The Lord, the Beautiful One is sending us to Israel! We are not going to Israel even though we’ve all of us very much want to go. No!! The Lord is SENDING us to Israel!
- Such a difference.
- Such a vast difference.
- Such a vastly great difference!!
I totally believe in and I expect life-changing moments – God encounters! We could go to Israel and it would be a wonderful trip. I love to travel and any trip is a beautiful learning experience that would broaden my horizons. I love learning about different cultures, different lifestyles, why people think and believe the way they do. I love the incredible variety of scenery, high mountain peaks, oceans of water and oceans of plains and fields. I love exploring ancient societies, especially those I read about, and am curious about. I may not know much about it, but I love to see and experience the atmosphere for myself. I can pick up sensations, spirits. I smell the atmosphere and I pick up stuff. I become aware and sensitive to all that goes around me, possibly what went on before.
But this trip to Israel is different. This trip will be vastly different! I expect it to be different. Especially vastly different from the last time I went. Twelve years ago I went with my sister’s church group. That was so beautiful! It was especially dear to me because I was able to experience Israel for the first time with my mother and my sister. This was a time of bonding and a time of healing with my family.
We are going as ministers not as tourists. The Lord has a plan for me, the Lord has a plan for all 4 of us.
The anticipation of our going to Israel is as delicious as the actual trip! The preparations and the plans are so delightful! I feel as though I’m “ascending the mountain toward Jerusalem” as the children of Israel did in ancient times, full of anticipation of entering the gates of the temple! Psalm 84 is so coming alive in me! The very thought of our entering through the gates gives me such a wonderful anticipation! As what Hali Berry says, this thought makes me want to wag myself tail! I am excited! Like a high-energy puppy, I am wiggling all over, jumping up and down with joy and excitement at the thought of going on this trip to Israel!
God is sending me to Israel! God is sending US to Israel! We are not going because we want to. We are going because God is sending us! Something very incredible is going to happen to us while we’re there. Had we ever thought about the preparations we’ve already made by our going through Tabernacle prayer this past year? This may be part of the preparation process for our Israel missions trip. Our using the Tabernacle prayer format sensitizes us to the process of praise, repentance, cleansing, infilling of Holy Spirit, assimilating the Word, all of which leads to pure worship and intercession. The Tabernacle prayer is the Lord’s design: our going to HIS “house” instead of our asking God to come to “our” house.
Now we’re going to His land!
I feel like tiny Frodo in The Lord of the rings, with the ring in his pocket. Frodo risked everything as he, a tiny Hobbit was entrusted to do a mighty huge thing with that ring. He is freeing up, releasing the very atmosphere of a huge demonic darkness as he takes this journey with the ring. Others around him have no clue, no understanding at all about the vastness of his assignment. It was huge! The whole world depended on a small weak little Frodo to complete his assignment or it will fall into further darkness and chaos. Yet the whole world had no clue about Frodo or what he was planning to do.
We four women are traveling from Hartford CT with an assignment to pray for prayer houses, Messianic congregations, churches and Ministries in Israel. We are all middle-aged, insignificant, unmarried women. We all are weak in our own individual ways yet we are assigned to go to Israel now, through of all places, Moscow, Russia! Even with the way we’re going: flying on a Russian airline to Tel Aviv via Moscow – there is a sense of destiny. The whole world might be ignorant of our assignment, but the Lord knows. HE is sending us. He will keep us and he will protect us. Our names will not be on the 6 o’clock news, but we are famous in God’s eyes.
I have a sense there will be a shift in the very atmosphere of the world through our missions trip. We will do things no one may know or even care about, but what we will do will shift the very atmosphere.
We have no clue absolutely no clue at the vast importance of this assignment! We are going for one reason, but there is more that we will make ourselves available to. Something vastly more. Who knows? We may meet that one person, sow into his or her life, and that person would have powerful influence over what’s going to happen in the next generation.
The Lord has magnificent plans for us, we have no idea how magnificent they are! Possibly we may have no idea until we get to heaven.
Today is the first day of the month of Av. What a better day to start a blog on our Israel missions trip! Someone at my office, a young girl suggested that I write a blog describing our trip. That way we can keep people posted and what we’re doing while in Israel. I will do this as often as I can.
Our missions team has been reading books and watching videos about Israel, especially the history of this marvelous country. There are four of us going on this mission trip:
We are all going on this trip by faith. We’ve all done fundraising, worked extra hours on our jobs, sold things; anything we can do to raise money for this missions trip. I am amazed at the faith and the tenacity of my friends! None of us are young girls, all are in our 50s & 60s. Yet even in our middle years, we’re all up for an adventure, even with little to no money! Two of us are on SSI, and one is between jobs.
And God has been so good to all of us! Somehow the money has been coming in, sometimes slowly sometimes quickly, but all miraculously! if you are reading this blog, please keep two of us in prayer? Margarita and Deb are still working towards getting money for the trip. They have most of the money in, but still need another $1,000. Please pray the Lord will bless all four of us with the finances to go?
