Many, if not all, of us recognize our need of revival. But how do we personally receive it? We will cover the foundation of it here: morning and evening worship. The other parts of the personal revival plan we will cover after this are the life of prayer (unceasing prayer throughout the day), memorizing Scripture, and fasting combined with more prayer.
Many people for morning and evening worship have a mechanical experience of shallow prayer and mainly reading. But this is not what we are referring to for true morning and evening worship. Though we do provide a general reading plan here, the emphasis is really on worship, which we do through different forms of prayer.
The Origin of Morning and Evening Worship
To find the origin of morning and evening worship we must go to the Torah (Law), or Pentateuch, beginning with Genesis.
The Family Altar
We must first establish the biblical model for what we call the “family altar”. Now, the family altar might have a physical aspect to it; it might have an altar table with a family Bible sitting on it. We have such a thing set up in a portion of a room that we dedicated to God for worship. We highly recommend having a sacred place that you worship at in the house as a family if at all possible, but it is also a real blessing to have special places that you meet with God out in nature individually, as the Son of God practiced. Weather and pests do not always permit, which is often the case here in Minnesota, so that is why I often have my personal devotions at the family altar as well.
So, let us explore this concept of the family altar in the Bible. Let us go to Genesis 12, where we see the family altar set up by Abraham in verses 7 to 8. Abraham is going into the typical promised land and he sets up an altar; here it is:
And Jehovah appeared unto Abram, and said, “Unto thy seed will I give this land”: and there he built an altar unto Jehovah, who appeared unto him. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he built an altar unto Jehovah, and called upon the Name of Jehovah.
Abraham’s family is the archetype of all the families of Israel. When they went into the Promised Land, this altar was set up. And when they neglected this altar, the whole nation suffered. But when they restored it, the nation prospered. So, that is a lesson to us. When we neglect the family altar, God may permit calamities to come upon us. His intention in His judgments is to bring people back to Him, back to life, through His Word.
The Family Unit
Let us now go to Genesis 18:19. We have established the family altar and now let us study the family unit.
For I know him [Abraham], that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of Jehovah, to do justice and judgment; that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.
So, the household is the family unit and is established here in the Law. It can only be commanded unto justice and judgment by God’s Word. The man of the household is the priest of the home and he instructs his family in the way of Jehovah according to His Word. He also consecrates the family to God through their collective worship, whereby they may receive the blessings of God and be protected from curses of calamities and worldliness.
This is the foundation of the intricate Levitical sanctuary system that was later implemented for corporate Israel, being based on the Abrahamic family unit with its family altar. To Abraham was the everlasting covenant promised; thus, the organized system of the Law that came later is founded on it and not against it.
The Sacrificial System
So, let’s talk briefly about the sacrificial system. The priesthood that performed the sacrifices, particularly the High Priest, was representative of the whole nation of Israel. It was a representative system. The economy then was the earthly sanctuary; now we have the economy of the heavenly sanctuary. We have lessons to learn with duties enjoined upon us from this system in the Law. The priesthood represented all of the people that worshiped at the appointed times for worship, including the mornings and evenings, for they could not all go to the temple each day or even each Sabbath.
But the priesthood did not represent all of Israel so that they would not have to worship morning and evening; they only represented what they were all doing—worshiping God. So, the altar in the sanctuary represented the altars of all the households of Israel. They all faced towards Jerusalem when they prayed at these times. The Spirit of Prophecy describes this further and explains how it applies today:
As the priests morning and evening entered the holy place at the time of incense, the daily sacrifice was ready to be offered upon the altar in the court without. This was a time of intense interest to the worshipers who assembled at the tabernacle. Before entering into the presence of God through the ministration of the priest, they were to engage in earnest searching of heart and confession of sin. They united in silent prayer, with their faces toward the holy place. Thus their petitions ascended with the cloud of incense, while faith laid hold upon the merits of the promised Saviour prefigured by the atoning sacrifice.
The hours appointed for the morning and the evening sacrifice were regarded as sacred, and they came to be observed as the set time for worship throughout the Jewish nation. And when in later times the Jews were scattered as captives in distant lands, they still at the appointed hour turned their faces toward Jerusalem and offered up their petitions to the God of Israel. In this custom Christians have an example for morning and evening prayer. While God condemns a mere round of ceremonies, without the spirit of worship, He looks with great pleasure upon those who love Him, bowing morning and evening to seek pardon for sins committed and to present their requests for needed blessings.
