The Torn Curtain

Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  Mark 15:38 (NKJV)

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the National Day of Prayer, a designated day of prayer in the United States of America. Seventy is such a significant number. Seventy Israelites went down to Egypt in Genesis to be with Joseph. When Jacob died, Joseph and his brothers mourned for seventy days. Seventy elders went with Moses to the Mountain of God. The Israelites were exiled to Babylon for seventy years. Jesus calls us to forgive people seventy times seven times. Could it be that God will do some extraordinary miracles this 70th year of the National Day of Prayer? We pray that He will!!!

Already we are seeing glorious answers to prayer. A few faithful prayer warriors meet together weekly at my church. One prayer request has been for unborn babies because abortion hurts our hearts and the heart of God. It is no wonder that the enemy goes after babies, for we are all made in God’s image. The enemy wants to blot out that image, but we say ENOUGH! We will not sacrifice our children to idols! Each week we pray for the babies, and guess what! This past week the governor of our state signed five new pro-life bills into law! We praise God for His glorious answers to prayer!

Last year for the National Day of Prayer, our church hosted a special speaker (Tony George via zoom) who compared prayer to the tabernacle. He explained each part of the tabernacle and how that represents a part of prayer. I loved his example and want to share it with you in relation to My TEA CUPP Prayers….

For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All. Hebrews 9:2-3 (NKJV)

The tabernacle (and later the temple) was set up according to the plan Moses received from God on the mountain. First was the gate where we enter with THANKSGIVING. Then came the alter of sacrifice where we pour out our praise and offerings, EXALTING our God. Then came the lever for washing, a place for ADMITTING our sins and being washed clean. And that was just the courtyard. Then entering the tent on the right side was the table of showbread, where Jesus, the Bread of Life, feeds us with His Word and shows us our CALLING. On the left side was the golden lampstand, representing Jesus, the Light of the world, who helps us in UNDERSTANDING our stories by lighting our way. Then came the altar of incense which I use to claim God’s PROMISES that all my prayers rise up to Him in heaven. Lastly, behind the curtain, was the Most Holy Place with the Ark of the Covenant. It is here that we can now meet with God the Father, PETITIONING Him for all that is on our hearts.

And you shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the ark of the Testimony in there, behind the veil. The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy. Exodus 26:33 (NKJV)

Before Jesus gave His life on the cross, only the designated high priest could enter the Holy of holies to minister before God once a year. It is said that when he went into the Holy of holies to perform his duties, they would tie a rope to his ankle in case he died while behind the curtain. Then they could drag the priest back out without entering the Holy of holies. In Matthew chapter 1 we read about the priest Zacharias who was taking his turn at burning incense before the Lord. While Zacharias was in the temple, a multitude of people were outside praying. And it was then that the angel appeared to Zacharias and announced the birth of John the Baptist. John, who would point people to the Savior Jesus. The same Jesus, who would tear the curtain from top to bottom.

Let’s read a bit of Mark 15:37-41 about the day Jesus died… “And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.”

Dear Ladies, I want you to notice three things. First, Jesus breathed His last and died. He willingly gave His life, taking the punishment we deserve for our sins. All the sins of all the world were upon Him as He shed His blood and gave His life for us, because He loves us. Secondly, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. This curtain was so huge and so thick that no person could reach up and tear it from the top, perhaps from the bottom, but not from the top. This was done by the hand of God at the death of His only begotten Son, opening the door to the Holy of holies for all who believe. Finally, notice all the women that were there. Jesus loved ladies as a Father and brother and still loves us today. We should continue to gather around His cross, seek Him at the tomb, and enter into the throne room to speak with His Father. Jesus, is our High Priest who holds open the curtain for us!

Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, Hebrews 8:1 (NKJV)

Imagine the panic in the temple after Jesus’ death when suddenly the Holy of holies was exposed! How did they fix it without breaking the Jewish traditions? There was no need to repair it for God was inviting all to enter the Holy of holies and He still invites us today. Ladies, Jesus’ sacrificial death has torn the veil for us so we can enter the very presence of God!

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh. Hebrews 10:19-20 (NKJV)

Nancy Campbell, founder above Above Rubies, tells in a recent podcast how too many of us are just hanging around in the temple courtyard. Nancy says, we’ve come into the courtyard and been washed clean by the blood of Jesus, but we’re just standing there. We need to go into the inner court and pour our hearts out to God.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Mark 15 for the whole story of Jesus’ crucifixion and the torn curtain. Read Hebrews 9 for more about the Tabernacle. Move from the courtyard into the Holy of Holies, dear sister! Jesus invites you! He tore the curtain for you. Come, make your requests to the Father. And pray especially today for the United States of America, expecting great miracles in this 70th year of the National Day of Prayer!

