In the Old Testament, the Tabernacle was the dwelling place of God, built His specifications, where He would meet His people. As they entered the Tabernacle, they passed through seven stations, following God’s instructions, to experience His presence. Today, even though we no longer need the physical Tabernacle to meet with God, these same steps can help us connect with Him. This prayer model will take us through each station of the Tabernacle and use the purpose of each station to guide our prayers.
THE OUTER COURT | Thanksgiving and Praise
The Israelites entered the Tabernacle with thanksgiving and praise, and we start our prayer time the same way.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Psalm 100:4
Spend some time really thinking about all the blessings in your life for which you’re thankful. You can write down a list, sing your own song of praise, or just spend quiet moments reflecting on your gratitude and praise toward God.
PRAYER: “Father God, You are good, and You deserve all my praise and more. Thank You for the many ways You have blessed me and for watching over me (tell Him specific things in your life that you’re grateful for. Thank Him for something new you’ve never thanked Him for before). I want to experience Your presence and Your love in a fresh way today. Jesus, I thank You that Your mercies are new every day. I thank You for who You are and all You have done for me.”
THE BRAZEN ALTAR | The Cross of Jesus
In the Old Testament, everyone had to regularly bring animal sacrifices as payment for their sins. Today, we don’t have to do that because Jesus paid for our sins once and for all with His blood on the cross.
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:2-5
Thank God for the gift of Jesus. Thank Jesus for His sacrifice and love. Let the power of the cross and what it means for your life really settle in your spirit. In addition to expressing your gratitude, claim the power of transformation and healing that the cross of Jesus has in your life.
The cross provides us with five major benefits:
- Salvation – God forgives all my sins
- Healing – God heals all my diseases
- Redemption – God rescues me and restores me
- Transformation – God changes me into his likeness
- Blessing – God provides everything I need
PRAYER: “Thank You, God, for making a way for me through Your Son. Jesus, thank You for the sacrifice You made for me on the cross. You saved me, and You set me free. I praise You for being my Healer. You have the power over all disease and harm in my life (list specific areas where you need to experience God’s healing power). Thank you for being my Redeemer. You rescue me and give my life purpose. Thank you for transforming my life with Your love, for making me new. I want to grow to be more like You (give him access to every area of your life). Thank you for blessing me. I know that You have good plans for me and all that I have comes from You (thank Him for specific blessing in your life).”
THE LAVER | Cleansing and Preparing
The next step in the Tabernacle was a bowl of water where people were reminded of their sinfulness and their need to be cleansed and forgiven by God. Checking our hearts and motives and surrendering our lives to God is an important part of daily prayer.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we can confess our sins to Him and receive complete forgiveness and a fresh start. In prayer, humbly and sincerely turn away from your sins and allow God to cleanse and renew you. Then, surrender your life and every part of yourself to Him.
PRAYER: “God, I confess my sins to You and turn away from them (tell God any sin you know is in your life and confess it to Him with a sincere heart. Ask Him to show you any other areas that need His cleansing). Thank You, God, for freely forgiving me. As I turn away from my sin, I turn toward You, and I offer myself to You:
- I give You my tongue, to speak good and not evil
- I give You my eyes, to focus on You and the needs of others
- I give You my ears, to be sensitive to Your voice
- I give You my hands, to do good for others
- I give You my feet, to walk in Your ways and follow Your footsteps
- I give You my mind, to be transformed and used by You
I ask You, Lord, for the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23, so that I can grow closer to You and make a difference in the lives of others. I ask for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.”
THE CANDLESTICK | The Holy Spirit
The next piece of the Tabernacle was a seven-branched golden candlestick. The fire represents the Holy Spirit and how we are called to the light in the world’s darkness.
“The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him – the Spirit of Wisdom and of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and of Might, the Spirit of the Knowledge and fear of the LORD.” Isaiah 11:2
When Jesus left the earth, Christians were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. He calls the Holy Spirit our “Advocate”. We cannot do what God has called us to do without His supernatural power. It is through the Holy Spirit that God comforts us, guides us, and empowers us.
PRAYER: “Holy Spirit, I ask You to fill me up. I need Your presence in my life, guiding, directing, comforting, and counseling me. I know that You, Holy Spirit, are God, in the Trinity with God the Father and the Son, Jesus. You are the Spirit of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, and Knowledge. Give me a holy fear of the Lord, helping me to be in awe of who God is and what God does. Work in me, Holy Spirit. Teach and transform me (pray through any areas where you feel the need for transformation today). Empower me with Your spiritual gifts to strengthen the Church and to help bring the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven to earth.”