Right now I’ve been praying through some of my own fears and concerns. We’ve been doing the Tabernacle format of prayer at the house of prayer, and one thing that the Lord has taught us is when we’re at the Altar of Sacrifice, we must throw everything into the fire. All all of our worries or concerns, our fears, our hopes, our desires, as well as our sins. All must go through the fire. This is a place of unloading and unburdening; a place of letting go. So, as I was unburdening myself, I found I have a lot of concerns about this missions trip, possibly even a little fear. One of my biggest concerns is the airline that we will be flying on to get to Israel. We are going on a Russian airline, Aeroflot, flying a connector flight to Tel Aviv by way of Moscow. I’ve read the reviews online about this airline company, and they have not been very good! The airline has a reputation of losing luggage, not making connections on time, not to mention the two Aeroflot airplanes crashing within the last year! I’ve been doing a whole lot of praying in this area. But I trust in the Lord. I believe in a good and a great God! I believe that if the Lord wants us to fly to Israel by way of Moscow, there must be some sort of reason. God in his sovereignty, is leading us into a divine setup. Our missions team have been praying together about this trip, and we all have a sense of destiny. I totally believe that our lives are going to be changed dramatically because of thi missions trip. We’re all excited about our going, even though 1-2 of us may be experiencing a little apprehension.
As you read these blogs, please keep us in prayer? Pray the Lord will remove fear, apprehension, etc. and will provide every last penny so all four of us can make this trip.
One thing we want to do is have enough money to bless some of the ministries we’ll be visiting. If you want to partner with us in this, you can send a check to:
House of Good Hope
P.O. Box 4042
Hartford CT 06147-4042
Or you can donate through our website: www.hartfordprayer.com.
Some of us have fundraising pages through GoFundMe (Margarite Cuevas) and GiveSendGo (Carol Bracken, Audrey McIntyre). You can donate to each of us personally as well.
Many thanks and blessings to you,
Audrey Church McIntyre
PREPARATION OF THE HEART
TABERNACLE PRAYER is a preparation process. As we pray through this prayer format, we are becoming prepared to meet with the Great I AM. Through this format we find we have the privilege and high honor of entering into the Courts of Heaven and being graced with an audience with the One Who sits on the Throne. For so long we run into the Outer Courts and either pray out or shout out our prayers and intercessions. But the Holy One invites us in. When we are invited in to meet with the Creator of the Universe, we must allow ourselves to be made ready. Yes, we are infinitely loved by God and the Lord longs to hear our voice. But to truly encounter Abba, we must allow ourselves to be prepared. This is a time-consuming process. It’s not done in one day. Just as yeast has to be worked thoroughly in the dough to make bread to rise, so this process will work Holy Spirit thoroughly through us. The Bridegroom is coming back for His Bride without spot or wrinkle. (Ephesians 5:27, Revelation 21:2)
“For the Bride has made herself ready….” (Revelation 19:7)
So many of us, in our times of prayer and intercession we rush in and out with our petitions and our cries. We may even shout out our passionate prayers from far-off in the distance. Wouldn’t we be much more effective if we had the high honor and privilege to meet with the King of Kings face-to-face?
The LORD wants us and is calling us to prepare ourselves. The Tabernacle is a portrait of Heaven, Tabernacle Prayer is a beautiful picture on how we can be prepared to have an intimate face-to-face audience with the Great I AM.
We can’t run into the Courts of Heaven stinking like the world wearing our filthy rags when we meet face-to-face with the King of the Universe. Yes, we can offer our petitions and prayers whenever and wherever we are. But wouldn’t it be so much more awesome, and so much more effective to have the privilege of being invited in to meet with the Great I AM face-to-face? It is possible. The Curtain has been torn. We can enter in. But in order to be invited into the Throne Room, we must submit ourselves to the preparation process, the “beauty treatments”.
The book of Esther describes how Hadassah had to submit herself to a year-long beauty treatment before she was allowed an audience with the king. She already was very beautiful, because she was one who was hand-picked. She was chosen. Like her, the Lord is attracted to the beauty in us. But that beauty is marred and stained by the filth of this world. As with Esther, the Tabernacle format of prayer can potentially be the beauty treatment process so we can be invited in to meet with the King. But, like Hadassah, we must yield and submit to it. The process can be, and is painful. But what a great high honor to be invited in to have face-to-face audience to the Great I AM, the Creator of the Universe!
The Tabernacle is a model on how we can go through the preparation process so we can gain entrance into the Holy of Holies – the Heavenly Throne Room. Wouldn’t it be so awesome to have the high honor and privilege of going there…..DAILY? Instead of a once in a lifetime encounter?
We must prepare ourselves
We must allow ourselves to be yielded, probed, stinking flesh and sin burned off so we can enter in.
In our house of prayer, as we’ve been practicing this model of prayer this past year, at times I’ve been a little frustrated. Why aren’t we in intercession? Why aren’t we praying for our cities? Our regions? Why aren’t we praying topical crisis and needful prayers? I took this frustration up to the Father and this is what I heard:
“Too many times you and others rush in, dump all your prayers and you rush out. You don’t encounter Me. You don’t sit with Me. Sometimes you don’t want to hear Me, or My response. You must be invited in. Worship, prayer and intercession isn’t something you “do”, it is who you are. You must realize you are called to be a priest and a king (I Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6), yet you don’t even identify with your role. You don’t even know who you are! When you learn the greatness of the authority you carry, then you speak differently. You will think differently. You will act differently. Allow yourselves to undergo the preparation process”.
