5783 Prayer & Repentance Leading to Yom Kippur

 

Date Focus Date Focus Date Focus
Day 1 (8/27) Rededicating Our Hearts Day 2 (8/28) Repentance Means Changing Day 3 (8/29) Purging The Dross
Day 4 (8/30) No More Will I Serve Other Gods Day 5 (8/31) Responding Faithfully Day 6 (9/1) Impending Judgment
Day 7 (9/2) Correct Change Day 8 (9/3) Wise in… Whose Eyes? Day 9 (9/4) Turn to Him
Day 10 (9/5) Devouring Sins Day 11 (9/6) “God, be Merciful to Me!”
Day 12 (9/7) Praying on Behalf of Others
Day 13 (9/8) Pray for His People Day 14 (9/9) Remember to be Thankful Day 15 (9/10) Do as He Has Done for You
Day 16 (9/11) Steadfast Hearts Day 17 (9/12) On Behalf Of My Generation Day 18 (9/13) Blessed Are Those Who Believe
Day 19 (9/14) Surrendering Our Desires Day 20 (9/15) Seriously Stop Sinning Day 21 (9/16) Praying for the Prodigals 
Day 22 (9/17) Take Action Like Zaccheaus Day 23 (9/18) The Forgiven Much Will Love Much Day 24 (9/19) Dying Daily
Day 25 (9/20) No More Questioning Day 26 (9/21) Praying for your Persecutors Day 27 (9/22) No More Running Away
Day 28 (9/23) God Gives Second Chances Day 29 (9/24) Having Humble Hearts Day 30 (9/25) Accepting the Consequences of our Sins 
Day 31 (9/26) Return to the LORD your God  Day 32 (9/27) Return with the Sacrifice of Your Lips Day 33 (9/28) Return in Your Relationships (pt. 1)
Day 34 (9/29) Return in Your Relationships (pt. 2) Day 35 (9/30) Return in Your Relationships (pt. 3) Day 36 (10/1) Return to Holiness
Day 37 (10/2) Return to Godly Stewardship Day 38 (10/3) Return to the Things Above Day 39 (10/4) Return to Forgiveness
Day 40 (10/5) Return to the Lord’s Liberty 

(8/27)Day 1, Elul 1 – Rededicating Our Hearts

【Read】 Isaiah 1:10-15.

【Devotion】

When we gather to worship God, pray, tithe, and study His Word, do our hearts truly desire God? Do we obey God out of sincere love for Him? Or are all these merely rituals? Let us no longer weary our God with futile sacrifices.

Pray and rededicate yourself to the Lord today.

【Prayer】

Heavenly Father, I dedicate today and the following 40 days to repentance and returning to You. Please forgive me for the times when I brought “futile sacrifices” to You. You do not delight in outward prayer and worship when our heart is not right with You. Today, I rededicate myself to You. Please purify my heart, cleanse my hands, and draw me closer to You. May I truly love You with all of my heart, soul, and strength.

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(8/28)Day 2, Elul 2 – Repentance Means Changing

【Read】Isaiah 1:16-20.

【Devotion】

Repentance comes with change. Stop sinning. Start doing good: “seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.”

Look through your current life and choose one thing to start changing today. Pray today, asking the Father to give you the desire to be obedient and the strength to change.

【Prayer】

Father, thank You for Your forgiveness and Your mercy. Please wash me and make me clean. Help me to seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, and stand up for the oppressed. Today, I choose one thing to start changing now: ___________________. 

Please empower me with Your Spirit and give me the desire to be obedient and the strength to change. 

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(8/29)Day 3, Elul 3 – Purging The Dross

【Read】 Isaiah 1:21-31

【Devotion】

Has your silver become dross? Has your love for God become diluted like “wine mixed with water”? Are there any things in your life that you have desired, like the “terebinth trees” of the Israelites, that you will be embarrassed of one day when you stand before the glorious throne of God?

Today, pray and ask God to purge the dross from your life.

【Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please forgive me for all the “terebinth trees” and “gardens” that I have desired, like the Israelites, and I know that I would be embarrassed of one day. Help me to set my mind on things above and things that last to eternity. Please purge away all the dross in my life and renew my love for you. 

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(8/30)Day 4, Elul 4 – No More Will I Serve Other Gods

【Read】 Isaiah 2:5-21.

【Devotion】

Are there “treasures” you have in your life that you love more than God, such as people, accomplishments, possessions, work, school, or other activities? Today, put away the idols of your heart and only worship the One True God. He alone will be exalted.

In your journal, write a prayer (or pray out loud right now) praising the One True God and repenting of any things in your life that you have put above Him.

【Prayer】

O Lord my God, You alone are the One True God. The lofty looks of man will be humbled and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low, but You, O LORD, alone will be exalted. 

Forgive me, O God, of all the treasures that I have loved more than You. Today, I put away the idols of my heart and dedicate myself to worship and You alone.

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(8/31)Day 5, Elul 5 – Responding Faithfully

Read Isaiah 5:1-7.

【Devotion】

The people of Israel did not respond faithfully to God’s care and all that He did for them. Where there should have been justice, there was oppression. Let us humble ourselves and not look down on the Israelites. 

