MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER

(Reviewed)

 

Today we are going to review the appointed times of prayer; many of us have studied this before but I am sure that you will all agree that there is nothing wrong with reviewing a topic such as this. Especially since prayers is one of those things that helps us grow spiritually and it is a must for those brethren that want to get close to Yahweh.  

  So how does one pray? Is there a way to pray which pleases Yahweh and is there an appointed time for prayer? This study hopes to answer some of the questions that we might have regarding prayer. The goal of this study is to help us improve our relationship and our communication with our Father Yahweh.

 The fact is that Yahweh has definitely set an appointed time for prayer; think of the fact that he appointed the moedim so that we can come before him several times throughout the year. So just like a judge sets a time to hear a case, Yahweh has arranged a time for which we are to come before him. This is not to say that the times that we will be studying in this article are the only times for prayer. In fact Yahweh is happy to hear our petitions during any time of the day and/or night; however he has set aside a time in which he has asked us to come before him (daily); to stand/kneel, bow or prostrate ourselves before him and to give attention to his presence.

 Before we begin our study let us review two pivotal words. They are Boqer (morning-sunrise) and Ereb (evening-sunset) Strong number’s 1242 and 6153 respectively. These two words are critical for our study because they are the appointed times which Yahweh established as our times for our daily prayers.

 Morning ( Sunrise )

OT:1242  boqer (bo'-ker); from OT:1239; properly, dawn (as the break of day); generally, morning: KJV - (+)day, early, morning, morrow.

 OT:1239baqar (baw-kar); a primitive root; properly, to plough, or (generally) break forth, i.e. (figuratively) to inspect, admire, care for, consider:KJV - (make) inquire (-ry), (make) search, seek out.

 Evening(Sunset)

OT:6153 `ereb (eh'-reb); from OT:6150; dusk: KJV - + day, even (-ing, tide), night.

         OT:6150 `arab (aw-rab'); a primitive root [identical with OT:6148 through the idea of covering with a  texture]; to grow dusky at sundown: KJV - be darkened, (toward) evening.

 The appointed time for sacrifices mentioned at creation

Many things were established at the time of creation. One of these things were the times for the appointed sacrifices that would later be mentioned in the Second Book of Moshe (Moses)  (Exodus). Notice what we are told in the First Book of Moshe:

Gen 1:5 5 Elohim called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening6153, and there was morning1242--the first day.

  A pattern of praises were established through the daily ritual sacrifices which were to occur in the morning (sunrise) and the evening (sunset):

Amongst the many rules, laws and precepts that Yahweh gave Moshe (Moses) regarding the animal sacrifices, He made it perfectly clear that on two occasions, sunrise and sunset, the priests were to make mandated offerings.

Ex 29:38-41 38 "This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. 39 Offer one in the morning1242and the other at twilight6153. 40 With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives, and a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering. 41 Sacrifice the other lamb at twilight with the same grain offering and its drink offering as in the morning--a pleasing aroma, an offering made to Yahweh by fire.

            

Lev 6:19-21 19 Yahweh also said to Moshe, 20 "This is the offering Aaron and his sons are to bring to Yahweh on the day he is anointed: a tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning1242 and half in the evening6153.

             

1 Chron 16:40 40 to present burnt offerings to Yahweh on the altar of burnt offering regularly, morning1242 and evening6153, in accordance with everything written in the Law of Yahweh, which he had given Yisrael.

           

2 Chron 2:4 4 Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of Yahweh my Elohim and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning1242 and evening6153 and on Sabbaths and New Moons and at the appointed feasts of Yahweh our Elohim. This is a lasting ordinance for Yisrael.

 

2 Chron 13:11-12 11 Every morning1242 and evening6153 they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to Yahweh. They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing the requirements of Yahweh our Elohim. But you have forsaken him.

           

Ezra 3:3  3 Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to Yahweh, both the morning1242 and evening6153 sacrifices.

 

 

The appointed time for sacrifices

 

The next verse makes it perfectly clear that these sacrifices were appointed times; the word used here is #4150 Mowed, which is the same word describing the Set-Apart Days of Yahweh.

             

Num 28:1-5 28:1 Yahweh said to Moshe, 2 "Give this command to the Yisraelites and say to them: 'See that you present to me at the appointed time4150 mowed the food for my offerings made by fire, as an aroma pleasing to me.' 3 Say to them: 'This is the offering made by fire that you are to present to Yahweh: two lambs a year old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day. 4 Prepare one lamb in the morning1242 and the other at twilight6153, 

 

Lev 23:2 2 Speak unto the children of Yisrael, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts4150 mowed of Yahweh, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts4150 mowed .

