Pray in May!
Prayer is the need of the hour and is connected with two events this month: The National Day of Prayer (May 5, 2022) and Mother’s Day (May 8, 2022). But prayer should be a part of every day in May! The Bible actually tells us to “pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17). How is this possible? Can we actually pray around the clock? Years ago, after studying the Jewish roots of prayer, I realized that this idea of continual prayer is contained in the practice of b’rakhot (blessings) ברכת throughout the day, as well as the traditional three prayer services in Judaism, referred to in Psalm 55:17, “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.” These set times for prayer originated from the three daily sacrifices in the Temple. They are: shacharit (sha-kha-REET) שחרית, morning prayer, mincha (meen-KHAH) מנחה, afternoon prayer, and maariv (ma-ah-REEV) מעריב, evening prayer.
Prayer in Hebrew is tefillah (teh-fee-LAH) תפלה. According to Jewish thought, to engage in prayer is the most obvious and universal reflection of man’s relationship with and love for God. It is a “service of the heart”—avodah shebalev (ah-voh-DAH sheh-bah-LEV) עבודה שבלב. We read in the Bible that both King David (Psalm 55) and Daniel (Daniel 6:13) prayed three times daily. As Messianic Jews, we have access to the Throne of Grace twenty-four hours a day, so we have assurance that our prayers are heard continually. The question is: Do we take advantage of this privilege, opportunity, and blessing? As believers in Messiah, we have Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) רוח הקודשinside of us leading and guiding us in prayer. Because of this, we can pray with kavanah (kah-vah-NAH) כונה—direction, devotion, and focus—and reach the real goal of prayer: attachment to God. (The word tefillah (prayer) comes from a Hebrew root meaning “attachment.”)
A Prayer Schedule
Many years ago, when Jewish Jewels was still Love Song to the Messiah, I developed a guide for praying throughout the day. It is based on some of the traditional Jewish prayers as well as times of prayer in the New Covenant Scriptures. The prayer schedule begins at 6:00 AM and continues past midnight. May it help you in your personal prayer life. Be sure to pray for miracles and victory at 3:00 PM each day!
6:00 AM – Creativity
“Blessing the Creator” is an early morning Jewish prayer in which God is praised for His creative role in the ongoing process of creation. Pray that God imparts His creativity to your life, to your family, congregation, and to the ministry of Jewish Jewels, especially in the areas of writing and evangelism.
7:00 AM – Love
“Ahavah Rabbah” (“Great Love”) אהבה רבה is the next traditional morning blessing. In this prayer, God is thanked for His great love for Israel. Ask God to fill your heart with this pure, divine love. It is time that the Jewish people, and all people, see this love in US. (Rom. 13:10-11)
8:00 AM – Israel to Hear
The “Shema” שמהis the first prayer that Jewish children are taught to say. It is the last utterance of martyrs, and the historic proclamation of Judaism’s central creed. The Shema is said on arising in the morning and on going to sleep at night:
“Shema, Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad.”
Hear O Israel, the Lord (is) our God, the Lord is One. (Deut.6:4)
Pray that the ears of our Jewish people will be opened to hear the truth of one God in three persons. May Israel hear the Gospel!
9:00 AM – Outpouring of God’s Spirit
This is approximately the “3rd hour of the day” which is spoken of frequently in the Holy Scriptures. 9:00 AM was an important hour for prayer. May it be for us, too! In Acts 2:15, we see that at 9:00 AM, Peter explained to a huge crowd in Jerusalem that the disciples were not drunk—but filled with the Spirit. Pray for a great outpouring of God’s Spirit on the Bride of Messiah, the House of Israel, and the United States of America.
10:00 AM – Peace (Shalom)
Psalm 122:6 says, “Pray for the PEACE of Jerusalem. They shall prosper that love thee.” Pray for the city and for the people. Pray for shalom שלום, especially from within. One of our partners wrote, “I feel that Jerusalem is the place where Peace is to begin and you Jewish people who believe in Jesus as the Messiah are the beginning of that Peace.“
11:00 AM – Abba’s Kingdom to Come
Matt. 6:6-15 exhorts us to pray in secret to our Father in Heaven, praying for His Kingdom to come, and His will to be done—in earth and in us. Please pray for Jamie, Sheryl, Claudia, Kim, and their role in God’s Kingdom, asking the Father to speak to them in the secret place of prayer. Pray for those in Messianic leadership to hear God’s voice and obey.
12:00 PM – Rest in the Lord
The “sixth hour of the day” is an important time in the Bible. It should be an hour for feeding the Spirit, much more than for feeding the flesh. Noon can be a special time of communion with the Good Shepherd—a soul-quenching time beside still waters! Pray for special rest at noon (Song of Sol. 1:7) for all God’s children. Peter had an interesting vision as he prayed at noon (Acts 10:9-16). You might, too!