We must prepare ourselves as children of the Most High God.
The basic steps of the Tabernacle Prayer model are as follows:
• Praise and Thanksgiving
Decide daily this is your time to encounter the Great I AM. Thank God for all His benefits (Psalm 103:2). Remember all of the Lord’s goodness toward you and offer up sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving.
“You make known to me the Path of Life; in Your Presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore”. Psalm 16:11
ALTAR OF SACRIFICE:
Death to self, death to pride, death to everything who you think you are. Everything has to die within you, every love, every passion, every sin, everything has to go. You must learn to come to a place and grow comfortable with the fact that nothing else matters…..except HIM. Pride must be killed in us…..daily. If not, the Gifts and Anointings given to us will be in danger of being dirtied, perverted in our fleshly pride. We must come to the place where we can say:
“No longer I who live, but CHRIST IN ME, hope of Glory….” (Galatians 2:20)
Allow the Great I AM to probe you, open you up and expose those “hidden closets” and cleanse you from all sin. Allow the Lord to reveal to you all that needs to be removed and allow the Lord to remove them. Lay down your identity and allow the Lord to give you a new identity – HIS identity.
• Fresh Infilling
• New sight
• New vision
This is a place where we come to the realization that we can’t see. All that we’ve seen in the past was through dirty lenses, all distorted. We can’t be filled until we are first emptied. We can’t be dressed in our new identities until we are first stripped bare from our earthly security and our titles. And, as the oil lamps are refilled twice a day, morning and evening, we also must be refilled at least twice a day, morning and evening.
TABLE OF SHOWBREAD
• Assimilating the Word
• Feasting, banqueting on the Word
As the eyes of our spirits are opened and we see through new lenses, the Word comes alive to us and we banquet on it. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a Light to my path…” Psalm 119:105
ALTAR OF INCENSE
This is the place where we offer up the worship first, then intercession. Or….we can offer up both in the form of “harp & bowl” worship and intercession. As priests of the Most High, we exalt His Name and sing with the angels: “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY” (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8). As we worship, a realization hits us that this is a place where it’s not about “us”, it’s all about HIM, the Great I AM. There is a difference between praise & thanksgiving and true worship. Very rarely do we enter into this place in our church services or even in our worship & prayer meetings. Much of it is because we do not undergo the death, stripping away and cleansing process in the Outer Court. True worship has nothing to do with us…..it’s all about HIM.
True intercession also has nothing to do with us. It’s all about HIM, all about what the Great I AM can do in a broken, fallen world. True intercession is coming to a place where we don’t ask so that “we” can be benefited. We come to a place where it no longer matters if we even see the results of our prayers. We cry out for a broken, fallen world because we now have the Father’s Heart beating within us and we feel His pain. True intercession is praying the Great I AM’s prayers, not our prayers. Never, ever “our” prayers. Even among intercessors, this place is a rare place to come to.
HOLY OF HOLIES
As we worship and cry out with the cries of the Father’s Heart through intercession, we look up and to our amazement, we see the Curtain has been torn! The Curtain that separates us has been ripped from top to bottom! We can now enter in! We do enter in! Finally we can see what it truly means to “be seated with HIM in the Heavenly Realms” (Ephesians 2:6)
Some, very very few intercessors have visited this place regularly. When they do, as they come out they have been dramatically changed.
Some have experienced translations, some have such incredible encounters with the Lord that it boggles our minds!
I have yet to be in that place, am anticipating the time when that Curtain will be ripped for me!
GATES, CURTAINS AND DOORS:
Steps to Entering into the Fullness of God’s Presence
There were 3 curtains in the Tabernacle:
- Entrance to the Outer Court
- Entrance to the Inner Court / Holy Place
- Entrance to the Holy of Holies
Could this represent 3 major types of believers? Or our going through 3 different steps in our faith walk?
- Christians saved by Grace (Outer Court)
- Disciples desiring greater intimacy with the Lord
- Those who have gone in and are familiar with the Secret Place
KELLY VARNER: 3 levels of Christian maturity based on the 3 entrances to the Tabernacle:
There were 3 different lights:
- Outer Court – Natural Light (sun)
- Inner Court – Holy Spirit Light (Golden Lampstand)
- Holy of Holies – Light of God (Shekinah Light)
Doors, gates and veils mark or delineate a separation. There is a process that has to be done so we can enter in. We also don’t go in unless we are first invited.
The entrance to the Outer Gate is always open. Everyone is welcomed to enter in. Many go in and out and actually never experience true salvation (though some may think they do). If one says he/she is saved but there is no actual change in their lives, they may not be. Many come in through the Outer Gate, get caught up in the praise and thanksgiving. They may even “dance” with us, but when they face the Altar of Sacrifice, they leave. The Lord wants and calls for a change in all of us. We must allow ourselves to be changed, be transformed.
- We must be teachable.
- We must be moldable.
No matter where we are, we must allow the Lord to probe us, we must learn to let go. There is a preparation process and we must allow ourselves to be prepared.