 

 

Prayer test proposed by Eliyah at the time of the evening sacrifice:

 

We see here an example of how Eliyah understood the importance of this appointed time (sunset) in that he allowed the priests of Baal to make fools of themselves until the time that Yahweh appointed. Then precisely at Yahweh’s appointed time, Eliyah called out to Him and He answered by performing His miracle:

 

1 Kings 18:26-38 26 So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made…..they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. ….36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O YHWH, Elohim of Abraham, Yisaac and Yisrael, let it be known today that you are Elohim in Yisrael and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. …38 Then the fire of Yahweh fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

 

Prayer offered in the morning (#1242 Sunrise):

There are many verses in the Scriptures that point to the morning (sunrise) as an important time for prayer. In all of these verses, the word ‘morning’ refers to #1242 which means sunrise:

 

Ps 5:1-3 Give ear to my words, O YHWH, consider my sighing. 2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my Elohim, for to you I pray.  3 In the morning1242, O YHWH, you hear my voice; in the morning1242 I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.

 

Ps 88:13-14 13 But I cry to you for help, O YHWH; in the morning1242 my prayer comes before you. 14 Why, O YHWH, do you reject me and hide your face from me?

 

Ps 143:8 8 Let the morning1242 bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

 

Isa 33:2 2 O YHWH, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning1242, our salvation in time of distress.

 

 

Evening (#6153 Sunset)

It is possible that the patriarchs were aware of the appointed times of prayer; notice that  Yisaac (Isaac) was on his way to pray during the time of the evening Sacrifice. We are well aware that this occurred long before Yahweh spoke to Moshe:

             

Gen 24:63 63 And Yisaac went out to meditate [pray] in the field at the eventide6153: ….

Next, we see in the book of Ezra that when he was told that the priests had sinned, he waited until the time of the evening sacrifice. Upon that time he then begin to pray and to call out to Yahweh:

 

Ezra 9:4-5 4 Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the Elohim of Yisrael, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening6153 sacrifice. 5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto YHWH my Elohim.

 

David understood the importance of prayer during this time. Since he could not perform the required sacrifice, he requested that Yahweh accept this prayer as the evening sacrifice:

 

Ps 141:2-3 2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening6153 sacrifice.3 Set a watch, O YHWH, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

 

We see in the next verse that the hand of Yahweh was upon Ezekiel in the evening; the set apart time for prayer:

         

Ezek 33:22 22 Now the hand of YHWH was upon me in the evening6153, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.

 

David Prayed three times a day in the morning, noon and evening:

 

Notice that David added the noontime as a time to pray, however he kept in line with the appointed times (sunrise and sunset).

         

Ps 55:17 17 Evening6153, morning1242 and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.

 

Daniel’s example of prayer:

 

In Daniel Chapter 6 we are told that he prayed three times a day. It is very likely that he prayed during the times that are mentioned in the above Psalm (55:17). The interesting point about Daniel is that he was in exile. In other words he could not perform the prescribed sacrifices that Yahweh had commanded Moshe. But in obedience to those times, Daniel instead gave attention to Yahweh in prayer. We see many examples throughout his writings that Yahweh heard his prayers.  Notice the next verse which makes clear that Daniel was in obedience to the appointed times of prayer:

Dan 9:21 21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening6153 oblation.

 

Our bodies are to be offered as Spiritual sacrifices:  

 

Both in the Old and New Testament, the assertion is made that our bodies are to be offered as spiritual sacrifices.

 

Rom 12:1-2 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of Elohim's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Elohim-this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Elohim's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Prayer from the lips is likened to an offering:

             

Hos 14:2 Take words with you and return to Yahweh. Say to him: "Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.

 

What about the New Testament:

 

One of the difficulties about this teaching is that it does not appear to be taught in the New Testament. On the surface we find the same dilemma with this teaching that we do with the Sabbath and the Feast Days. However, if we do a deep search and think like a Yisraelite instead of a Grecian; and if we take into account the Scriptures already mentioned in the Old Testament we can find harmonious continuity within the Scriptures. Take for example the story of Cornelius, we are told that he prayed to Elohim always. If we read his story very carefully we get the idea that he thought like a Yisraelite would have. We also notice that he pleased Yahweh with his prayers. Since Yahweh had commanded the hour of sacrifice/prayer, one can confidently assume that Cornelius prayed daily during those times and therefore Yahweh was pleased. In addition we see that Yahweh was pleased with the fact that Cornelius had a good heart.:

 

Acts 10:1-6 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared Elohim with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to Elohim always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of Elohim coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!" 4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, master?" So he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before Elohim. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.

 

The following Scriptures do not give us a time in which Paul was praying, however it is probable that being an Yisraelite he would have been aware of the times that Yahweh had established. We know for example that he kept all of the Commanded Feast days even though the New Testament doesn’t necessarily tell us so. Still one can strongly assume that he prayed continuously during the times allocated and probably at other times. Paul’s comment of “pray without ceasing” could very well be a reference to the fact that praying every day twice a day would be a form of “pray without ceasing.”

 

Rom 1:9-11 9 For Elohim is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, 10 making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of Elohim to come to you.

