I find it wonderful that as we are in the midst of our study of Psalm 122:6, about asking for the peace of Jerusalem, we will join the people of Israel in the upcoming Yom Kippur, praying for the return of the Jewish people back to God. In my next blog, I will touch more about the main reason that I believe we are commanded to ask, or pray, for the peace of Jerusalem, but I want to take the time to pray first for the return of God’s children back to Him.
In Leviticus, God commands the Children of Israel to do something quite extraordinary:
“And 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; for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you shall be clean from all your sins before the LORD. “It is to be a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute.” Leviticus 16:29-31
This coming weekend will be a very special time for the Jewish people in Israel and throughout the world. It is the culmination of the Ten Days of Awe, which are the days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. These are ten days in which the Jewish people reflect upon their sins from the previous year, and repent of them as well. At the end of the ten days, we follow a command given to us thousands of years ago through Moses at Mt. Sinai. (For more on why I observe Yom Kippur as a believer in Yeshua, please see Why I Observe Yom Kippur).
Shabbat is the holiest day for the Jewish people, and Yom Kippur is the Holiest Holy Day of the year, which is also known as the Shabbat of Shabbats. During the past years, I have had the great privilege to celebrate this special Holy Day in God’s city, Jerusalem. No cars are driving in its streets, all the restaurants and business are closed, and you see many people dressed in white walking in the empty streets. A beautiful quiet falls over the entire country, and it is one of the most special things anyone can hope to experience in their lifetime.
On the evening of Yom Kippur, after the first set of prayers, a group of us walk to the Western Wall to pray. I remember the first time I went years ago like it was yesterday. When I saw the Western Wall, and the masses of people praying there on that sacred and holy day, my heart was filled with compassion, love, and sorrow. I was filled with such a great desire for the veil to be removed from their eyes, and for them to recognize the everlasting, eternal atonement, which God provided through His Son.
Since that day, I always look forward to Yom Kippur – for the privilege to pray once again for the return of my brothers and sisters, the people of Israel, back to God, and for their acceptance of Yeshua as the atonement for their personal sin.
I am asking you, my brothers and sisters who have already accepted Yeshua’s atonement in your lives, to join me in fasting and praying during this special and unique time for Israel’s salvation, and coming restoration. I find Psalm 130 to be a very relevant and important prayer that we can pray together for Israel:
“A Song of Ascents. Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice! Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If Thou, LORD, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is Grace, and with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities. ” Psalm 130
Until the day of His return,
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Praying that God will open the eyes of His people on this Yom Kippur to see the ultimate sacrifice He has given to us through Yeshua.