The Bride must make herself ready. Revelation 19:7
No matter where we are in our walk with the Lord, we always have the freedom of choice. We can choose now how far we go with God. As we submit ourselves at the Altar of Sacrifice, and decide to go no farther, we are saved. Our salvation is not jeopardized if we choose to go no further. At the Altar of Sacrifice we ALL are saved. No question. But….the Lord is wooing us closer! All of this is available to us, right here, right now. All of God is available to us….right here, right now. We don’t have to wait until we die and go to heaven to have the ability to experience the fullness of God’s Presence.
The Tabernacle is a “portal” into God. Into God’s Presence. I challenge you right now: How much of God do you want? Right here, right now? You don’t have to wait until you die to meet with the Great I AM. You can meet the LORD even now. Even here. But in order to do this, we have to allow ourselves to be molded, transformed. We may have to let go of some things. In fact, we have to let go of EVERYTHING.
Sh’ma: “Here oh Israel, the Lord your God is One. You must love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your mind, and with ALL your soul”.
All of God is available to all of us. But we have to choose. In the Old Testament, in the Tanakh, only the priests were allowed to go further into God. But at the sacrificial death of Jesus, the veil had been ripped. We all now have the capability of our entering in, both Jew & Gentile, both man & woman. No matter who we are, how old or young we are, no matter where we came from or what we did in the past. We all now can go in. Through the Blood of Jesus, we all now have free access to God:
- ALL of us can have dreams and visions.
- ALL of us can have incredible encounters with God.
- ALL of us can see the angelic.
- ALL of us can “do the stuff”:
- Preach the Gospel
- Heal the sick
- Cast out demons
- Raise the dead
In fact, we are commanded to do this in Mark 16:15-18. This is not for a special “few”, who have been “anointed” to do this. This is for all of us. We all are commanded to do this. But I know that I am incapable of doing any of this in my own flesh. In fact, I can’t do any of that without the “power”, or the anointing of God. So….where do we get this? How much do we want to be obedient to God? How much of God do we want? We have to want it. We have to want God so badly that we’re willing to lay our “stuff” down, lay everything down to follow after Him. We have to lay it all down, lay down:
- Our preconceived ideas
- Our assumptions
- Our pride
- Our theology
- The way we identify ourselves
- Our careers, our jobs
- Even our loved ones.
Like the question Jesus asked Simon Peter 3 times: “Do you LOVE Me?”, this question is asked of us. How much do we love God? How much of God do we want? Are we willing to go through the doors, curtains and veils in order to get to God? Do we want God more than any of this? What’s holding us back?
- Fear – of the unknown, of our being identified as “slightly off”, or “crazy”?
- Desire – for that what the world has to offer?
- Familiarity – for that what is comfortable?
All 3 doors are available to us. We can go through them at any time and at any season in our lives. We can choose to linger in the Outer Court until we die, or we could go into the Inner Chamber. Or we can go all the way into the Holy of Holies. We can also go in and come out at will, at any time or any season.These doors get smaller, narrower as we pass through. It gets tighter, a tight fit going through these doors. We can’t take our “stuff” with us as we enter in.
The Blood from the Sacrificial Lamb had to be carried through every door, brought into all 3 places:
- Outer Court at the Altar of Sacrifice
- Inner Chamber / Holy Place
- Holy of Holies
The Lamb was slaughtered and offered up on the Altar of Sacrifice in the Outer Court.
ALTAR OF SACRIFICE
Everyone had to slaughter the Lamb; everyone had to receive the Blood. There were no exceptions. If you entered the Outer Gate, you had to be redeemed, bought back from the slavery of sin into the Kingdom of God. We all have to accept what Jesus did on the Cross for each one of us, or we are not part of the Kingdom of God. We have to receive Jesus’ offered Blood on the Cross for our redemption or we are not truly redeemed. We are not truly the children of God.
Everyone has to come here for salvation. There is no question. You can’t go any further unless you take and appropriate the Sacrificial Lamb of God to yourself. As in the days of the Tanakh, everyone has to come here, at least once. They were required to come here at least once a year.
Everyone can enter into the Outer Court. Everyone can enjoy the Presence of God if they are willing. But they are not truly part of God’s Kingdom – they are not saved from eternal death and hell unless they first receive the Blood of the Lamb. Once they we accept and receive what Jesus had done for them on the Cross then and only then are their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. We all have to first ask for, and then receive the Blood of Christ as our redemption. No one is unwillingly redeemed.
The is still Outer Court, we haven’t yet gone into the Holy Place. But not all go to this place. We are drawn to the Cleansing, but not all hear the call or respond to it. This is a Priestly Place, a place available only to those who long for and are willing to go deeper into God. This is a place of preparation for those who want to go into the Inner Chamber and minister to God. This is a place of humility, a place where pride and the flesh are killed. Being cleansed, allowing ourselves to be cleansed is a humbling place. It’s a place where pride and independence have to die. This is a place of preparation to enter through the Narrow Door.
In order to enter into this place we have to see ourselves differently. We have to let go of our ordinariness and see ourselves as part of the Royal Priesthood. We must begin to identify ourselves as a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS.