THE TABLE OF SHEWBREAD | The Word of God
In the Tabernacle, a table with twelve loaves of bread represented the importance of reading God’s Word for daily sustenance.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8
God’s Word is an incredible gift and a powerful tool, and it has great relevance and impact in our prayer life. Here is how you can incorporate God’s Word into your prayer time:
- Take time to read and think about the Word
- Claim God’s many great promises for your life and the world around you
- Ask Him for fresh revelation of His Word
- Ask Him for a Word to help you as you go throughout the day
- Ask Him to show you how to apply His Word in the world around you
PRAYER: “Thank you, God for giving me Your Word. I commit to reading it, and I ask You to reveal Yourself to me through it. I want to know You more. Help me to grow more in love with Your Word and to be more dependent on it. I claim the promises You have for me, and I meditate on the truth of Your Word (pray any Scriptures that are on your heart or that God has given you in your current season). Give me fresh revelation from Your Word today and every day! Help me apply it so I can be Your ambassador for love, justice, and righteousness in the world.”
THE ALTAR OF INCENSE | Worship
A small altar of burning incense stood at the entrance to the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence dwelled. The people of God entered God’s presence as they worshipped His names. This altar represents worship and the pleasure it gives God when we worship Him.
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10
Thank God for making His presence available to you. Praise His names and worship Him personally and specifically for who He is and how He has moved in your life.
PRAYER: “Thank You, for Your presence. I know that You are here with me. I worship You and You alone. I know God, that You are:
- My Righteousness – Jeremiah 23:6
- My Sanctifier – Leviticus 20:7-8
- My Healer – Exodus 15:26
- My Provider – Genesis 22:14
- My Banner of Victory – Exodus 17:15
- My Peace – Judges 6:24
- My Shepherd – Psalm 23:1
(As you pray through the different names of God, focus on a few aspects of who He is that have been especially meaningful in your current season of life.) I know that You are always with me, God, and Your presence is life to me. You give me breath, joy, and purpose. I love You, God.”
THE ARK OF THE COVENANT | Intercession
The final place in the Tabernacle was the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence dwelled. There, the priest interceded by praying on behalf of the people of God. In the same way. we interceded on behalf of those around us.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4
We can make a difference when we spend time praying for others. Pray for those with whom you interact and connect, including:
- Those in authority – leaders in church, government, family, and workplace
- Those who are marginalized – those suffering injustice, the poor, the widowed, the weak
- Your family – both immediate and extended family members
- Your church – pastors, life group leaders, members, and missionaries
- Your community – people in your city, nation, and world
- Your relationships – friends, coworkers, acquaintances
- Your adversaries – those with whom you disagree
PRAYER: “Thank you, God, for creating a way through Jesus for me to have Your presence wherever I go. I want to specifically ask You to watch over those in authority over me – my spiritual leaders, governmental leaders, the leaders in my family, and my employers (pray for these people by name). Give them wisdom and grace, watch over and protect them, and help them to know and love You more.
I also ask You to watch over those who are marginalized in my nation and in my community. Our world is desperate for justice and reconciliation. Please meet the needs of the poor, the widowed, the weak, and those suffering injustice (pray specifically for people you know need help, advocacy, and intervention.) Show me how I can be Your hands and feet to those who are hurting.
I ask You, God, to be present with my family. Bless them and keep them from harm (pray for any specific needs in your family right now). For those in my family who don’t know You, please meet them where they are and guide their hears toward You.
I ask You to watch over my church, God. Give my pastor wisdom and vision, bless the Small Groups and everyone who steps foot into our building. I pray that You will bring the lost into our church, and that they will have a positive experience and come to know You. Keep our vision rooted in who You are and moving toward your goals.
I ask You to watch over my city, my nation, and our world. I pray for justice and equality for all and ask You to bring peace (name areas where you feel a burden for your city, nation, and the world). I pray for anyone who comes across my path to see your light in me. I lift up my friends, neighbors, and coworkers. I thank You for them and pray for Your blessing over them (pray for any specific needs of others). I also pray for my adversaries, as the Bible teaches. Let me be a bridge through which You can bring unity and reconciliation.
Lastly, God, I ask You to provide for my needs. I know that You sustain me, and that You care for me. I lift up my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs to You (share the needs on your mind right now). I lay my cares at Your feet. Thank You for loving me, choosing me, and calling me Yours. Amen.