1:00 PM – Signs and Wonders
Yeshua spoke the Word and a nobleman’s son was healed during the seventh hour (approx. 1:00 PM) as recorded in John 4:52. The Messiah said to the nobleman: “Unless you see signs and miracles happen, you never will believe at all” (John 4:48). The man saw and believed. Pray for God to heal and perform signs and wonders as the Good News is shared with the House of Israel. Yeshua is the same—yesterday, today, and forever!
2:00 PM – Bless Your Enemies
A good time of day to pray for those who persecute you—and us! (Matt. 5:44) Yeshua tells us to love our enemies. Love is the most powerful weapon of all. Pray for God to convert the hearts of those who hate His people, Israel. Pray against anti-semitism in the U.S. and other countries. Pray for grace and protection for the persecuted Body of Messiah worldwide.
3:00 PM – Victory and Miracles
This “ninth hour of the day” has always been a special time of prayer in Judaism. “And about the ninth hour [three o’clock] Yeshua cried with a loud voice, and gave up His spirit” (Matt. 27:46, 50). In Acts 3:1, we read about Peter and John going up to the temple at the “hour of prayer,” the ninth hour, and how God used them in healing a crippled man. In Acts 10:30, Cornelius was praying at 3:00 PM when suddenly an angel appeared to him. 3:00 is an hour of victory and miracles for believers. Yeshua’s death meant our life. He became sin for us. He paid our debt and set us free. Pray for a fresh anointing to deliver this message in power to the Jewish people.
4:00 PM – Jewish Families
In John 1:39, we see two Jewish brothers—Andrew and Simon Peter—leave what they are doing to follow Yeshua. They realized that they had found the Messiah. Pray that Jewish men—and women—and their families will find the Messiah today … and follow Him wherever He leads.
5:00 PM – Kingdom Workers
This “eleventh hour of the day” is the time at which the last laborers were called into the vineyard in the parable of Matt. 20. Pray for those whom God is calling in this 11th hour! Ask God to lead you to these open hearts.
6:00 PM – Food for the Hungry
May we never forget to bless the Lord as we bless our food and to invite Him to join us at our table. Pray for Rev. 3:20 to be a daily experience for all those related to Jewish Jewels. Pray for those who hunger and those who suffer for their faith throughout the world.
7:00 PM – Wisdom
Ask God to give Jamie and the Jewish Jewels ministry wisdom in redeeming the time, for the days are evil (Eph. 5:16).
8:00 PM – Humility
Pray for the right attitude of heart—humility, meekness, brokenness, and thankfulness—and agree with God on Hosea 10:12: “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you.“
9:00 PM – Protection
Paul was rescued in this “third hour of the night” from a plot to kill him (Acts 23:23). Truly God is our defense! He gives his angels charge over us (Psalm 91:11). Pray for protection for Jamie and the staff, for our Jewish Jewels partners, and for the Jewish people, especially those in the land of Israel.
10:00 PM – The Bible
“Ahavat Olam” (“Eternal Love”) אהבת עולם is an evening blessing, thanking and praising God for His everlasting love for His people and for the life sustaining power of the Torah (Bible). Pray for the Bible (God’s Love Letter to man) to be placed in the hands of thousands of Jewish people. Pray for the King’s Point “Know the Bible” Club (meeting the 2nd and 4th Mondays at 7:00 PM)—for pre-believing Jewish people to attend and receive their Messiah.
11:00 PM – Rebuke HaSatan
“Hashkiveinu” (“Cause Us to Lie Down”) השכבנו is the second prayer said after the evening “Shema.” Included in this prayer is a request for the enemy to be rebuked: “Remove the adversary from before us and from behind us. Shelter us in the shadow of thy wings.” Bind, in the Name of Yeshua, the forces of the enemy that would try to keep God’s people from lying down in peace. Loose the grace of God and the canopy (huppah חופה) of His peace over all God’s people.
12:00 AM – Anointing
“And at midnight there was a cry made, ‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him‘” (Matthew 25:6). Pray for God’s anointing to rest on the ministry of Jewish Jewels as we send forth the cry: “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!” in this midnight hour of history.
1:00 AM – on… Sacrifice
“Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord.” Lam. 2:19 “… present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service…” Romans 12:1
National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer Task Force wants to make May 5, 2022, a “day that rattles the rafters of Heaven.” Not a “moment of silence,” but God’s people coming to Him with our prayers and petitions. What does the Bible say about this? “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications…and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (I Tim. 2:1-2).
