Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple


A Christian Prayer for Yom Kippur 2009

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Today marks the climax of the holy Jewish celebration of Yom Kippur, the traditional Day of Atonement – the chance for forgiveness and for God’s great, merciful gift of holiness. Christians too honor this heritage introduced to us by our Jewish forbearers. We also recognize God’s unbending standard of rightness, our inability to keep that standard, and our need for God’s merciful grace to avoid his judgment of our failures.

 

Yom Kippur represents an opportunity to “reboot” our lives, to make a clean slate, as God himself covers our failure and pays the debts we cannot meet. Christians believe that Jesus himself is the “completion” of Yom Kippur. In fact we understand the crux of our faith, the death of Jesus on the cross, against the backdrop of this holiday.

 

Next month I will release a new book dealing with this very topic called “The Karma of Jesus.” Here’s an excerpt that touches on the way Christians assimilate Yom Kippur into our understanding of Jesus and of God’s grace.   

            Jesus saves?

Ancient Jews anticipated the possibility of total and complete salvation. Every Autumn Jews celebrated Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Many still do. Like many religious ceremonies Yom Kippur originally involved the slaughter of animals. Ancient people believed that life resides in blood. By ritually killing animals they believed they could exchange its life for the debt they had incurred by their own moral failures.

On Yom Kippur Jewish priests sacrificed one goat and used its blood to cleanse sin. They then imposed a very different destiny on a second goat. Instead of killing it, the lead priest placed his hands on the creature’s head and began to recite – in detail – all the failures the entire nation had committed in the previous year. Imagine a public reading of the “naughty” ledger of Santa’s list.

This confession, they believed, transferred their corporate guilt onto the poor goat – their “scapegoat.” Once they completed the ritual, they drove the poor beast into the desert symbolically bearing their load of shame and blame out into desolate places.

Could it be that Jesus took up both roles, the sacrificed life that paid for the dire consequences and the “scapegoat” that carried them in himself and out of reach of the rest of humanity?

Are you in need of God’s pardon? Working harder at being perfect won’t suffice. Consider Jesus, and the gift of forgiveness and holiness he offers. Here’s a Christian prayer for Yom Kippur:

“God, I cannot meet the standards of purity and rightness you have established. I recognize that Jesus has met those standards and that he offers to exchange his perfection for my imperfection. I accept the promise you have made to me (I John 1:9) that if I confess my sin, you will forgive me and cleanse me from all impurity. I do this now. And I thank you that I can, here and now experience a true day of atonement, standing right before your eyes, not because of what I’ve done, but because of what Jesus has done, on my behalf.”



  • Your Name

    I’d like to know what I did so bad that there needs to be blood shed. Does that even make sense? Why is there even a requirement of blood? This is a very odd belief in a God that requires violence. That is very ancient pagan.
    Yes, I make mistakes, but not intentionally. I learn from them and do better next time. Why do I need to be atoned again? I’m all for being a better person to my fellow man and myself, but I don’t need to be ‘saved’ from anything. Why is there always of a focus on what we do wrong in religion. It makes one feel guilty all the time. I’d rather think positively, do what is good, and not dwell on my past mistakes.

  • Your Name

    There are many people in this world today who do not realize, understand or believe that a divine entity, whom is often referred to as “God”, actually exists. I challenge any and all of these people to perform a very simple act. Just sit down quietly, all alone, and make this simple request. “Jesus, if you are really who people say that you are, please show yourself to me?” For those of you who are willing to ask, I have no doubt at all that He shall , in fact, honor your request.

  • JaMarcus Thomas

    Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
    - John 3:3
    Without bloodshed, there cannot be remission of sins. You MUST accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior A.S.A.P! It’s the most important decision of any sinner’s life!

  • JaMarcus Thomas

    I’m a sinner too, but I’m forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ.

  • Gina M.

    As for an annual day of atonement, I don’t fall short one day a year, I fall short 365 days a year and ask God’s forgiveness each day; once per year simply does not suffice! As for Blood being shed, there is no longer in Christianity a need to shed blood for the remission of sin; once that perfect lamb shed his blood, all others would only pale in comparison, that’s why there hasn’t been a call for human or animal sacrifice since Christ’s crucifixion. As for asking God to show himself; He does so everyday. You just need to know when and where to look!

  • Carey & Teresa

    An appeal to the body of Christ around the world to pray for us & ministry
    GOSPEL TO THE MUSLIMS IN INDIA
    ————————————————–
    Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
    Greetings to you in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ
    We would like to share with you that our Lord Jesus has given a burden and vision in our lives to REACHING SPECIFICALLY TO THE MUSLIMS BY HIS GOSPEL. Therefore, we have submitted our lives into His hands to be used according to His will and guidance in our lives. As we are continuously sharing & witnessing about Jesus to our Muslim neighbors, He is touching and speaking to their hearts. The Muslims are being open to The Gospel of Christ and being interested to know more about Him. Several of them surrendered their lives to Jesus and they are worshiping Him in Truth & Spirit. Praise His holy name!
    By His grace, There are few hundreds men & women has surrendered their lives to Jesus through our ministry. Several of them are living under threats and others are suffering for their new faith in Jesus. They are in great need of your kind prayers in their lives.
    At present, we are conducting weekly House Church worship sercvices at 10 different villages/ locations. We are also having health care program where several Muslim women & children are getting opportunity to get free treatment & medicines. We also started Children ministry at few villages and God is using children ministry for His own glory.
    Humbly, we are requesting you please pray for God’s guidance and protection in our lives & specially for the believers . It would be highly appreciated if you kindly write few words for us.
    God bless you.
    In His service,
    * Bro. Carey & Sis. Teresa
    Contact:
    gospel2muslims@gmail.com
    * names has been changed for security purpose.

  • Carey & Teresa

    GOSPEL TO THE MUSLIMS IN INDIA
    Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
    Greetings to you in Jesus’ name.
    We would like to inform you that as you are praying & interceding for us and our neighbours ( Muslims), God is revealing His Truth to them for His own glory. God’s Spirit is working in their hearts and they are becoming interested to hear The Gospel of Christ by His grace. He is adding new people to our worship services on Friday at our fellowship and the believers are growing in His grace. Praise The Lord!
    Again, 9th Oct we have found that widnow’s glasses of our worship centre has been broken by the pieces of bricks.Therefore, we are very sad in our hearts. But we are praying for the people who has broken window’s glasses that God may forgive them and change their hearts.
    However, we humbly request you kindly pray for God’s wisdom & guidance in our lives and His protection.Pray that He might help us to continue stand for His witnees. Please pray & advice us for this present situation.
    With regards,
    Carey & Teresa
    Contact:
    gospel2muslims@gmail.com

  • r4i

    Making prayer to god is good for us to make peace in mind and gatting wish from the god.But to making wish to help other is so good and this type of prayer is always listen by the god.
    r4i

  • Chi

    Hi everybody!! Now i know i am not the only one with a problem like mine. I’ve never made any trips back to Africa since past 3 years i left my country.I have a valid A – DIRECT AIRSIDE TRANSIT VISA from United Kingdom to my country issued in New York but no money for plane ticket. I have a plan to go to my country to submit my old passport and get a new passport even to visit my Dad and my family members and come back. I pray to God that there is someone out there that will be able to help me, please contact me (prof4real2005 AT yahoo DOT com)to take my information that you can use to buy me a plane ticket. THANKS. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS. prof4real2005@yahoo.com

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