- Kings & priests look different.
- Kings & priests act different
- Kings & priest see different.
- Kings & priests dress different.
Have you ever met someone and you’ve noticed change in the way they carry themselves from before? They could have spent some time in the Inner Chamber. They carry themselves with a greater authority, a greater assurance. They know who they are in Christ and no one in this world can label them differently. They start to see themselves and identify themselves through God’s eyes. You know it’s not fleshly pride; there is some sort of an assurance about them.
Not everyone is willing to submit to this. Many come, but when they see what it costs to have the ability to enter into the Holy Place, they may walk away. Some people come and come and come and keep coming, only to leave at a certain time. But they keep coming back. Eventually they will finally come to a place of yieldedness so they too can enter in.
We who have gone in must not discourage those. Even if the stink of their flesh offends us. We are called to LOVE THEM!!
INNER CHAMBER / HOLY PLACE
When we enter here, we mistakenly think that finally we’ve finally arrived! But in actuality, we haven’t. This is only the 2nd step, still only an outer room.
The Blood of the Sacrificial Lamb is brought here not once but twice a day. The priest brings the Blood and pours it twice daily on the Altar of Incense: the place of Worship and Intercession. Both worship and intercession are ministries that never “glorify” us. They totally glorify the Lord. Just as the Inner Chamber is a place where no one can see what’s going on, the ministries of worship and intercession are not seen nor acknowledged in most churches.
Every other ministry is totally Outer Court ministry:
- Raising the Dead.
The ministries of worship and intercession are not valued because they are hidden: eyes off us and eyes onto God. There is nothing about us. It’s all about God. Others shouldn’t and can’t see us when we’re here doing this. No pride and the world doesn’t value this. This is why we must go through the Preparation Process. We must yield to the cleansing, the stripping off, the purging and the “redressing”, the whole re-identification process. None of the worship and the Intercession can be properly done without the cleansing and redressing process.
We must also be filled with Holy Spirit, the Light of God. We cannot see the LIGHT when our eyes are covered with dirty lenses. We cannot properly nourish our spiritual bodies if are filled with the “junk food” of this world. We have to go in clean, re-identified and dressed in Kingdom Garments.
And….we have to go in hungry.
Have you ever noticed after you spent a season of fasting that there is an increased hunger for more of God? Our spirits are sharpened and cleansed; our awareness of our need for God is greatly increased. The Inner Chamber is not “junk food” Christianity. This is not a “shake it & bake it” place where we just go for the thrills and chills and then go home. We cannot enter into this place unrepentant and stinking of the world & our flesh. This is not a place of pride, a place to be noticed. We have to experience death, know death, and even embrace death: death to our flesh, to our ideas of who we think we are, and allow ourselves to be re-identified with Christ.
This is a place where we have to be ok with our not being noticed. No one needs to know we are here…..except GOD!
But this is also a place of incredible anointing and incredible authority in the Kingdom-realm. This is where the Lord wants us to be. HE notices we are here and all of this pleases the Lord. Wouldn’t you rather be famous in God’s eyes than in man’s eyes?
HOLY OF HOLIES
Again the Blood of the Lamb is brought here, poured out on the Mercy Seat. But it is done here only once a year, on the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur. This is also only done by the High Priest.
- This is a special place.
- This is a unique place.
Only a very few have truly been able to enter into this place. Also, they are not who you think they are. Most likely they were never known as famous prophets, apostles or evangelists or pastors or teachers. These people may have humble women who spend their lives pouring out in prayer and intercession. They may have experienced translations and miracles that are so beyond our comprehension that others could call them “crazy” or a little “off”.
I have to confess that I’ve not yet been here yet, though I want to. I can’t teach on that what I have yet to know or experience. But this is a place where we can aim for.
Are you willing to enter into the Holy of Holies? Are you willing to go in to the fullness of God and all that He has for you? There is only one way in, there is only one process to enter in. We cannot and must not bypass any other place in the Tabernacle so we can meet with the GREAT I AM. This is a journey into the Presence of God. We cannot skip any step.
Tabernacle Prayer: THE TALLIT
TABERNACLE PRAYER IS:
- An ongoing journey to the Father’s Heart
- A foreshadow of Heaven
This Jewish Prayer Shawl is a type and shadow of the Tabernacle. In fact, word “Tallit” in Hebrew means “Little Tent”. The Hebrew word for tent is translated “Tal”, adding the adverb “Lit” means little. The actual word “Tallit” means “to cover”. This symbolizes our being covered in God’s Presence.
Tallit (the Prayer Shawl) the corner fringes on this ritual garment remind the wearer of all the commandments in the Torah. The (tall-EET) or tallis (TALL-us) is a large rectangular shawl made of wool, cotton or synthetic fibers. In each of the four corners of the shawl are strings tied in a particular pattern, called tzitzit. The origin of the is biblical; the practice is prescribed in Numbers 15. The precept is to put these strings on the four corners of one’s garment — in ancient tradition, with a single strand of blue as well–as a reminder of the duties and obligations of a Jew. Since we no longer wear four-cornered garments, the tallit is worn specifically to fulll the biblical precept.
