If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. — 2 Chr. 7:14 NKJ
America needs God!
Covid-19, fires in California, hurricanes on the East and Gulf Coasts, riots in the cities, racial tensions cranked up, culture wars dividing families, and the most tumultuous societal unrest in my life as we move toward the most scary and venomous election in our history…
You need God! You need the palpable presence of God that leaves you in awe of Him instead of in fear of the future.
So, true believers need to heed the call to humility and prayer. To the Hebrew mind, this means fasting and prayer. So, as your Pastor of Prayer, I am calling you to set aside 20-30 minutes each day for ten days to ponder some Bible verses, answer some deep, personal questions, and write a couple of sentences as you take responsibility for your personal spiritual growth. If you choose to do this as a family or household devotional, encourage the younger ones to answer the questions before the older ones show how smart they are.
You may not know this, but you already have as much of God as you want. We can always get more of Him by seeking Him (“with all your heart” Deuteronomy 29:4), but we get distracted and stop. So are you satisfied with how much of God is in you? Will you exercise your will to cry out for more of God? Will you help us be a church that is hungry and thirsty for God? That’s where fasting comes in. It’s a way of intentionally denying yourself some food you want, to develop your hunger for God, and to demonstrate to God that He, and His presence in you, and His will for America, are more important to you than food or other engaging habits.
Your fasting choices, if you choose to do so:
- Screen Fast: limiting or abandoning the use of electronic devices or “habit apps”
- News fast, or mainstream media fast, if it’s robbing you of peace and joy
- Daniel Fast: refraining from eating certain foods (usually sweets, meats, alcohol, or some combination of “luxury foods”), or a liquid-only diet
- Normal Fast: water only; not more than 40 days
- Esther Fast: no food or water—never more than 3 days without a direct command from God
- Or just pray without fasting.
Why 10 days? And Why September 19-28?
For almost 2,000 years Orthodox Jews have called the first ten days of their traditional new year, “Days of Awe.” It starts with Rosh HaShanah, the first day of the Hebrew month Tishrei, which is September 19 this year in our calendar and concludes with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on the tenth of Tishrei, September 28. Each day they assemble and are called to repentance by a shofar, a trumpet made from a ram’s horn, at sunset the evening before. This is in preparation for the one day of each year when the priests and Levites sacrifice a bull after the High Priest lays his hands on its head, confesses the sins of the nation, cuts its throat, catches blood in a bowl, and enters the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood on the “Mercy Seat” of the Ark of the Covenant between the two golden Cherubim, angel statues. Then he comes out to announce that Israel has been forgiven by Yahveh, Jehovah, because the blood of the dedicated animal carrying the sins of Israel has covered those sins, and He has shown mercy.
Of course, Orthodox Rabbis have not been able to do the required sacrifice in the Temple in Jerusalem since 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed it in fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus in Matthew 24. But they have faithfully continued to repent and pray for the coming Messiah on Yom Kippur all these hundreds of years.
Of course, those animal sacrifices are no longer needed because Jesus paid for the sins of all who would believe in Him by His atoning death on the cross “once for all” on that hill outside of Jerusalem in 29 A.D. (Hebrews 10:6-12), and rose from the dead to prove He had made atonement.
Why this year?
I think you’re smart enough to figure it out. One well-known Christian leader has called for a 40-day fast leading up to election day, November 3, naming it the “Hinge of History Fast.” America stands at a crossroads like never before, and evil schemes are being developed and implemented for the destruction of our Constitutional Republic under God.
So each of the ten days will also include a specific prayer target having to do with voters, incumbents, candidates, and the election. And your fears of the turbulent times and what could happen next will be assuaged by your increasing trust in the Sovereign God of history as we move through this series.
Please make this a significant corporate series of prayer meetings by faithfully fulfilling this call. You and I, our church, and the body of Christ in the Inland Empire, California, and America needs us to pray fervently and in agreement. Please determine to be at the top of your game as a Christian in this critical season.
The devotionals in this series can be downloaded by clicking on the link above.
I will also be sounding the shofar at sunset at the beginning of each day, the way Orthodox Jews understand days: ”the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen 1:5). If you have a shofar, you may want to sound it in your back yard or driveway as I do in mine. You may want to make a mental note or set a cell phone reminder, about 6 pm daily beginning at sunset September 18. If you do, please pray a short prayer at that time for yourself, the Rock and our pastors, California, and America.
To gain for the Lamb the reward of His atoning sacrifice,
Dr. Steve Kobernik, Pastor of Prayer
Praying for the Rock as if the salvation of the world depends on it!