This is a special week, part of the “ten days of awe” in the Hebrew tradition. It leads up to the next International Day of Repentance, now in thirty or more nations, beginning at sunset September 13 through nightfall Saturday September 14. That day, Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is a Biblically mandated day to fast, pray and repent. We encourage you to do no usual profit-making work but to simply spend time praying and interceding for yourself, your family, your friends and your nation.
I’m writing to encourage you to take advantage of this key time in the next several days for serious soul reflection. Spend extra time alone with the Lord – praying, fasting, and repenting as the Holy Spirit mentors you in the process.
- Invite Him in to “dine” with you. (Revelation 3:20).
- Be zealous to repent, seeing His love for you in the process. (Revelation 3:19).
The Lord wishes each of us to turn from the world and from the flesh, to renounce the recurring ways in which we miss the mark, and to choose instead His narrow path of purity for His Name’s sake. He’s urging each of us in the Body of Christ to fill our vessels with His oil, to be ready to be His Bride, ready for His very soon return as the Bridegroom.
It’s time to become a voice for repentance in your community – include your family, other believers, and other churches. Yom Kippur is doubly powerful this year as it also coincides with the Jewish Sabbath or Shabbat. Many members have reported an “open heaven” on previous prayer, fasting and repentance dates.
There are many of you who have also participated since August 6 in a key “40 days of prayer, fasting and repentance” initiative called the Billion Souls Revival Prayer Call. This culminates in this International Day of Repentance on September 14. One of the purposes of this initiative is to bring a billion souls into His Kingdom. But even if you only begin today, there will be great value in seeking the Lord and “afflicting your soul” – doing a spiritual inventory with Him – in these next several days including the Day of Atonement. He forgives our sins when we repent. We become closer to Him. His Joy flows into us after repentance. There can be no revival until repentance occurs first.
In the Hebrew tradition, Yom Kippur is believed to be a final accounting, a time to atone for the sins of the past year. It’s the last chance to change God’s judgment by demonstrating repentance and making amends. On that day God “closes the book” on nations and peoples. Thus it’s a perfect time to repent personally and nationally, and to “turn from our wicked ways”. Many nations are at a tipping point. Your prayers, fasting and repentance can make a difference as evidenced by the many heroes in the Bible who “stood in the gap” for their people. They were very ordinary people just like you and me.
Through repentance in the Body of Christ across nations we activate the powerful truths of Scripture and bring forth His blessings to heal our nations. This is clearly set forth in 2 Chronicles 7:13-15.
“When I shut up heaven and there is no rain,
or command the locusts to devour the land,
or send pestilence among My people,
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.
Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”
As the world seems to be spinning out of control, now more than ever we need to seek God’s providential intervention. God does not require large numbers, but like Gideon’s rag-tag army of just 300, He requires humility. Will you be one of the faithful willing to be obedient and loyal?
Be blessed this wonderful holy week,