Have we responded faithfully to all of God’s goodness toward us? In our lives, families, and congregations, where there should be peace, will God find strife? Where Yeshua’s (Jesus’) disciples should be humbly serving, do we find selfish people fighting for power? 

Today, respond faithfully to God. Pray for yourself, your family, and the body of Messiah.

【Prayer】

O Heavenly Father, You are my Well-beloved and You have cared for me all these years. Help me to respond faithfully to Your goodness toward me. Forgive me for the times when I have chosen to be proud and defend myself instead of seeking peace with others. Forgive us, O God, for forgetting the humble example that You set for us. In our churches and congregations, help us to desire to honor You alone and humbly serve one another. When You return, Lord, may You look for justice and find justice and may You look for righteousness and find righteousness.

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(9/1)Day 6, Elul 5 – Impending Judgment

【Read】 Isaiah 5:8-13.

【Devotion】

In our country, in our churches and congregations, and in our personal lives, do we see the sins that caused the impending judgment on Israel in Isaiah 5? Do we also follow our own addictions, rather than praise God for His wonderful works (vs.11-12)? Do the people in our country know God and do the rulers and “honorable” men of our country fear Him (vs.13)?

Pray and repent today of these sins, on behalf of your country, the body of Messiah, and wherever you have seen these sins.

【Prayer】

Have mercy on our country, the United States, O Lord, for our sins abound. Many continue in their addictions late at night and in the early morning hours, rather than turn to You and worship You. So many people in this country no longer know You, let alone fear You. Most of the prestigious scientists, policy makers, and political leaders deny You. Many who call themselves Christians and even some pastors are famished of solid knowledge of You and Your Word. Please forgive our ignorance, O merciful Father. Restore us and return us to You and Your ways.

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(9/2)Day 7, Elul 7 – Correct Change

【Read】 Isaiah 5:14-20.

【Devotion】

Note the sins listed in today’s passage, the ones that God declares, “Woe to…” In our country today, is what is good called evil, and what is evil called good? Do the believers stand up for the truth and shine God’s light in the world, or is darkness creeping in where there should be light? In today’s society, are dark sins praised and put in the spotlight? Repentance means changing, but distorting God’s truth is destructive and this is not the type of change that pleases God. True repentance means changing to conform to God’s ways. 

Today, repent and pray on behalf of your country and our society. Pray to the Lord for all His children to stand strong in His truth and love.

【Prayer】

Our merciful Father and King, we have sinned and done wickedly. In our country, what is evil is called good and what is good is called evil. In the spotlight and parades, they praise dark sins that You abhor. In many churches and congregations, where the light should shine brightest, there is darkness! Hypocrisy and immorality fill so many places that bear Your name. The fear of men abounds and many lack the fear of God. Have mercy on us, O Lord! May our country repent of our sins and return to You. Thank You for all the congregations and churches that continue to stand in Your truth; may You preserve Your remnant. For those that have fallen, may You bring them back.

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(9/3)Day 8, Elul 8 – Wise in… Whose Eyes?

【Read】 Isaiah 5:21-25

【Devotion】

In our country, in our churches and congregations, and in our personal lives, do we see the sins for which God’s “anger is not turned away but His hand is stretched out still”? Have we rejected God’s Torah to follow our own ways? Do we choose to be wise in our own eyes or do we choose to fear the Lord and be wise in His eyes?

Pray and repent today of these sins, on behalf of your country, the body of Messiah, and wherever you have seen these sins.

【Prayer】

O God, we are so weak and foolish. How many times have I been wise in my own eyes? So, so many times, I think that I can plan my steps, I think that I know what is the best for me, and I think that I can do it all on my own without You. Forgive me, O Lord, for my pride! May I not be wise in my own eyes. Help me to humble myself and repent. Help me to fear You, O Lord, for that is the beginning of wisdom. Please make me wise, not in my eyes, but in Your eyes.

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(9/4)Day 9, Elul 9 – Turn to Him

【Read】 Isaiah 9:8-17

Devotion

Today’s reading lists even more sins for which God’s “anger is not turned away but His hand is stretched out still.” Do we see these sins around us today? Whom the Lord loves, He chastens. When God strikes us, disciplines us, or brings us challenges in life, do we turn to Him and seek Him? 

Do you see God’s hand and discipline in your life? Do you listen when family and friends point out areas of your life in need of change? Pray to the Lord to help you to turn to Him and be humble and teachable.

【Prayer】

Help us, O Lord, to repent of all these sins for which Your anger is not turned away but Your hand is stretched out still. You, O Father, in Your great love for us, chasten us as Your beloved children so that we may turn to Your ways and seek You. Help us to be the people who will turn to the One who strikes us and seek the Lord of hosts. Help us to be teachable and listen to You and others who point out areas of our life in need of change.

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(9/5)Day 10, Elul 9 – Devouring Sins

【Read】 Isaiah 9:18-21 and Isaiah 10:1-4

【Devotion】

Do we see wickedness burning and spreading like fire all around us today? Do brothers fight against and devour one another? Do our policy makers decree unrighteous decrees and rob the needy of justice?