May 5, 2022 needs to be the day when Americans of faith come to the Lord—boldly and loudly— to ask for His mercy and for the return of His blessings to the United States of America. Prayer concerns—just a sampling:
- Abortion: a national tragedy; at least 62 million abortions since ROE v. WADE (1973)
- Infanticide: One state actually is voting on a bill to legalize abortion up to 28 days after a baby is born. Stand against this in Yeshua’s Name!
- “In God We Trust” to remain on our currency; righteousness to reign in our homes and nation.
- Sex education to remain in the home, under parental, not governmental, authority
- Free speech and religious liberty for Christians and all Americans
- Defeat of anti-America, anti-family, anti-God ideologies in our country
- End to racial tensions, violence, and anti-semitism
- Godly leadership to be established in our government—leaders to seek God’s wisdom
- Wisdom in world affairs (Russia, China, Iran, etc.)
- The U.S.A. to remain a friend of Israel
- Revival—beginning with Yeshua’s Body —to usher in a great harvest of souls
Mothers, Children, and Prayer
What mother (even those who do not know God) has not prayed for her children? Mothers and prayer go together. Their prayers are like the Ahavah Rabbah (Great Love) אהבה רבה prayer at 7:00 AM. I am always reminded of St. Augustine’s mother, Monica, 4th century B.C., who raised her three children as a single mother, following her husband’s premature death. Her life was filled with struggles, but she persevered in teaching her children the ways of Messiah. Her son Augustine caused her much grief. He was a difficult child and uninterested in Christianity. But his mother never stopped praying for him, and after many years of prayer Monica finally saw her son give his life to the service of God. Augustine attributed his salvation and calling to his mother’s prayers. He said that his mother gave birth to him twice, with the second time requiring a lengthy, spiritual travail of prayers and tears. Never stop praying, moms! God has promised: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man [or woman] avails much” (James 5:16). “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13). “Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children” (Ps. 90:16).
After fourteen years of marriage to Neil Abraham Lash, I gave birth to a son: Jonathan Isaac Lash. I prayed for my firstborn during the entire pregnancy. One of the prayers became a song which my friend, Jamie Ellen, sang at Jonathan’s baby dedication. The song is called “The Heartbeat Song” because I wrote it after hearing my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. “May your heartbeat at the impulse of His love. May the Lord your portion always be, for He has called you from your mother’s womb to serve Him faithfully. May your heartbeat at the impulse of His love. May you touch the very heart of God. And give Him joy and gladness from your life of loving just like Him. Remember. Remember the call. God has chosen you. God has chosen you. God has chosen you.”
Jonathan veered from the narrow path during his teenage years, but, today, he is a gifted pastor, serving the Lord full time. His goal is to make disciples and train up passionate followers of Messiah. Jonathan is an energetic, spirit-filled preacher, with a multi-ethnic congregation of primarily millennial followers of Jesus. Neil was so proud of the man of God that Jon had become, and I am in awe as I experience his weekly sermons and ministry to his flock. Our God is a faithful God! And now a word from my son, Jonathan:
“Thank you so much for praying for my mom! After speaking with doctors, the fact that they even found the cancer when they did was a miracle in itself! We very easily could have been looking at a much more serious scenario. BUT GOD! Because my mother is a cancer suvivor, and MD Anderson is a cancer research hospital, they performed one additional test back in August of 2021 that helped them discover the breast cancer. Mom immediately began hormone therapy (eight months) which has yielded incredible results. The doctors are extremely happy. God, again, is clearly at work. Since the hormone therapy treatment was so effectve, chemotherapy will not be needed (a big answer to prayer). By the time this letter reaches you, mom will have had surgery (April 26, 2022) to make sure that no cancer travels from the infected lymph nodes to any other part of her body. She will be totally healed. God has clearly been on the case all along! Your prayers for a speedy and total recovery are greatly appreciated.” – Jon Lash
I thank God that both Jonathan and my youngest son, Jesse, have accompanied me to Houston during this nine-month trial. They have been a source of comfort, strength, and joy. I am a grateful mother.
God Desires to Answer Prayer…
However…there are reasons your prayers may not be answered. Make sure the following are not hindering any of your petitions to the Lord:
- unbelief: Matt. 21:22; Mark 11:24
- sin and secret sin: Ps. 66:18; Is. 59:2
- not honoring wives: I Peter 3:7
- unrighteousness: I Peter 3:12
- pride: I Peter 5:5
- disobedience: I John 3:22
- neglect of mercy: Prov. 21:13
- despising the law: Prov. 28:9
- instability of faith: James 1:6,7
- self-indulgence: James 4:3
- half-hearted seeking: Jer. 29:13
Let’s pray together: “Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. SELAH” (Ps. 61:1-4).
Praying for all of us—to have a greater desire and ability to pray—in Yeshua’s Name,
P.S. It has been said: “Seven days without prayer makes one weak.” How true!