The Bible does not command wearing of a unique prayer shawl or tallit. Instead, it presumes that people wore a garment of some type to cover themselves and instructs the Children of Israel to attach fringes (????? tzitzit) to the corners of these (Numbers 15:38), repeating the commandment in terms that they should “make thee twisted cords upon the four corners of thy covering, wherewith thou coverest thyself” (Deuteronomy 22:12). These passages do not specify tying particular types or numbers of knots in the fringes. The exact customs regarding the tying of the tzitzit and the format of the tallit are of post-biblical, rabbinic origin and, though the Talmud discusses these matters, slightly different traditions have developed in different communities. However the Bible is specific as to the purpose of these tzitzit, stating that “it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye go not about after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go astray; that ye may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God”.
Traditionally, men wear a tallit during morning services; in non-Orthodox synagogues, many women also wear a tallit. In some Orthodox congregations, only married men wear a tallit.
To put on the tallit, many will first unfolt it and hold in both hands so the ATARAHis facing them. One may see people gathering the tzitzit in their left hand and kissing them when the paragraph from the referring to them is recited.
Before putting on the prayer shawl, it is customary to say the following blessing:
Baruch atah adonai Eloheinu
melech ha olam
Asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav
Vitzivanu l’hitatef b’tzitzit.
“Blessed are you Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe Who has sanctifieed us with your mitzvot And commanded us to wrap ourselves in tzitzit.”
After reciting the blessing, the person will throw the Tallit over his shoulders like a cape and then position it on his shoulders. After it is positioned, then they will bring their hands together in front of their face briefly and cover their head with the Tallit for a moment of private meditation. Then the Tallit is adjusted on the shoulders.
TWO TYPES OF TALLIT (or Talliot)
Tallit katan – The Tallit katan descends from the Sephardic tradition. Some believe Jesus wore this kind of Tallit. It is a large rectangular cloth with a hole in the middle, worn over the head and under the outer garments. They wear it all during their waking hours, never take it off. Many Orthodox Jews wear this type of Tallit to this day.
Tallit Gadol – This is more of a Prayer Shawl that is draped around the shoulders. This type of Tallit is worn around the shoulders only during the times of prayer and while in service at Synagogue. This comes from the Ashkenazi tradition.
TALLIT IN LIFE CYCLES:
BIRTH – Eight days after birth the male child is circumcised, this is called the “BRIS” or BRIT MILAH. As part of the circumcision rite, the father will wrap his baby son in his Tallit for a few moments and prays for his baby. In doing this, the father is symbolically wrapping the baby in the Word of God and the protective covering of “Hashem” (Adonai). The father then announces the name of his son and holds him on his lap throughout the ceremony as a sign that he will guide, protect and love his son. This is a sign that the Name of God (not the father’s name) will live throughout the generations. There is a similar ceremony for baby girls 80 days after birth. They also are dedicated to God.
BAR/BAT MITZVAH – The Tallit is presented to the young girl or boy as they reach the age of 12, the age of manhood or womanhood. The new adult will then read publicly from the Word of God wearing his/her new Tallit. The new adult is now taking on the responsibility of following the Word of God by becoming the son or daughter of the Commandments. The child is now recognized as an adult and is responsible for his or her words and actions in the community.
TALLIT IN MARRIAGE – The Tallit is again used in marriage. It is place on poles and creates a canopy over the couple, calling it the “Chuppah”. The man and woman come together as husband & wife – one flesh – under the protection of God. Marriage represents the completion of the Image of God. Marriage also reflects our walk with Messiah, a foreshadow of Christ and His Bride. When the man & woman bond together in marriage, it is no longer “him” and “her”, it is about them as a couple. As the couple stands under the Tallit, or the Chuppah, they stand together as a three-strand cord with the Lord. This is the beginning of a New Creation, their “oneness” with each other with God. The Lord’s powerful will stands between this New Creation called marriage and the couple must realize the Lord will lead them, guide them and protect them.
TALLIT IN DEATH AN BURIAL – The man or the woman is to be buried with their Tallit only if they spent their lives walking with the Lord. When the Tallit is used in burial, we remember that this is a sign of holiness and sanctification. In life, the wearer of the Tallit is known to be one who is set apart for God.
PRAYER CLOSET – When a person covers himself with this prayer shawl, he shuts out the world.
Matthew 6:5-6 – “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by others. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward to the full! But YOU….when you pray, go into your inner room and when you have shut your door, pray to the Father Who sees you in secret, shall reward you.”
Some of the versions use the words “…..go into your CLOSET….”
We have to realize that in ancient Israel there was no such things as “closets”. In fact, in most houses, they might have had only one room, not an “inner room”. So what did Jesus mean when He said that?
The “inner chamber” is the Tallit. Whenever someone had their Tallits over their heads, the other family members knew enough not to bother them. They knew they were praying. The one wearing the Tallit had “gone into his inner chamber and closed the door”.
Every observant Jew prayed 3 times a day:
- Morning Prayer – Shacharit
- Afternoon Prayer – Mincha
- Evening Prayer – Maariv
Jesus was an observant Jew Who practiced every one of the jewish customs and observed every one of the Feasts.