Pray and repent today of these sins, on behalf of your country, the body of Messiah, and wherever you have seen these sins.

【Prayer】

Dear Father, I look all around me today, and I see wickedness burning and spreading like fire. Policy makers in our land decree unrighteous decrees. Like Manasseh devouring Ephraim and Ephraim, Manasseh, brothers and sisters fight against and devour one another. Pardon our iniquities, O merciful God! Return us to You. Please start with me and help me to start by loving my brothers and sisters and seek Your righteousness at all times.

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(9/6)Day 11, Elul 11 – “God, Be Merciful to Me!”

【Read】 Luke 18:9-14

【Devotion】

Two people, two prayers, and two outcomes. Which person do you want to be like? Whose prayer will you choose to pray? 

As we embark on this 10-day series and read through prayers of repentance from the Bible, humbly repent before the Lord of any pride in your prayers. Start today with the tax collector’s prayer, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”

【Prayer】

God, be merciful to me, for I have sinned. Help me not to trust in my own righteousness, for there is none righteous but You alone. Forgive me for any times when I have despised others in my heart, for I once was also lost and rebellious. You had mercy, saved me, and redeemed me. Please, give me a humble heart. Help me to praise You and not myself. Help me not to despise others, but to love the lost and bring them back to You.

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(9/7)Day 12, Elul 12 – Praying on Behalf of Others

【Read】 Daniel 9:1-12

【Devotion】

Daniel walked in God’s commandments and held fast to the Lord, even when he was a young man in a foreign, pagan country. Yet, in today’s passage, Daniel repents of rejecting God’s law and departing from God’s commandments. Daniel is repenting on behalf of his people, who have departed from God’s laws.

We, too, should pray and repent on behalf of others. Today, pray and repent on behalf of your family, a people or social group you identify with (i.e., American people, Chinese people, college students, Christian fathers, etc.), or a country you identify with (United States, Mexico, Taiwan, etc.).

【Prayer】

O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we, ________ [name of group you are praying for] have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by ______ [list sins that you are repenting for]. Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us, shame of face, because we have sinned against You. You are longsuffering, O Father, and not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Please have mercy on us, bring us back, and give us a heart to fear You and always walk in Your ways.

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(9/8)Day 13, Elul 13 – Pray for His People

【Read】 Daniel 9:13-19

【Devotion】

Did you know that the Bible commands us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6)? God appointed Israel to be His chosen people and He made an everlasting covenant with them (Deut. 7:6-8, Gen. 17:6-8, 2 Sam. 7:23-24, Psa. 105:6, Isa. 43:4-10). They are still His people and God still loves them.

Today, pray through Daniel 9:13-19 and pray for Israel. Repent of any anti-semitism or any times when you have looked down or despised Israel. 

【Prayer】

Dear Heavenly Father, 

No other nation has preserved their culture and returned to their land after 2,000 years. Your hand has truly been working and the country of Israel is living proof that You are real. May the people of Israel return to You and Your Torah with all their hearts and come to know their Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus). 

Please fogive me, Lord, of any anti-semitism or any times when I have read the Word and looked down on the Israelites for their sins. I would have done the same if I were in their place. Please help me to humble myself and love Your people just as You love them.

Check out the song, “My People” by Ellah Gorelik and this dramatization of Romans 11.

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(9/9)Day 14, Elul 14 – Remember to Be Thankful

【Read】 Nehemiah 9:5-17

【Devotion】

Just as the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, so we were spiritually slaves of sin and hopeless. God, in His great mercy, looked on our affliction and redeemed us. He crushed the Egyptians in the Red Sea and He triumphed over our old master, sin. Let us not harden our hearts and return to serving our old master. Let us obey God and be thankful for what He has done!

Today, praise God for the freedom and new identity you have in Him. Repent of unthankfulness and start to have a grateful heart today.

【Prayer】

Thank you, God, for the freedom and new identity that I have in You! Thank you for Your salvation and mercy. Thank you for looking on my affliction and redeeming me from bondage to sin. Help me not to desire to return to my old master. Help me to truly be thankful to You and have a heart that desires to obey and please You.

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(9/10)Day 15, Elul 15 – Do as He Has Done For You

【Read】 Nehemiah 9:18-27

【Devotion】

Think through your life and all that the Lord has done for you. How have we repaid Him? He lovingly cares for us all the time. Do we love and care for others as He has done to us? He is ever patient and merciful to us. Are we patient and merciful to those who fail us again and again? He has blessed us and provided for us, and all that we have is from Him. After delighting ourselves in His goodness (Nehemiah 9:25), do we follow His ways and give generously back to others? 

Today, praise God for His love, patience, and generosity. May He make us more like Him.

【Prayer】

Father God, You have provided for my family and me, guided us, and cared for us every step of the way. It is because of You that we are where we are today. Thank You that I have never starved or lacked clothes to wear. It is You who has gone before me, blessed the work of my hands, and made my way prosperous. Time and again You have been patient with me, and whenever I cried out to You, You heard from heaven and answered my prayers. Please, make me more like You. Help me to be patient and merciful, and give generously to others because You have given so much to me.

