The Intriguing “Days of Awe”
by F. Scott Nickerson
(with excerpts used by permission from Israel’s feasts and their fullness by Batya Wooten)
The ten days from Yom Teruah to Yom Kippur are known as Aseret Yemei Teshuvah, or the Ten Days of Repentance (more accurately translated as the Ten Days of Return). These are also traditionally called “The Days of Awe”. No other time of year is identified by such an intriguing name as this, so perhaps there are some significant things about this period of time that can speak to us about the meaning of these ‘High Holy Days”. The Ten Days of these “High Holy Days” include Yom Teruah(traditionally 2 days) at the beginning and Yom Kippur at the end. Together with the 8(7 traditionally) days in between, they are the most intense days of the year for reflection, confession and repentance.
When the prophet Isaiah tells the Hebrew nation to repent for their sins, he says, “Seek God while He may be found; call upon Him when He is near.”(Isaiah 55:6) The sages say that this verse refers to these ten days, when God is especially close to us. The sages also describe this period as a time when “the gates of heaven are open, and I will listen to your prayers.” Historically, this ten day period originates from the forty days that Moses spent pleading with God at the top of Mount Sinai to forgive the Hebrew people for worshiping the Golden Calf. That 40-day period began on the first day of the month of Elul and culminated on Yom Kippur, when Moses came down with the second set of tablets, signifying that God had forgiven the Hebrew people. Let’s look a bit closer at this.
By the time Yom Teruah arrives, we have already had thirty days of repentance in the month of Elul. Why do these next ten days become so much more intense and passionate than the first thirty? Perhaps because we have entered a period of time set apart for the final preparation of the Bride. It’s almost as if we have walked between the pillars of Boaz and Jachin, the two pillars which stood at the entrance to Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, and have entered the Holy Place within the Temple. The two pillars in this picture represent Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur. We are thus preparing to be received next into the Most Holy Place, the Groom’s Chamber upon the return and wedding of Bride and Groom. The closer we get to that place and time, the more exposed our most hidden sins become, and the more intense is the cleansing and refining process of His Holy Presence.
It is written in many midrashic discussions that Moses’ last ascent upon Sinai was marked by the Israelites below with the blowing of the shofar every day so that they could keep track of time and not forget that Moses was up there on the mountain, thereby avoiding the idolatry that occurred the first time the tablets of stone were brought down the mountain. But without scriptural evidence, this is merely a traditional idea but one that is actually performed by some Jewish communities all over the world. The shofars are actually blown twice a day during the month of Elul in proper use of the shofar to remind the people to be spiritually alert. This practice may be continued during the 8 days in between the pillars of Teruah and Kippur.
The “Days of Awe” are also known as the “Day(s) of the LORD” and the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble”, and also “The birth pangs of Messiah”. There are definitely some strong prophetic pictures here within this intriguing period of time. Between “The Last Trump” being blown at Yom Teruah and the “Great Trump” being blown at Yom Kippur, some incredible and AWE-some things are likely to happen on the earth and with true remnant believers and especially in the Land. It is possible that there is persecution going on during these last days of repentance and that the wrath of YHVH will be poured out just after these days are over. But one cannot be literal about the exact number of days and timing of these events. A ten day period does seem to be another time period of testing for God’s servants. In Rev 2:10 Yeshua uses this when he addresses the congregation at Smyrna: “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the adversary is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” We also see this in Daniel’s request that he and his friends be tested for ten days, “Test your servants for ten days…” (Daniel 1:12-14)
Ten Days of Prayer from Batya’s book Israel Feasts and their fullness
As we seek the Father’s reunion plan for both the houses of Israel, we may want to use these “Days of Awe” to additionally pray the following prayers.
Day 1: Pray that all Israel might come to true repentance and that they might be saved. Pray that they would put away any remaining idols and walk in the newness of heart and spirit without fear but with victory and joy in the midst of any tribulations (Is 30:15; Ez 18:31-32). Pray that salvation in Yeshua would be revealed and come to all Israel (Gen 48:19; Rom 11:25-26; Eph 4:15; Matt 1:21). Pray that Yeshua be lifted up in all His Glory, and that the world may see Him in Truth and not according to man-made religion (Isa 11:12)
Day 2: Pray that all believers will see the truth about the melo hagoyim promised to Ephraim and that they will come into their fullness and maturity. Pray that Ephraim will cease to be jealous of Judah. Pray that Ephraim will enter that time of making Judah jealous. Pray that Ephraim will learn to judge with righteous judgment, and that in their desire to walk together with Judah, will not trade errant Christian ways for errant Jewish ways. (Rms 9:25,26; 10:19; 11:11; Hos 1:9-10; 2:23) (Isa 11:13; Jer 15:19-21; 31:21-25; John 7:24)
Day 3: Pray that all whom the Father has chosen to instruct Ephraim will arise, and that Ephraim will become a mighty man instructed in the ways of Life through Torah, following in the footsteps of Yeshua. Pray that Ephraim continues to repent of following man’s commands and accepts Messiah’s easy yoke of Torah(Hos 4:6; 5:11-6:3). Pray that Ephraim fulfills her divine mandate, which is to speak of the Gospel of Israel’s Messiah to all the world and to walk in a way that honors Torah and thus provokes Judah to want that which is missing in Judah’s walk and understanding.
