Yom Kippur: A Call to Prophetic Prayer and Redemption

Western Wall, Yom Kippur
Jewish men pray during morning prayers before the beginning of Yom Kippur, at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site in Jerusalem's Old City. Yom Kippur, or "Day of Atonement," is the holiest of Jewish holidays when observant Jews atone for the sins of the past year and the nation comes to almost a complete standstill. (AP Images/Kevin Frayer)
Editor's Note: Yom Kippur starts this week, at sundown on Friday, Oct. 7. It concludes at nightfall on Oct. 8.

The Word of God is clear that when the Jewish people return to God, the purposes of God will be fulfilled. Messiah will return, the kingdom will come, and riches, blessings and new life will come to the world (Romans 11). The Word of God is also clear that the Jewish people will return to God at the end of the age (Hosea 3).

Thus, every end-time believer must set as a priority the redemption of the Jewish people. The Lord appointed one day above all others for the return, the reconciliation and the redemption of the Jewish people: Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

It was on this day that the high priest would confess his own sins and then the sins of his nation. It was on this day, through the blood of the sacrifice, that the Jewish people would be reconciled to God and the barrier to His blessings would be removed. And it is on this day, each year, that Jewish people throughout the world fast and pray, and seek forgiveness for their sins and reconciliation to God.

This is thus an end-time call to a day of prophetic prayer, return and redemption on the part of God’s people in Messiah; for the sake of God’s ancient people, the Jewish people, the children of Israel. Specifically, it is the call to enter into prophetic and intercessory prayer for the Jewish people, for their redemption—that Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, would be a day of praying, interceding and, for some as they are led, fasting along with prayer.

As the Day of Atonement was the day when the high priest stood in the gap to intercede before the presence of God in prayer and supplication on behalf of the Jewish people, and as believers in Messiah are called to be a holy priesthood grafted into the commonwealth of Israel, it is the call for believers to now stand in the gap to intercede before the presence of God in prayer and supplication on behalf of the Jewish people. As the reconciliation during Yom Kippur was dependent on the atonement of the sacrifice, so this Yom Kippur depends on the atonement of Messiah. It is the call to the individual believer and to every assembly, gathering, fellowship, congregation and ministry that is led, and to the body of Messiah as a whole.

It is the call to pray for:

  • The return of the Jewish people to God in their Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus), and thus their redemption.
  • The protection and blessing of Israel and the city of God, Jerusalem.
  • The restoration of the Jewish people to their calling to be emissaries of God and lights to the world.
  • The return of the church, of Messiah’s people, to reconciliation with Israel and the Jewish people in order to be a blessing to the children of Abraham, as those grafted in with them.
  • The breaking down and removal of every veil, barrier or obstacle that would stand in the way of these blessings.
  • And it is for any and all prayers that flow from these.

As Yom Kippur was a day of teshuvah (return and repentance), it is also the call to teshuvah—to return and repentance on the part of believers, even the confessing and lifting up of sins so that the intercession for Israel’s return may be of effect.

Thus it is a call:

  • For the believer who is gentile by birth to pray and intercede and act on behalf of the nations and of believers—for their sins against the Jewish people and for forgiveness, cleansing, repentance and reconciliation.
  • For the believer born of Israel to pray and intercede and act, according to the prayer of the prophets (Dan. 9:1-19) and the prayers and confessions of Yom Kippur, for the sins of the people. It is a call for them to pray on behalf of the children of Israel, for their final teshuvah; for their repentance; and for their return to God in Messiah; as well as to their ancient calling to be a light to the world and a blessing to the nations, to be a holy people, a kingdom of priests, and a glory to God.

This call has no limit in time; it is an ongoing prophetic act on each Yom Kippur until the redemption of Israel, for as long as the Spirit leads.

This call is not issued by any organization or on the behalf of or by the authority of any man. It derives its sole authority as the Spirit of God leads and by the name of Yeshua—the Messiah, Light of the World and glory of His people Israel.

Jonathan Cahn, a Jewish believer, is the senior pastor and rabbi of Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J. His new book, The Harbinger: the Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America's Future, will release in January from Charisma House. To purchase and download the e-book version today, click here.

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