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(9/11)Day 16, Elul 16 – Steadfast Hearts

【Read】 Nehemiah 9:28-31

【Devotion】

How many times have we experienced God’s answers to prayer, and then returned to our original ways shortly after He gave us relief? God has been so patient with us. Let us no longer shrug our shoulders and stiffen our necks. Let us return to Him and continue steadfastly in His ways. 

Do you have a hobby or sport that you are passionate about? When we love something, we always remember and look forward to it, and when we love someone, we always remember and look forward to being with the person. If you struggle with obedience to God, loving others, keeping your daily devotions, or praying regularly, ask God to change your heart today and fill you with passionate love and constant desire for Him. 

【Prayer】

Dear Lord, I praise You because You are so faithful in answering our prayers and so patient with us. Help me no longer to shrug my shoulders and stiffen my neck. Father, You are good and give good things to those who ask You, and today, I ask something that is pleasing in Your sight – that You give me a heart that loves and desires You. I desire to return to You, do what is good in Your sight, and steadfastly continue in Your ways. Thank You for always hearing my prayers.

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(9/12)Day 17, Elul 17 – On Behalf Of My Generation

【Read】 Psalm 78:5-11.

【Devotion】

What generation will you be? Will you set your hope in God, remember His works, and keep His commandments? Will you set your heart aright with the Lord? Will your spirit be faithful to God? Or, will you choose to be like the stubborn and rebellious generation? Will you reject God’s law like the children of Ephraim, forget His works, and turn back on the day of battle?

Pray and repent today on behalf of yourself and all those in your generation. 

【Prayer】

O God, please forgive my generation for turning away from You, for embracing ideologies that are not pleasing to You, and for thinking that we can bring peace and justice to the earth through our own ways. O Lord, help us to remember the works that You have done for our fathers and mothers. Starting from myself, may all of us set our hearts aright, set our hope in You, and obey Your commandments.

Enjoy this song, Give us clean hands.

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(9/13)Day 18, Elul 18 – Blessed Are Those Who Believe

【Read】 Psalm 78:12-22

【Devotion】

How faithful is our God! He parts the seas, guides us in the day, is the light for us in the darkest night, and opens rivers in the wilderness! Yet, do we still test God’s faithfulness? Do we doubt God’s love and “ask for the food of our fancy” or other things in life that are not pleasing in His sight?

Repent today of these things. Pray to God to help you to trust instead of test and believe rather than doubt.

【Prayer】

Dear Father, great is Your faithfulness! You have been so faithful to Your people. You are just as faithful today and You will always be faithful, for You are the same, yesterday, today, and forever. You see all things and You always give me what is the best for me. Forgive me for the times when I’ve doubted Your love and wanted my way. Help me to trust in You.

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(9/14)Day 19, Elul 19 – Surrendering Our Desires

【Read】 Psalm 78:23-33

【Devotion】

Will we rejoice in God’s provision, or will we crave our own desires? Today, lay before God all the desires of your heart – all accomplishments, all positions, your reputation, friendships, possessions, talents, money, and life goals. Surrender your all before His throne today.

【Prayer】

Lord, in today’s reading, I see how devastating it is when we desire our own cravings instead of trusting in Your provision. Lord, You know all my heart’s desires. I lay them all before Your feet. Help me to delight myself in You today – may Your will become my will and Your desires, my desires. I surrender my all before Your throne today.

Enjoy this beautiful song, “I surrender all.”

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(9/15)Day 20, Elul 20 – Seriously Stop Sinning

【Read】 Psalm 78:34-44

【Devotion】

How often do we earnestly seek God in trouble and then quickly forget His goodness and continue in our old sins? Do we understand the seriousness of our sins, that they grieve and cut at the Father’s heart? Do we know that our unfaithfulness limits Him? He desires to work in and through us in marvelous ways – if only we would faithfully submit and obey. Seriously stop sinning today. 

【Prayer】

Lord, You are so good, forgiving, gracious, and full of compassion. Please forgive me for the times when I have provoked, grieved, and limited You. Lord, help me to understand the seriousness of my sin – that they grieve and cut at Your heart and separate me from You. As I seek You and repent these 40 days, help me to not only start doing good, but to cease to do evil. Forgive me, O God, and please fill me with the strength to faithfully submit and obey so that You can do wonderful things through my life.

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(9/16)Day 21, Elul 21 – Praying for the Prodigals

【Read】 Luke 15:11-24

【Devotion】

Like the prodigal son, perhaps you have strayed far from home and sinned greatly. Or maybe you have always behaved well outwardly, served in your congregation, and even studied God’s Word, but have not truly come to know the God of the Word.

In the Bible, we read of Rachel weeping for her children because they are no more. That is our Father’s heart. He loves us all very much and it grieves His heart that so many of us are “no more” and wandering spiritually. 

Today, the Father’s loving arms are open. Today, He is waiting for people to repent and turn to Him. Today, it is not too late yet. One day it will be too late. No matter what you have done or been through, you can repent, return to the Father, and receive forgiveness today.

