As we move Faith Forward into 2022, join us as we set aside 22 days to fast and pray!
There are twenty-two letters in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet (alphabet), and each letter is rich with spiritual meaning. The Hebrew word meaning “letter” is אוֹת, which in English is transliterated as “ot”. אוֹת can also mean sign or wonder! Many Hebrew scholars believe that each letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet contains miraculous signs that point us to the wonder of God’s truth!
Below you will find more detail and links to a short devotional and prayer focus for each of the 22 days, based off of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. Comments are enabled on each page so we can encourage each other, and learn together!
We are expecting God to do great things in 2022. Who’s ready to fast and pray Faith Forward!
22 Days of Fasting And Prayer Devotionals
We will be focusing on a different letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet each day. According to Jewish tradition, God created the entire universe using these letters and taught them to Adam who passed them down through the generations. As we fast and pray together, we will explore the Biblical symbolism and meaning of each letter.
There will be a new post each day! If you would like more extensive self-study, here’s a link to a great resource:
There are several examples in the Bible where the writers used the Hebrew alphabet as an acrostic. (Meaning that the first word of each verse begins with each Hebrew letter in turn, from 1 through 22. The most famous example is Psalm 119, which features 22 sections of 8 verses that start with the corresponding letter. Those sections will be posted each day for reading and to guide our prayer.
Click on the title below for each day to see the full post:
The last letter of the Hebrew alphabet is Tav. This letter is defined by the concept of unity. We can see throughout scripture that unity is the very nature of God, as we know that the Trinity exists as three separate persons in one being. What a weird concept! The three parts of the trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, work in perfect coordination, with each one having no preference over the other. It would make sense that since the very nature of the Trinity is unity, that unity is something that God very much desires us to experience and to seek.
Tav ת Prayer Focus: Unity!Unity is not sameness. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have distinct differences, yet they all act as one. They cannot do anything without regard for and cooperation with the others. This type of unity is what we strive to do as we work to demonstrate the Kingdom of God in the here and now. We are all very different from each other and these differences are part of God’s design. God has intended us to need one another, not function independently with no regard for those around us. When we work for unity, which can be very challenging, we not only learn more about ourselves, we learn more about others and can grow to appreciate another point of view or gift that we may not understand. Think about this…
God is unity.He demonstrates this concept throughout the entirety of scripture.
- Genesis 1: 26: “And then God said, Let US make human beings in OUR image, to be like us…”
- John 17:22-23: “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me”
- Ephesians 4:12-13: “Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”
God is a redeemer.All that has been done since the entrance of sin into the world, has been about redeeming the Creation and restoring unity with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Exodus 6:6: “Therefore, say to the people of Israel, I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgement.
- Isaiah 44:6: “This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: I am the First and the Last; there is no other God.”
- Luke 1:68-69: “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. He has sent us a might Savior from the royal line of his servant David”
God calls us to unity.Working for unity matters to God and we must strive for it so that the nature of God is revealed to the world.
- Ephesians 4: 1-7: “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg your to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through it all.”
John 17:20-21 | Romans 15:5-7 | 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 |
Galatians 3:26-28 | 1 Peter 3:8 | 1 John 4:20 | ref
Section ת of Psalm 119
Psalms 119:169-176 (NET) ת (Tav)169 Listen to my cry for help, O LORD! Give me insight by your word! 170 Listen to my appeal for mercy! Deliver me, as you promised. 171 May praise flow freely from my lips, for you teach me your statutes. 172 May my tongue sing about your instructions, for all your commands are just. 173 May your hand help me, for I choose to obey your precepts. 174 I long for your deliverance, O LORD; I find delight in your law. 175 May I live and praise you! May your regulations help me! 176 I have wandered off like a lost sheep. Come looking for your servant, for I do not forget your commands.
The 21st and the next to last letter in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet is Shin ש which has a numeric value of 300. One implied meaning of Shin comes from both the original pictograph and from its use in the acrostic section of Psalm 119. These hint at things that fill or multiply. The classic Hebrew script resembles a crown with three points.
The letter Resh ר is the 20th letter in the Hebrew alphabet with the numeric value of 200. The pictograph for Resh depicts a mans head. Sometimes the letter means ‘man’ and other times times it means ‘body’ because most problems of man are related to the physical body.