 

Rom 12:9-13 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving Yahweh; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;   

 

Eph 1:15-18 15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in Yahshua and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the Elohim of our Master Yahshua Ha Mashiach, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

 

 Col 1:9-10 9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;  

 

1 Thess 3:6-10 6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, greatly desiring to see us, as we also to see you-- 7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in Yahweh. 9 For what thanks can we render to Elohim for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our Elohim, 10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?

 

1 Thess 5:12-22 12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in Yahweh and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of Elohim in Mashiach Yahshua for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

 

1 Tim 5:3-6 3 Honor widows who are really widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before Elohim. 5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in Elohim and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.

 

2 Tim 1:3-4 3 I thank Elohim, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,

 

What about Yahshua?

 

We see many instances in which Yahshua prayed…in fact he even taught the disciples how to pray properly (Matt 6:9). A safe assumption with regard to Yahshua and prayer is that he would have also been aware of what Yahweh required. Yahshua would have also been aware of the morning and evening sacrifices and of the practices of those men that prayed during these times. It is possible that Yahshua was referring to the allocated times when he gave his advice for prayer in the following verses. Notice also he advises us not to babble and to watch what we say as this allotted times are very serious.

 

Matt 6:6-8 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

 The following verse makes it clear that prayer during this allotted times is very serious:

 

Eccl 5:2-3 2 Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before Elohim. Elohim is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. 3 As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.

 

Looking at some loose Scriptures

I identify loose scriptures as scriptures that make more sense when you put them in perspective with the allotted times of prayer. Take for instance the verse that warns against letting the sun go down on your anger. When one comes before Yahweh during the evening prayer, one must be right in his/her heart. Therefore one must deal with their problems before they stand/kneel before Him. It turns into a win-win situation. When we deal with our anger we are happier and we can experience more peace in our lives, relationships and marriages.

 

Eph 4:26-27 26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

 

One of the other loose Scriptures that makes more sense is when Yahweh gave the laws of purity. He certainly declared that a person would be unclean until sunset; this is because sunset is the end and start of the day but also because a sacrificial sin offering would be offered at that time. Being in presence and prayer with Yahweh is a step in the right direction towards being purified.

 

Lev 11:24-25 24 "'You will make yourselves unclean by these; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening6153. 25 Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening6153.

 

Similarly we see that Yahweh commanded that nobody would be hung on a tree after sunset. It is obvious that these allotted times for sacrifice/prayer are important to Yahweh.

 

Josh 8:29 29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day.

 

Another one of our loose Scriptures is the one that I find most intriguing. It has been a costum for many people that keep Atonement to call the people that they have offended and apologize so that they can fast with a clear conscience. Although this practice is a good one, it is evident to me that the verse which people use to support this practice has a better application when used with the appointed times of prayer.

 

Matt 5:23-24 23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

 

When we apply the above scripture to the appointed times for prayer, one of the things that we must do is to sort out any unresolved issues that we have with our brethren. The result is that we address our issues immediately instead of just before Atonement. Many studies have proven that resolving conflict early on is much healthier for us. Not to mention the fact that practicing conflict resolution with the brethren is one of the pathways to unity. If you have two brethren that keep the appointed times of prayer and they understand the significance of standing before Yahweh with a clear conscience then we can see that they will ensure that they stand before Yahweh with a clear conscience. In other words they will address whatever issues they have before them and then go before Yahweh in prayer:

 

1 Peter 3:12 2 For the eyes of YHWH are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of YHWH is against those who do evil."

 

 Manner of prayer

Kneeling:  1 Kings 8:54-55  When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to Yahweh, he rose from before the altar of Yahweh, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven. 55 He stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel in a loud voice, saying:

Luke 22:39-44 Yahshua went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." 41 He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

 Bowing and falling prostrate: Gen 24:26-27 Then the man bowed down and worshiped Yahweh, 27 saying, "Praise be to Yahweh, the Elohim of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, Yahweh has led me on the journey to the house of my master's relatives."

Ex 4:29-31 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything Yahweh had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that Yahweh was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

Mark 14:35-36 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."

 spreading out hands :1 Tim 2:8 I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

Ps 28:2 Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.

Standing: 

1 Sam 1:24-28 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of Yahweh at Shiloh. 25 When they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli, 26 and she said to him, "As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to Yahweh. 27 I prayed for this child, and Yahweh has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to Yahweh. For his whole life he will be given over to Yahweh." And he worshiped Yahweh there.

Mark 11:22-25 "Have faith in Elohim," Yahshua answered. 23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

Is there anything wrong with facing Jerusalem when we pray?

1 Kings 8:22-64 (verses- 29, 35, 44,      )

  Dan 6:10-11 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his Elohim, just as he had done before.

When we face Jerusalem we should be picturing ourselves in New Jerusalem.

 

New Jerusalem coming down from heaven: Rev 21