【Prayer】

If you are a prodigal who would like to return to the Father today, pray:

Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and I am not worthy to be called your child. Today I repent before You. I believe that You sent Your Son, Yeshua, Jesus, to die for my sins. Through His death and resurrection, I am washed clean and I have the hope of eternal life. Thank You for Your longsuffering, Your unconditional love, and Your forgiveness.

If you have returned to the Father, pray for the other prodigals in your life:

Father, I am not worthy to be called Your child, yet You saved me, loved me, and adopted me into Your family. Help me to continue to hold fast to You. Please give me a heart after Your own heart, a heart that understands how much You care for those who are “no more” and wandering spiritually. Help me to reach out to the lost and use me to bring many people back to You again.

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(9/17)Day 22, Elul 22 – Take Action Like Zaccheaus

【Read】 Luke 19:1-10

【Devotion】

If the Lord returned today, would you be ready? Look through your current life, and like Zaccheaus, take action. Restore what you have taken wrongfully, apologize, and mend relationships that you have broken.

【Prayer】

Merciful Savior, You have shown great mercy to me. Like Zaccheaus, I once was lost and You loved me, saved me, and called me by name. As when You told Zacchaeus, “I am coming to your house to stay today,” so Your Holy Spirit came to my heart to stay though I didn’t deserve it. Today, I repent, and like Zacchaeus, I will take action. Please forgive me for any words that I have said that hurt others. Today, I will start watching my words. If I have broken any relationships, today I will go to the people whom I have wronged and apologize. If I have taken credit for an accomplishment of someone else or taken things or money that didn’t belong to me, I will restore it today. 

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(9/18)Day 23, Elul 23 – The Forgiven Much Will Love Much

【Read】 Luke 7:36-50

【Devotion】

Through her tears, humility, affection, and offering, the sinful woman showed that she loved Yeshua (Jesus) much and was forgiven much. We have all been forgiven much. Let us all love Him much.

【Prayer】

Father, my sins are greater than a debt of 500 denarii and I had nothing with which to repay. Yet, You freely forgave me. Help me to love You very much because You have forgiven me much. May I humble myself and sorrow over my sins as the woman did in Luke 7. Help me to realize the greatness of Your mercy and forgiveness, love You affectionately with all of my heart, and offer up my “alabaster jar,” the best of all that I have, to You.

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(9/19)Day 24, Elul 24 – Dying Daily

【Read】John 21:15-19

【Devotion】

Before this passage, Simon Peter declared that he was ready to follow Yeshua (Jesus) to prison and to death (Luke 22:31-34). However, when asked by the servant girl and soldiers around the fire, Peter didn’t dare to admit that he even knew Jesus. 

Giving your life for the Lord isn’t limited to being willing to die physically when held at gunpoint for your faith. It is also a daily dying – dying to our desires, pride, and concerns about our reputation, and letting Him live through our thoughts, words, and interactions with other people. 

Simon Peter repented, and at the end, he gave his life for God in both ways – dying daily to himself and following Jesus even to death. In Acts, we see him dying daily – witnessing boldly for Yeshua (Jesus) whenever he could despite intense persecution. Then, many years later, by tradition, Peter also gave his physical life for God and died as a martyr. 

【Prayer】

Lord, I am ready to follow You both to prison and to death. Forgive me, Lord, for times when I, like Peter, was concerned about my reputation or followed my own desires instead of doing what is right in Your sight. Help me also, dear Savior, to die to myself daily and choose to follow You in every little decision of my life. May You live through each of my thoughts, words, and daily interactions with others.

Pray and lay your life before God through this song, “Father I adore You”

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(9/20)Day 25, Elul 25 – No More Questioning

【Read】 Job 42:1-6

【Devotion】

Like Job, have you ever questioned why God does the things that He does? We may not always understand why God does what He does, but we can always trust that our loving Father will always make everything work for good for those who love Him.

Like Job, let us repent and no longer question God and His doing.

【Prayer】

Lord, as Job acknowledged, “I know that You can do everything and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (Job 42:2). Forgive me for the times when I trusted in my own knowledge and thought that I knew better than You. Forgive me for questioning You and uttering things I didn’t understand, things too wonderful for me. Today, I repent. I trust that You are a loving Father and that You will always make everything work for good for those who love You

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(9/21)Day 26, Elul 26 – Praying for your Persecutors

【Read】 Job 42:7-16

【Devotion】

The second part of Job’s repentance and restoration was praying for the very men who accused him of sin and persecuted him with their words when he was suffering innocently. 

Are there people in your life who have hurt you deeply, like Job’s friends? Even if you were innocent like Job, pray for those people. If you have held any grudges against them, repent before God. He alone is the Judge and He will judge righteously.

【Prayer】

Father, I pray for _____________ (names of people) who have wronged me and hurt me. Father, forgive them. They, too, are people that You have made in Your image, people that You love and desire to save. Surround them with Your love and peace. Please open their eyes to know Your truth. If they have suffered loss because of their sins, may they repent and may You restore their losses and shower them with Your blessings.