The letter Qof ק is the 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a numeric value of 100. The pictograph originally depicted the sun on the horizon. The verses in the acrostic of Psalm hinted at the concept of time, therefore the most frequent meaning of Qof is ‘enduring’.
The letter Tsadik צ (or Tsade) has a numeric value of 90 and is the 18th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The pictograph looks somewhat like a man on his side, symbolizing need. The letter is also sometimes called Tzadik which means righteous person.
With the word Pe having a meaning of not only mouth but also word or expression, today’s prayer focus is about the words that Jesus gave to us. He said to enter the Kingdom we must become like a little child, but often we make it complex. The Today.Church vision is just a simple version of three primary words or commands Jesus gave us.
The 16th letter of the Hebrew alphabet is “Ayin” and is pronounced “ah-yeen.” Similar to Aleph, Ayin also has no sound of its own and generally has a vowel associated with it. It also has three forms and has a numeric value of 70. The pictograph version resembles an eye.
The inspiration for today’s prayer focus is from the 15th letter of the Hebrew alpha-bet, Samech ס. It’s numeric value is 60 which some Jewish scholars associate with the priestly blessing from Numbers 6:23-27, as those verses contain 60 Hebrew letters. The pictograph version of the letter somewhat resembles a shield.
The letter נ (Nun) is the fourteenth letter of the Aleph-Bet, having a numeric value for 50. The pictograph for Nun looks something like a seed, whereas the classical Hebrew script (Ketav Ashurit) is constructed of a bent Vav with a crown like a Zayin. According to the sages, Nun is said to represent both faithfulness and the reward for faithfulness.
Today’s letter, Mem מ, is the thirteenth in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet and has a numeric value of 40. Water is the inspiration of the ancient pictograph and it resembles a wave of water. To the Jewish sages, Mem symbolizes the “spring” or source of God’s Law.
The letter **ל** (_Lamed_) is the twelfth letter of the Aleph-Bet, having a numeric value of 30. The pictograph for Lamed looks like a shepherd’s staff or goad. Lamed is the tallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet and is considered the central or “heart” of the alphabet.
Why Should We Fast?
We believe that fasting is one practical example of what Jesus said we must do in order to follow him – deny yourself (see Matthew 16:24). One of the Today.Church Disciple Traits is:
Joyful Even In Sacrifice
It’s a joyful privilege to suffer for Jesus! Heaven makes us happy!
Setting aside a specific period of time to focus on prayer while doing without something we emotionally desire or physically need is what we call fasting. There are many different ways to fast but the goal is not self-discipline. That’s a helpful bonus. The goal of fasting is to get closer to God. The reasons for fasting can include:
- repentance (changing for the better),
- direction (decision making),
- interceding (passionate petitions for others),
- expressing grief (sorrow or mourning),
- deliverance or protection (from enemies, circumstances or temptation),
- humility (humbling ourselves before God),
- love (honor and worship to God).
How Should We Fast?
Rule #1 is fast with humility. Jesus said don’t make a big deal about it to others. (see Matthew 6:16-18) It doesn’t have to be some kind of closely guarded secret, but it should be mostly between you and God.
There isn’t a set length of time, a schedule, or a set way to fast in the Bible. But Jesus did say “when” you fast – so it is expected. Use wisdom. If you have any health issues or are planning an extended fast, consult your doctor. It’s common to fast a single meal, a whole day, a few days, or more. If you’ve never fasted – start slow with small, attainable goals to build on. The length or type of your fast is not as important as your heart and focus on God while you fast and pray!
Today.Church schedules days of Prayer + Fasting twice a year as a time where we can sincerely fast and pray together.
Types of Fasts
- This type of fast involves drinking only liquids, usually water only or water with light juices.
- This fast option involves removing certain things or categories from your diet. One common example is called the Daniel Fast where you do without meat, sweets, or bread with only water and juice for fluids.
- This kind of fast involves abstaining from food for part of the day. For instance from morning and afternoon or from sunup to sundown. During that time you may observe a complete or partial fast.
- A non-food fast is common for those who are new to fasting, who have health reasons for not fasting food, or who want to refocus or find balance in an area. It could be abstaining from something like television, social media, video games, or cell phone usage.