Day 4: Pray that Israel’s sheep would be snatched out of the hands of wicked shepherds who divide the flock and maintain the wall of separation that Yeshua came to destroy. Pray that all wolves in sheep’s clothing and all false prophets be exposed for who they are in truth (Eze 34; Jer 23:1-3; Matt 7:15). Pray that the spirit of Jezebel be rooted out from among us, and that Israel’s true prophets would not fear her. Pray that the spirit of Elijah be fully released in our day. Pray for godly families to be raised up in both the houses of Israel (1Kings 21; Hos 1:4-5; 2:22; Rev 2:20-22; Mal 4:5-6)
Day 5: Pray that even as the Father has gathered for a second time the dispersed of Judah, that He will restore their fortunes. Pray for their safety in the Land and their hearts be prepared for the times ahead and to see Ephraim as their brothers and sisters and Yeshua as the restorer of all Israel. Pray that those who harass Judah might be cut off and flee in fear of the judgment of Elohim. Pray that the healing of the broken brotherhood between Ephraim and Judah be realized more and more as we see the Day of the Lord drawing near.(Isa 11:11-13; Joel 3:1-2; Zech 2:12)
Day 6: Pray that wisdom and discernment will be given to those who have been granted influence over the nation of Israel in spiritual, political, and financial arenas (Dan 2:21; 4:32; 5:21; Rom 13:1) Pray that Judah’s eyes be opened by the Ruach to see Ephraim Israel as their brother and that the gospel of Israel’s restoration is contained in the message of the Gospel of Yeshua and the redemption of All Israel. Pray that we see how the Father uses tribulation to bring Ephraim and Judah back together in fulfillment of all the prophecies regarding their restoration. (Ez 37:15-28; Isa 49:6)
Day 7: Pray that the hearts of Ephraim and Judah be renewed by the Ruach HaKodesh with love for one another in the light of scripture in seeing the picture of restored Israel come into focus. Pray that both would give respect and credit where necessary and that each will learn to objectively see the distinct roles they each have played as part of the people of Israel. Ephraim has declared the Gospel through Messiah Yeshua, the Torah made flesh, while Judah has preserved the oracles of Torah and the prophets and has faithfully kept the Feasts of YHVH and guarded the eternal truths of the written Torah for all these many generations.(Gen 48:19; Act 1:8; Rom 4:15; 2 Chr 11:4; Ez 37:15-28)
Day 8: Pray for both Houses of Israel to see the Father’s plan to have a pure, overcoming army, and to give themselves to becoming that army(Isa 11:11-14; 27:6-9; Zech 8:3,7,13; 9:13; 10:7-10; Hos 11:10; Obad 1:18; Jer 60:4,5,20; 3:14-18; Eze 37:22-26) Pray that we learn to weep together as we see the prophecies fulfilled regarding the healing of Judah and Ephraim. Pray that Israel’s might ones be equipped with the breath of the spirit of the Most High (Ez 37:10)
Day 9: Pray for the peace of Yerushalyim. Pray that they who love her would prosper and that peace would be found within her walls and prosperity within her borders and homes. (Ps 122)
Pray for Yerushalyim to become the City of Truth and Shalom and prepare to receive her King, Messiah Yeshua. Pray for believers to understand that Jerusalem is also a bride,and that she will come down from heaven and her sons will them marry her. Pray for believers to rise up and truly become her appointed watchmen(Psa 48:2; Isa 62:1-7; Zech 8:3; Matt 5:35; 23:37-39; Re 17:14; 19:7,16; 21:2,9; 22:17)
Day 10: Pray that the sons of Israel, the forerunners who are pursuing this work of restoration, would be strong and courageous, full of faith and vision to continue the work through the tough times ahead. Pray that the spirit of Joshua and Caleb and Elijah would be upon them, and that they would know that in the strength of the Holy One they can possess the Land (Josh 1:6-9; 10:25). Pray that they would be given wisdom, discerning of spirits, and a double portion of the Holy Spirit as they seek to do the will of the Father in the earth. Pray that they would walk as Messiah walked. Amein and Amein!
For a print-out pdf pamphlet of the full text of these 10 Days of Prayer click HERE.