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(9/22)Day 27, Elul 27 – No More Running Away

【Read】 Jonah 2:1-10  and pray as you read.

【Devotion】

Like Jonah, have you run away from God? Has God called you to do something, but you kept putting it off because you didn’t want to do it? 

Let us no longer run away from the Lord. Let us return to God and obey Him.

【Prayer】

Lord God, please forgive me for the times when I’ve run away from doing things that You called me to do. Thank You, God, for still being patient with me and hearing my prayers. Help me to learn my lesson and obey You willingly and wholeheartedly.

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(9/23)Day 28, Elul 28 – God Gives Second Chances

【Read】 Jonah 3:1-10

【Devotion】

God is a God of second chances. Jonah was given a second chance to preach to Nineveh after he disobeyed the first time. The city of Nineveh’s wicked deeds deserve God’s judgment, but God gave them a second chance and 40 days to repent. 

In Exodus, immediately after the first 40 days Moses fasted and received the tablets from God on Mt. Sinai, the Israelites broke their covenant with God by worshiping the golden calf. Then, Moses pleaded for God’s mercy and God gave Israel a second chance. Again, Moses went up to Mt. Sinai and fasted 40 days, and the covenant that was broken was restored. By tradition, the second set of 40 days are the very same 40 days we are praying and repenting right now.

Today, thank God for giving you this second chance to repent and return to Him. May we also give second chances to others and be merciful as our Father is merciful. 

【Prayer】

O merciful Father, thank You for being a God of second chances. Please, give me a humble and repentant heart, like the Ninevites in Jonah 3. May I learn from their example of repentance. Like Jonah, who learned to be merciful and give the Ninevites a second chance, help me to be merciful to others and give others a second chance to repent.

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(9/24)Day 29, Elul 29 – Having Humble Hearts

【Read】 2 Kings 22:11-20, 2 Kings 23:25

【Devotion】

When he heard the words of God’s Torah, King Josiah could have made excuses. His father Amon was an idol worshiper and his grandfather Manesseh committed more sins than even the evil Amorites that God had cast out before Israel. Based on his background, this also could have been his first time hearing these words of God. 

However, instead of complaining about his family history, Josiah tore his clothes, wept over his nation’s sins, and humbled himself before God. God had mercy on Josiah and blessed him with a peaceful burial. He was the last God-fearing king of Judah.

When we hear or read God’s Word, may we be convicted and may we have tender, humble hearts like Josiah’s.

【Prayer】

Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to have a humble heart like Josiah. Please forgive me for the times when I’ve read or heard Your Word and made excuses. Help me to be convicted by Your Word and align my life with Your ways. Please change my heart and make it humble and tender, like Josiah’s.

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(9/25)Day 30, Elul 30 – Accepting the Consequences of our Sins

【Read】 2 Samuel 24:10-17, 24-25

【Devotion】

Our sins have consequences that may affect ourselves or others. If you break a vase, even if the owner forgives you, damage has already been done – the vase is broken, the broken glass must be cleaned, and the price must be paid for a new vase to be purchased. Sickness is an example of a possible consequence of sin. Sickness can be a trial or spiritual warfare, but other times, it is God’s hand of discipline, trying to draw our attention to repent of our sins and return to Him. Broken relationships likewise can be a trial or spiritual warfare, but other times, our pride, hurtful words, and ungodly actions are part of what caused these relationships to be broken.

Search your heart and look through your life. Do you see consequences of your sins or signs of discipline from God? Repent like David and pray for the Lord’s mercy.

【Prayer】

Lord, please, help me as I look through my life and search my heart. Please forgive me of my sins and help me to accept the consequences of my sins. May these consequences draw me to repent and return to You. If there are sins in my life that I have not repented of, please bring them to my mind. May I not make excuses when others rebuke me. Instead, help me to humbly repent and pray before You as David did.

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(9/26)Day 31, Tishrei 1 – Return to the LORD your God

【Read】 Psalm 81.

【Devotion】

Today is Yom Teruah (a.k.a. Rosh HaShanah), the Feast of Trumpets (Lev. 23, Num. 29). This feast foreshadows the second coming of our Lord when He will return with the sound of the trumpet, the shofar (1 Thess. 4:16, 1 Cor. 15:52). When the shofar sounds, will you be ready?

Prepare your heart for the Lord’s return as you read Psalm 81.

For each of these 10 days leading to Yom Kippur, we will read pleas of repentance in the Bible and have a specific point to repent for the day. Here is the teshuvah (repentance) for today:

Today, God calls to each of us, ““Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you! O Israel, if you will listen to Me! There shall be no foreign god among you; Nor shall you worship any foreign god. I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it…” (Psalm 81:8-10). Note how these verses are very similar to the first two of the 10 commandments and to the Shema (Exo. 20:1-6, Deut. 6:4-5). Are there any things in your life distracting you from wholehearted worship of the LORD your God? Ask for the Father’s forgiveness today and rededicate your heart to worship Him alone.