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil. Hebrews 6:19 (NKJV)

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,  Ephesians 2:14 (NKJV)

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Oh, America, Why Do You Sleep?

Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”  Luke 22:46 (NKJV)

While you are asleep, America, someone is killing your children and grandchildren.  

While you are asleep, America, someone is letting evil across your borders.

While you are asleep, America, someone is eroding the Biblical values upon which this nation was built.  Oh, America, Why do you sleep?  

Dear Ladies, this week I exhort you to pray for this nation more than ever.  Abortion and baby-killing are being funded by our government.  Our borders have been opened for the horrors of human-trafficking and drug cartels.  And the Biblical laws that were the basis for our country are being eroded with every swipe of Washington’s pen.  

God’s Word to the prophet Jeremiah proclaims, The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it” (Jeremiah 18:7-10). Oh, America, how can you sleep?

Did you know that before Jesus went to the cross, He exhorted His disciples in the same way? Our dear Savior was pouring His heart out to His Heavenly Father in the Garden of Gethsamene.  He took His close friends Peter, James, and John, asking them to stay and watch with Him.  Jesus was only a stone’s throw away from them as He petitioned the Father to remove this cup of crucifixion.  Three times He prayed and then found the disciples sleeping.  Our precious Lord was alone in His prayers.  

Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”  Matthew 26:45-46 (NKJV)

Oh, America, Rise and pray!

Jesus still comes to us today, saying, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and (America) is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.” The Lord is calling us today, “Rise and pray!”  He looks down from heaven upon His children to see if any seek after Him.  Are we reading our Bibles? Are we praying? Are we lifting up this country and leaders? Are we praying for the babies and children and peace and safety for all?  Are we praying for God to raise up Christian leaders who will reclaim this nation with laws based on God’s Word?  Oh, dear ones, there is so much for which we must pray, we could pray all night like Jesus.

Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12 (NKJV)

Oh, America, God will hear your cries!

Ladies, our prayers for America are not in vain.  Over and over in His Word, God promises that He hears our cries and will be gracious to us…

You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.  Job 22:7 (NKJV)

Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear. Psalm 10:17 (NKJV)

…He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
When He hears it, He will answer you.  Isaiah 30:19 (NKJV)

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.  1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Oh ladies across America, why do you sleep? Rise and pray!  God will hear your cries!  Read and pray Daniel 9:1-19. Join in the National Day of Prayer on May 6th and pray for our country and leaders more than ever. Then continue to pray every day for your family and neighbors. May God sweep this land with a revival, turning hearts to Him, and pouring out His Holy Spirit before His return.

O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name… Nehemiah 1:11 (NKJV)

Arise, O Lord,
Do not let man prevail;
Let the nations be judged in Your sight.
Put them in fear, O Lord,
That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Psalm 9:19-20 (NKJV)

Help us, O God of our salvation,
For the glory of Your name;
And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins,
For Your name’s sake!
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Let there be known among the nations in our sight
The avenging of the blood of Your servants which has been shed.  Psalm 27:9-10 (NKJV)

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.  Psalm 33:12 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

God Bless the USA

We interrupt our regularly-scheduled devotion to bring you this important update from the heart of My TEA CUPP Prayers blogger, Jennifer Grace…

...I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.  Nehemiah 1:4 (NKJV)

Hello, dear TEA friends,  Instead of my usual devotion today, I decided to write what is on my heart because I’m guessing it’s on many of yours, as well.  If it’s not what you want to hear, that’s okay, you can switch to another website. What’s on my heart today? Our country, The United States of America.

Like many of you, I’ve lifted up so many prayers this past year for our country and its leaders.  When I read Bible verses about plagues in Exodus, I asked God to heal our land from the coronavirus.  When I read verses about fasting in Esther, I fasted and prayed for our nation.  When I read verses about Rachel weeping for her children,  I confessed the sins of our nation and pleaded with God for His mercy and forgiveness.  

When the election came in November, I continued my prayers for our nation as I cast my vote.  And for whom did I vote?  I voted for the one who will work to save those precious babies.  I voted for the one who cares for the people of this country and wants to the protect them in every way. I voted for the one who will keep our nation open so I can travel and invite ladies everywhere to tea with Jesus. I voted for the one who still believes the founding fathers’ edict for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in all honesty and integrity.

When the new year came, we still did not know who won the election, and our pastor invited us to begin the M’Cheyne Daily Bible Reading Plan.  Ready for a fresh challenge, I signed up.  Now, instead of reading just two Bible readings a day, we are reading four different places in Scripture.  One of these selections is Nehemiah, where I find myself right before the Presidential inauguration.  