This morning I was meditating on Jesus, His early morning prayers, which was called the “Shacharit”.
“Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left and went away to a place in the wilderness, and there He was praying.” Mark 1:35
So here Jesus our Lord and our Messiah, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords is praying early in the morning under this “tent”. Not only did He pray in the early mornings, Jesus prayed 3 times a day! Can you imagine the Glory that filled that Tallit? The anointing this piece of cloth carried?
READ: Exodus 33:7-11
Now if the Glory was so heavy upon Moses as He met with the Lord face-to-face under a tent…..so much so that Joshua wouldn’t leave even after the prayer was over…..what was in Jesus’ Tent?
READ: Matthew 9:20-22, Matthew 14:35-36
The people KNEW Jesus was their Messiah. Jesus is the Promised One.
Malachi 3:20: But to you, who fear My Name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will break out leaping like calves released from the stall”.
Every observant Jew knew in this Scripture the Sun of Righteousness refers to their Messiah. Also, every observant Jew knows the “Tzitzit” on the 4 corners of their garments always are called the “Wings”.
Every common person KNEW Jesus is Messiah. Even though the religious elite and the Levitical priesthood never recognized Him….they did. The common people did.
There is still so much more, but it is my goal for you to get a glimpse of this thing we call the “Prayer Shawl”, the Tallit. Get a picture of Jesus wearing this Prayer Shawl around His shoulders and on His head during prayer. Then get a glimpse of the crowds of people clamoring all over Jesus, wanting to just touch this Prayer Shawl, especially the 4 corners of the garment.
Jesus’ Prayer Shawl is available to all of us, in Spirit. We can also come running to Him and beg to touch the “hem of His garment”, His Prayer Shawl. Healing is still in His Wings. We can touch Him….even today.
Into the Outer Court Fence
Make a courtyard for the tabernacle. The south side shall be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains of finely twisted linen, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts. The north side shall also be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts.
“The west end of the courtyard shall be fifty cubits wide and have curtains, with ten posts and ten bases. On the east end, toward the sunrise, the courtyard shall also be fifty cubits wide. Curtains fifteen cubits long are to be on one side of the entrance, with three posts and three bases, and curtains fifteen cubits long are to be on the other side, with three posts and three bases.” (Exodus 27:9-15, NIV)
“This translates to an area 75 feet wide by 150 feet long. The tabernacle, including the courtyard fence and all the other elements, could be packed and easily moved when the Jews traveled from place to place. The fence set the holy ground of the tabernacle apart from the rest of the camp. No one could casually approach the holy place or wander into the courtyard.
Linen was a valuable cloth made from the flax plant, widely cultivated in Egypt. Workers stripped long, thin fibers from inside the stems of the plant, spun them into thread, then wove the thread into fabric on looms. Because of the intense labor involved, linen was mostly worn by rich people. This fabric was so delicate; it could be pulled through a man’s signet ring. Egyptians bleached linen or dyed it bright colors. Linen was also used in narrow strips to wrap mummies.
The linen of the courtyard fence was white. Various commentaries note the contrast between the dust of the wilderness and the striking white linen wall wrapping the grounds of the tabernacle, the meeting place with God. This fence foreshadowed a much later event in Israel when a linen shroud was wrapped around the crucified corpse of Jesus Christ, who is sometimes called the “perfect tabernacle.” Jack Zavada
The fenced-in Tabernacle grounds at 75 feet by 150 feet are about the size of a city lot. The white linen was about 300 feet long by 7.5 feet high. It surrounded the Outer Court, where all people had access. The greater number actions of praise and worship took place within the Outer Court. Yet this is the lowest stage of spiritual communion, yet it stands for whatever was the most fundamental and most important. From this place the Altar of Sacrifice (redemption) and the Brazen Altar (repentance) were widely visible and was the absolute center of the sacrificial system.
“Blessed is the one You choose and bring near to dwell in Your courts! We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your House – Your holy temple”. Psalm 65:4
“For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else”. Psalm 84:11
As we enter into the Outer Court through the Gate of the Tabernacle, we see the fence from the inside, the white linen fence. When I meditated on this, I suddenly had a flash. The fence is there to close us in, not keep us out. There is a gate to the Tabernacle and everyone is welcome to come in.
The fence is a type and shadow of the Tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl. We all know but we don’t think about is the fact that Jesus wore a tallit. Just like any good Jew, Jesus wore His tallit all of the time as a reminder of living a lifestyle of prayer, and His tzitzit, the fringes hung out just as we see how orthodox and Hassidic Jews wear their tallits today. We are familiar with what happened to the woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34 and Luke 8:43-48. This woman had the audacity to reach through the pressing crowd and grab onto the fringe of Jesus’ Tallit, the tzitzit of His Tallit so she can be healed! But this woman wasn’t the only person who touched the tzitzit of Jesus’ tallit for healing. Many did this, read Matthew 14:34-36, Mark 6:56.