【Prayer】

Heavenly Father, You are the Lord my God, You brought me out of the house of bondage and redeemed me from slavery to sin. Please forgive me of any things or people that I have put above You in my life and any things that have distracted me from worshiping You with all of my heart. Today, I listen to Your call to repent. Today, I rededicate my heart to worship You alone. Please bless these final 10 days before Yom Kippur. May I be ready when the shofar sounds at Your return.

Enjoy this joyful song about the Lord’s return: Sound the Shofar

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(9/28)Day 32, Tishrei 2 – Return with the Sacrifice of Your Lips

【Read】 Hosea 14:1-9

【Devotion】

We have stumbled because of our iniquities. Let us return to His ways. He promises to heal our backsliding, love us freely, and make us grow like the lily and flourish as the green cypress tree.

Today’s teshuvah (repentance):
Two of the 10 commandments relate directly to words, the third commandment “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,” and the ninth commandment “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:7,16). Today, let us return to God with a sacrifice – the sacrifice of our lips. Let us return to God in our words today.

【Prayer】

Heavenly Father, I have stumbled because of my iniquities. Please remove this burden from me, take away all my iniquity, and receive me graciously. Today, I offer the sacrifices of my lips to You – to praise You alone, to speak Your truth, and to tell others of Your salvation. Please heal my backsliding, grow me as the lily, and use me to spread the fragrance of Your love to all those around me. Like Ephraim (Hosea 14:8), I do not want to have anything to do with idols or things that do not honor You. Please make me like a “green cypress tree” and bear fruit that glorifies You.

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(9/29)Day 33, Tishrei 3 – Return in Your Relationships (pt. 1)

【Read】 Micah 7:1-10, 18-20

【Devotion】

Do you feel (or have you ever felt) like Micah, fallen in a hopeless, dark situation? Look to the Lord. He will hear you, He will lift you up, He will be a light to you, and best of all, He will cast all your sins into the depths of the sea.

Today’s reading describes a very sad situation where a person’s enemies are those of his or her own family – husband and wife (Micah 7:5), children and parents (Micah 7:6), and children-in-law and parents-in-law (Micah 7:6).

Today’s teshuvah (repentance):
Repent before God of sins against your spouse, parents, children, and/or parents-in-law. Pray to the Father for His forgiveness, for the marital and parental relationships are appointed by Him and are very precious in His eyes.

Also, go to each person and ask them where you may have wronged them. Apologize sincerely, ask for their forgiveness, and restore what you have broken.

【Prayer】

Father, thank You for hearing my prayers, lifting me up from the pit, shining Your light into the darkness of my life, and casting all my sins into the depths of the sea. Today, I repent of my sins against ______________________________________________________ (list names of spouses, parents, and children) for these relationships are appointed by You and are very precious in Your eyes.

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(9/30)Day 34, Tishrei 4 – Return in your relationships (pt. 2)

【Read】Matthew 5:21-26

【Devotion】

God wants us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. The Lord doesn’t want to receive our gifts and offerings when we still owe our brethren apologies and restitution. We cannot have peace with God when we do not have peace with our family. If we cannot love our brother whom we can see, we do not truly love God whom we cannot see.

Today’s Teshuvah:
The sixth commandment in Exodus 20:13 says, “You shall not murder,” but Yeshua (Jesus) holds us to an even higher standard – to not even have the root of murder, hatred, in our hearts. Today, go to your siblings and extended family (cousins, uncles, aunts, other relatives, etc.) and ask for their forgiveness.

【Prayer】

Father in heaven, thank you for my family which You have given me. Cleanse my heart of any root of hatred or bitterness against them. Help me to love You through loving my family first. Please give me wisdom, strength, humility, and courage today as I ask forgiveness from each of my family members. I pray that any broken relationships will be restored. Please soften my heart and the hearts of each of my family members. May our family be filled with Your peace and love.

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(10/1)Day 35, Tishrei 35- Return in your relationships (pt. 3)

【Read】 Colossians 3:12-17

【Devotion】

As the elect of God, are you filled with “tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering”? God wants us, as His children, to walk in love, seek peace, and work together in unity as one body.  Do you seek love, peace, and unity?

Today’s teshuvah:
Continue in mending relationships with others. Today, repent and ask forgiveness from your family in the Lord, your fellow believers, and any people who do not fall in the categories we covered in the past two days (friends, colleagues, etc.)

【Prayer】

Dear God, thank You for the family which you have given me in the Lord. Forgive me of times when I’ve held grudges against others or been proud and divisive instead of seeking love and peace. And to my friends and colleagues who are not believers, please help me to be a good witness to them. If I have wronged any, today I go and humbly apologize. Please help me to “put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.” May I seek love and peace in all situations and at all times.

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(10/2)Day 36, Tishrei 6 – Return to Holiness

【Read】 Hosea 3:1-5 and Matthew 5:27-30

【Devotion】

Whether married or single, young or old, God wants each of His children to live a holy life, because He is holy. Examine your heart and repent as you read God’s definitions of adultery in Hosea 3:1-5 and Matthew 5:27-30.

Today’s Teshuvah:
Are you guilty of loving other “gods” more than God, the One who has redeemed and betrothed us to Himself (Hosea 2:19-20)? As Matthew 5 described, have you committed adultery through your heart, eyes, or hands? Return to living a holy, godly life today.