What does Nehemiah offer us?  I have found many parallels to our 45th President.  Nehemiah 2:8 says, “the good hand of my God upon me.”  I believe the good hand of God has been upon our President since day one, how else could he have endured so much persecution and mudslinging? Nehemiah 2:18 says of the wall around Jerusalem, “‘Let us rise up and build.’  Then they set their hands to this good work.”  As one of his hundreds of accomplishments, our President has been building a wall which is now over 400 miles long to protect our citizens.  While Nehemiah 3:5 tells of some who “did not put their shoulder to the work of their Lord.” I’m afraid that could apply to many others who hold public office.  

Nehemiah 5:14 tells how neither he nor his brothers “ate the governor’s provisions.”  Our President never took a salary the entire time he’s served at the White House.  And up until last week, he “continued the work on this wall…”  (Nehemiah 5:16, NKJV).

I pray that as our President prepares for the morrow, He is praying Nehemiah 5:19 and 6:3,9…“Remember me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people…I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down…O God, strengthen my hands.”  

Oh, dear President, God is doing a great work and He is coming down soon to help you. And one day He will say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Stand strong and to God be the glory!

…Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome… Nehemiah 4:14 (NKJV)

And when the 11th or 13th hour miracle happens on the morrow, when President Donald “Nehemiah” Trump is anointed President once again, may all Americans perceive that this work was done by our God (Nehemiah 6:16, NKJV) and turn to Him with all their hearts!

…Our God will fight for us.  Nehemiah 4:20 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night… (Nehemiah 1:5-6, NKJV)

God bless America, land that I love, Stand beside her and guide her, Through the night with the light from above, From the mountains to the prairies, To the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home (Irving Berlin, 1918)

America, America!  God shed His grace on thee, And crown they good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea! (Katharine Bates, 1893)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

 

Standing in the Breach with Psalm 106

…Had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach… Psalm 106:23 (NKJV)

When I was a little girl, my parents took my siblings and me to the Grand Canyon.  I remember my mom holding our shirt collars as we looked over the edge into the great abyss. Then I grew up to be a mom and did the same thing for our children. Any time we went to a National Park with deep gorges, I held shirt collars to prevent my children from plummeting into the canyon depths. 

Friends, our country needs moms to hold shirt collars again! We need you to pray like never before for your children and for this great nation. Don’t let go! Don’t let us fall into the depths! Don’t lose the faith!  Believe with all your heart that God will save this great land.  Hold those shirt collars!

Did you know Moses did the same thing for God’s children, the Israelites?  While Moses was on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments from God, the people were down below making a golden calf.  God wanted to wipe them all out and make a new people from Moses.  But Moses stood in the breach and pleaded with the Lord on their behalf.  And God heard their prayers!  God will hear your prayers, too, dear friend.  Here are some verses you can pray from Psalm 106 today…  

T for Thanksgiving:

Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.  Psalm 106:1 (NKJV)

…To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise. Psalm 106:47 (NKJV)

E for Exalting:

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord! Psalm 106:48 (NKJV)

A for Admitting:

We have sinned with our fathers,
We have committed iniquity,
We have done wickedly.  Psalm 106:6 (NKJV)

Because they rebelled against His Spirit,
So that he spoke rashly with his lips.  Psalm 106:33 (NKJV)

They even sacrificed their sons
And their daughters to demons,
And shed innocent blood…  Psalm 106:37-38 (NKJV)

C for Calling:

Blessed are those who keep justice,
And he who does righteousness at all times!  Psalm 106:3 (NKJV)

U for Understanding:

Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds,
And the plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and intervened,
And the plague was stopped.  Psalm 106:29-30 (NKJV)

P for Promises:

Nevertheless He regarded their affliction,
When He heard their cry;
And for their sake He remembered His covenant,
And relented according to the multitude of His mercies.  Psalm 106:44-45 (NKJV)

P for Petitions:

Remember me, O Lord, with the favor You have toward Your people.
Oh, visit me with Your salvation. Psalm 106:4 (NKJV)

Save us, O Lord our God,
And gather us from among the Gentiles… Psalm 106:47 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Dear TEA Friend, You have such an important job to do! Just as Moses stood in the breach to save the children of Israel, we must stand in the breach to save the United States of America.  Keep praying for our nation, dear prayer warriors. Keep interceding on behalf of babies, our President, and anything else the Holy Spirit puts upon your heart.  

And an extra prayer for the USA:

That I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones,
That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation,
That I may glory with Your inheritance.  Psalm 106:5 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982