In Mosaic law, the Lord instructed His people regarding the corners of their garments, they were instructed to make fringes or tassels to hang from the corners of their garments (Numbers 15:37-41). It doesn’t make sense to us because of our own culture, how we wear our clothes today. Our garments no longer have “corners” like the outer cloaks of the ancient Middle Eastern people. They wore as an outer garment a large piece of cloth with a hole in the middle for their heads. After putting it on they would tie it around their waist with a piece of twine, cloth or leather. The ancient Middle Eastern people would mark the corners of their outer garments as part of their identity. The Lord, when He called the children of Israel to be His own, called them to place tassels on the corners of their outer garments to mark them as His own people. The children of Israel were to take on the LORD’S identity from now on. No longer were they to identify themselves as slaves of the Egyptians, they are now entering into their own destiny as a kingdom of priests, serving the Great I AM. (Exodus 19:6)
Remember the story of Ruth? In Ruth 3:9, this woman asked Boaz to “extend the borders of his garment and cover her”. What Ruth was asking of Boaz was she wanted to be one of his people, one of God’s people. She was requesting for herself to be identified with him.
In Ezekiel 16:8 the Lord used a word picture of spreading His garment over His people to cover their nakedness. He was reclaiming His people.
When David cut off the corner of Saul’s garment in I Samuel 24:5, what he did was cut off one of the fringes from Saul’s Tallit. Today we might wonder why David’s heart was pierced. We think, “big deal! He just cut off a piece of Saul’s robe. What’s so terrible about that?” We don’t understand that what David did was that he defaced Saul’s identity and his divinely authorized kingship.
Today, because they no longer wear long robes with 4 corners, over the years the Tallit was constructed. This prayer shawl with its fringes is a symbol of their covenant with the Lord. The Lord has extended His garment to cover them / cover us with His grace.
The Prayer Shawl is symbolic of the Tabernacle.
Whenever the prayer shawl is properly used, the face is covered. This is symbolic of being closed in with the Lord. We wear the prayer shawl to “close us in” away from the distractions of the world so we can spend that time communing with the Great I AM.
Around the Tabernacle was a long white linen fence. The fence around the Tabernacle was a type of Tallit. The fence was not there to keep out. The fence was there to keep us in. The linen fence of course couldn’t keep anyone or anything out. It was made of linen fabric and that fabric could easily tear if someone wanted to get in badly enough. Linen is an expensively made delicate fabric
The Lord wants to cover us with His presence.
Genesis 3:8-11 relates how Adam & Eve suddenly realized they were naked, and they became ashamed and hid from the Lord. The reason why they suddenly realized they were naked was because of their sin they lost the covering of God’s Presence. Without His covering, they were naked! Up to that point, Adam & Eve were “covered” by the Lord’s Tallit. Then, as we know the Lord slaughtered animals to cover them. They only can be “covered” through the shedding of innocent blood.
This is a picture of the Tabernacle. The entire Tabernacle: Outer Court and Inner Court are surrounded by the white linen fence. That is a picture of the Lord’s covering. In a sense, the fence is a shadow of the covering of the Lord’s Presence as what Adam & Eve had before they sinned. Just inside the Gate there is the Altar of Sacrifice, where the shedding of innocent blood was performed daily. That, as we know is a type & shadow of the price Jesus paid on the cross at Calvary. As we enter into the Lord’s covering, we cannot go any further until we see the Cross. We must accept the Cross and the price Jesus paid so that we can enter in.
WHAT THE TALLIT, THE FENCE DOES FOR US:
- The Tallit, the fence covers our eyes so we won’t be distracted by the world (Psalm 101:3).
- The Tallit, the fence covers us, protects us from prying eyes as we enter into the Lord’s Presence.
- The Tallit, the fence protects at that moment from caring about other’s opinions of us.
- The Tallit, the fence protects us from physical harm or danger (Psalm 91).
- The Tallit, the fence protects us from exposure to the world and feeling like we are at another’s mercy.
As we remain in the center of the Lord’s will, we are safe. The safest place we can be, whether we are in the midst of war, or in a far-off jungle, whether we live in a dangerous neighborhood, or whether we live in prosperity in a nice middle class home; the safest place we can be in right in the center of God’s will. It doesn’t matter where we are. We can be confident of the Lord’s protection. We can rest in the Lord, “like a weaned child resting against his mother” (Psalm 131:2).
Right now, if you’re in a place of victory, go in and shut the door. Go into the Tabernacle and have a “praise party”. Go in and rejoice with the Lover of your soul. Sing and dance wildly! The Lord loves it when you crazily and loudly praise Him. Cut loose and praise the One Who created you and gives you victory!
Right now, if you are in a place of confusion or distress, if your spirit is restless and unsettled and you don’t know where to go or who to turn to, I encourage you to go inside the Tabernacle. Go inside and gaze at the linen fence. The Lord is here. Go in, shut the door. Put your head in the Lord’s lap and weep, cry out and travail. You are safe in this place. You have the Lord’s permission to emote. Shut yourself in. Turn off the TV, computer, cell phones. Shut out all external noises and go in.
Right, if you’re in the doldrums, just barely living your everyday life, go into the Tabernacle. Shut the door. Listen for His voice. The Lord wants to speak to you. The Lord wants to share His secrets with you. Go in and sit before your Lord and your God. Wrap your prayer shawl around your face, remove all distractions, go in and meet the Lover of your soul.
He’s waiting for you!