through us, then His Kingdom could be made manifest in our day and with enormous explosive impact. Sometimes we have to progress from thinking that something has potential, to thinking it is probable, to believing it is possible, to then experiencing its power.
YHWH, forgive us for thinking too small, limiting Your power and ability in us. May You forgive our willingness to remain insignificant in the Earth, leaving too many without righteous influence. Awaken Your people O Yah and grant to us a renewed mind, with the ability to see what You are seeing, calling the impossible to be possible, calling weakness to become strength, calling sickness to become healing, and calling a scattered divided people to become a unified nation called Yisrael.
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 31
We talk to our children often about stranger danger, predators, and about guarding who and where they place their trust due to peace or safety concerns. It is wise to build trust in a secure environment.
When discord enters a safe and secure relationship, trust exits and honor and respect quickly follow. Spirits of hate, jealousy, anger, bitterness, hurt, strife, sorrow and fear can rush to fill the place where honor and respect once stood.
Thoughts that lead to words and actions are the cause of trust fleeing relationships between man and his Creator, husband and wife, parents and children, siblings, friends, family and acquaintances.
Safe and secure relationships can be healed and restored if we are willing to recognize and repent for moments that we have caused broken trust within our relationships.
Once trust is reestablished, honor and respect can return conquering the spirits that invaded their place.
Abba, forgive us for our thoughts that became words and actions that caused trust to escape any area of our relationship with you or with others that bring us no harm.
Be our help in building a firm foundation of trust in your promises that guide our steps in discerning and guarding trust in our relationships.
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 30
Thanksgiving For a Genuine Friend
Most of us have imagined being a king or queen, ruling over a country, living in a palace and being attended to by servants. We may have watched some Medieval period movie or a Queen Elizabeth documentary and become intrigued with the life of royalty. Reading the words of King David reveals a different picture as he often speaks of being encircled by unscrupulous men like ravening dogs, by those who seek to bring him down to the depths and to the grave. It doesn’t seem as if the ministers in his court were to be trusted.
David had at least one genuine friend and brother in Yehonatan/Jonathan. When David first went into King Shaul’s employ, he may have been inferior in his dress for the king’s court. Yehonatan loved David as his own soul and gave him his own robe, sword, and bow. [1 Shemu’el/Samuel 18:3-4] It was Yehonatan that warned David to flee from the king who meant to kill him at first opportunity. To have someone in your life who only seeks your good, to promote and protect you is a rare and wonderful gift. For that precious relationship we should be most thankful.
One aspect of this level of friendship is offering reproof and correction. Mishlei/ Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” In verse 17 we read, “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of a friend.” How many times has Yah sent a trusted friend to us to gift us with reproof and correction, allowing us to see that we are missing the mark in some area, but instead of heeding their words, we reject or even cast aside our friend? When we approach someone we love seeking to help them understand their need of walking at a higher level or of taking corrective steps, we put our friendship at risk. However, to say nothing is to allow them to continue in a hurtful path; for themselves and for those around them.
I suggest that we take time in our seeking Him to express thanksgiving to the Father for loving us so much as to grant to us those that we can trust as genuine friends. I also suggest that we repent for those times that we failed to heed their words that may have wounded but then also granted us healing. If we have rejected such a one, may the Ruach haKodesh/Holy Spirit prompt us to seek reconciliation and the restoration of friendship.
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 29
Seeking Our True Identity
The 40 days prior to Yom Kippur furnish a valuable time for introspection leading to deep repentance. Understanding our Kingdom identity provides strong tools for this time of prayer and seeking. What and who I think I am powerfully impacts my actions and ultimate destiny. It is crucial to our walk to line up our thoughts on who we are with whom the Father says we are. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 “we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of the Messiah.”
In Judges 6:12 Gideon is hiding in a wine press threshing grain to avoid detection by the invading Midianites. A casual observer might see Gideon as weak and cowardly. However, an angel appears to him and says “Yahweh is with you, courageous warrior!” As the story unfolds it becomes obvious that Gideon is transformed by adopting Yahweh’s version of his identity. The man timidly hiding in a wine press leads Israel to a miraculous victory over the Midianites and frees them from their oppressor.
A powerful aid in building our identity in the Kingdom is rehearsing what God has said about us. We are no longer outside the boundary of the covenant. Through the blood of Yeshua we have been brought near to the covenants of God and have joined the commonwealth of Israel. This means we are included in the New Covenant. Jeremiah 31:31 “Indeed, a time is coming,” says Yahweh, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.” Indeed we are now “in” and not “out,” we are “near” and not “far away.”
When Paul and Silas were illegally beaten and thrown into jail in Philippi, Paul refused to leave quietly. He required the magistrates to come and usher them out of the prison because they were Roman citizens who had been denied the rights and privileges due to them as citizens. Paul refused to allow them to ignore his identity.
A mega-hit sung by Lauren Daigle also reminds us of this truth. In the words of the chorus:
“You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe.”
As we pray and prepare for Yom Kippur on these 40 days never forget who you are and what has been done for you by your Messiah Yeshua. Ephesians 1: 3 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in the Messiah. This is not a matter of arrogance or pride but simply agreeing with your heavenly Father about who you are in Him.
** 40 Days of Repentance – 2019 – Day 28
The Spirit of Edom
Lack of repentance oftentimes is due to a prideful spirit. This prideful spirit can be associated with the Spirit of Edom. When reading Obadiah 1:3, Elohim is telling Edom that “The arrogance (pride) “zedon” of your heart has deceived you.” Elohim is going to bring judgement upon Edom (Esau) because of his violence as it says, “Because of violence “chamas” to your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame, and you will be cut off forever.”
People are at times offended or wronged by another or perhaps they have been the one doing the offending. Edom was not interested in self-examination or in consideration of others. Being caught up in reflecting on our own hurt or our own justice, not the justice of God, positions us to self-define justice. Had Edom repented like Nineveh he would have been spared. His pride and violence prevented it.
The Hebrew word for violence is “chamas” and at its core means lack of justice and righteousness. If we are to prevent the spirit of Edom from rising up within us, we must subdue it and cut it off. For the spirit of Edom wants nothing to do with righteous justice.
Repenting for our sins and seeking righteous justice with our brother leads to repairing broken relationships with all those we have sinned against or offended. The justice and righteousness of God will cause us to seek reconciliation.
May we be a people continually seeking to overturn “chamas” that destroys relationships. If we are willing to examine ourselves and cut off a prideful spirit, God’s word can then establish righteous justice.