Let us also repent on behalf of the country that we live in and people groups that we are related to, who have departed from God’s ways.

【Prayer】

My Lord and my God, You have betrothed me to Yourself “in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy.” You have loved me and redeemed me as Hosea loved and redeemed his unfaithful wife. Today, I rededicate myself to be Yours alone, to love You alone forever, and to be holy in my heart, eyes, and hands. Please have mercy on my country, _____________, and people groups that I am related to, ______________, for departing from You and Your holy ways. Please help us to return to holiness and follow You wholeheartedly.

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(10/3)Day 37, Tishrei 37 – Return to Godly Stewardship

【Read】 Malachi 3:8-12 and Ephesians 4:28.

【Devotion】

All that we have, including our money, is from God, entrusted to us. Let us be good stewards and use what He has given us for His kingdom.

Today’s Teshuvah:
Have you robbed God or others? Today, God calls, “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it’” (Malachi 3:10). Investing in His kingdom is the most rewarding, trustworthy, and long-lasting investment of all time. And if you have stolen from others, steal no longer. Work with your hands and give generously to those in need.

【Prayer】

Lord, forgive me for ever thinking that what I own is mine, for all that I have is from You and it is of Your own that I give back to You. Help me to be a faithful steward of Your money and to be a channel through which You can work wonderful things in Your kingdom. Fill me with wisdom to invest in Your kingdom work and give me a generous heart to give freely to others just as You have freely given to me of all Your blessings.

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(10/4)Day 38, Tishrei 38 – Return to the Things Above

【Read】 Colossians 3:1-11

【Devotion】

Why does the book of Colossians equate covetousness with idolatry? A covetous person desires things that belong to others and are never satisfied with what they have, no matter how rich they are. As followers of Yeshua (Jesus), we have died with Christ – died to our lusts and evil desires. We have been raised with Christ – raised to a new life focused not on this world, but on the things above. “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above…” (Colossians 3:1a).

【Prayer】

Lord, please forgive me of covetousness and help me to put to death my earthly members, “…fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). Help me instead to have godliness with contentment. May I only desire and seek the things above, for I have been raised with Christ to a new life.

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(10/5)Day 39, Tishrei 9 – Return to Forgiveness

【Read】 Matthew 6:9-15

【Devotion】

Today is the last day before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. As we pray for God’s forgiveness, we must forgive others, too. Our sins are so great and so many – they are like a debt of trillions of dollars to God, which is impossible to repay. God, in His grace, freely forgave us. We didn’t even have to pay one cent!

Other people may have sinned against us – their wrongs are similar to owing us several thousand dollars. Now, several thousand dollars is a good amount of money. However, they are nothing compared to what God has already forgiven – our trillions of dollars debt. Let us not hold grudges against one another. Out of gratitude toward God, let us have compassion and freely forgive others as He forgave us..

【Prayer】

Lord, You are the King of the Universe and my sins are like a debt of trillions of dollars toward You. Yet, You freely forgave me and I didn’t even have to pay one cent. Please fill my heart with gratitude toward You. Today, I freely forgive others as You have forgiven me.

Worship and prepare your heart through this song: For Your Name is Holy.
Recommended additional reading on forgiveness: Matthew 18:21-35

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(10/6)Day 40, Tishrei 10 – Return to the Lord’s Liberty

【Read】 Isaiah 58:1-14

【Devotion】

Today is Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement.” Yom Kippur takes place on the tenth day of the seventh month and was the holiest day of the year, the one day of the year when the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies. In the Year of Jubilee, it was on this day, Yom Kippur, that the trumpet of the Jubilee year was sounded and liberty was proclaimed throughout the land of Israel (Leviticus 25:9-10).

On Yom Kippur, God desires us to “to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke” (Isaiah 58:6). He wants us to take away the yoke, pointing of the finger, and wickedness. He wants the hungry to be fed and the afflicted to be lifted up out of their suffering. Today is a day of liberty. God desires to set people free from their bondages.

Today’s teshuvah:
Have you put your soul into prison due to unforgiveness, regret of the past, bitterness, and resentment? Repent, cast your burden on the Lord, and receive the freedom of His forgiveness. Do you know people suffering or in need? Help them and care for them. Do you know people who are depressed? Pray for them and encourage them.

【Prayer】

Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this holy day, Yom Kippur. Thank You for Your salvation and mercy and for setting us free from our bondages. Please free me from the bondage of unforgiveness, guilt, bitterness, and resentment. Lord, I humbly ask for Your forgiveness for allowing myself to be bound by these. Please forgive me and help me to walk in liberty for You have set me free from the yoke of wickedness. Please use me, Lord, to set free others in bondage. To lift up the depressed and to care for the needy. Thank You, Father, for Your love and goodness toward me and for all that You have taught me these 40 days leading to Yom Kippur. Please bless this day, Yom Kippur, and help me to continue to draw closer to You.

Worship through this prayer and song of repentance: Avinu Malkeinu

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(Source:  Prayer Guide – 40 Day Journey (home.blog))