— E.G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 353
This comes from the chapter entitled “The Tabernacle and Its Services,” which I recommend reading.
The daily/continual sanctuary system passed away, and the reality of spiritual sacrifices has come; but the same worship times remain—morning and evening for individuals and families, and Sabbaths, New Moons, and holy days when the body of the Messiah comes together for assembly (Col. 2:16).
Private prayer, family prayer, prayer in public gatherings for the worship of God—all are essential.
— E.G. White, 7 Testimonies, p. 239
In this study we are focusing on morning and evening worship. The other worship times will be covered in the upcoming books Seventh Month Revival and Discovering Mysteries of the Lost Calendar, with the latter also providing more information on when “morning” and “evening” are based on the Scriptures, as well as information on the other apostolic prayer times, such as sixth and ninth hour and when they are. In Numbers 28 and 29, morning and evening are the foundation of all other worship times, coming before them:
And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto Jehovah; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering. The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even.
— Numbers 28:3-4
Personal Morning and Evening Worship
Morning and evening we are to individually worship God, with our hands, eyes, and hearts rising up in offering to the heavenly sanctuary; and notice how the Spirit of Prophecy correctly defines the times as “dawn” and “twilight,” which, if we are living at higher latitudes than the Middle East, we should get as close to in our worship as possible as these are the biblical times:
Family prayer, public prayer, have their place; but it is secret communion with God that sustains the soul life.
It was in the mount with God that Moses beheld the pattern of that wonderful building which was to be the abiding place of His glory. It is in the mount with God—in the secret place of communion—that we are to contemplate His glorious ideal for humanity. Thus we shall be enabled so to fashion our character building that to us may be fulfilled His promise, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16.
It was in hours of solitary prayer that Jesus in His earth life received wisdom and power. Let the youth follow His example in finding at dawn and twilight a quiet season for communion with their Father in heaven. And throughout the day let them lift up their hearts to God. At every step of our way He says, “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, … Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13. Could our children learn these lessons in the morning of their years, what freshness and power, what joy and sweetness, would be brought into their lives!
— E.G. White, Education, pp. 258-59
And notice where the secret communion is to take place, so that it can be audible, yet unheard by human ears:
In secret devotion our prayers are to reach the ears of none but the prayer-hearing God. No curious ear is to receive the burden of such petitions.
“When thou prayest, enter into thy closet.” Have a place for secret prayer. Jesus had select places for communion with God, and so should we. We need often to retire to some spot, however humble, where we can be alone with God.
— E.G. White, Mount of Blessing, p. 84
This could be on a physical mountain as the Lord Jehoshua loved to do, or it could be in some other natural place; but if weather or pests do not allow for outdoor excursions, an automobile or a tent could work, or even at the family altar. Essentially, you need the room or spot to yourself, wherever this may be. The Spirit of Prophecy lays out three elements that should make up the time spent at your secret spot:
Those who will put on the whole armor of God and devote some time every day to meditation and prayer and to the study of the Scriptures will be connected with heaven and will have a saving, transforming influence upon those around them. Great thoughts, noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth and duty to God, will be theirs. They will be yearning for purity, for light, for love, for all the graces of heavenly birth. Their earnest prayers will enter into that within the veil. This class will have a sanctified boldness to come into the presence of the Infinite One.
— E.G. White, 5 Testimonies, p. 112
Notice the language of the sanctuary—”enter into that within the veil.” We are spiritually, with our spiritual sacrifices, entering into the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary. That place is real, and the Messiah‘s intercession for us there is real. We should imagine ourselves there; and what we imagine is also real to us, physiologically and psychologically.
All who come to Christ today are to remember that His merit is the incense that mingles with the prayers of those who repent of their sins and receive pardon and mercy and grace. Our need of Christ’s intercession is constant. Day by day, morning and evening, the humble heart needs to offer up prayers to which will be returned answers of grace and peace and joy. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not; for with such sacrifice God is well pleased.”
— E.G. White, Manuscript 14, 1901
We would like to present to you a very powerful method of personal worship called
‘Praying Through the Sanctuary’.
For this, it really helps to have something printed out to guide you. Below is a plan that you might follow, or you might adapt to your own needs, which is what the editable Word Doc version is for. We recommend printing all of the materials out on cardstock if at all possible, for you may be going through the same papers every day for years to come.
The idea is that you will spiritually go through the sanctuary in your daily worship times, entering into the gates, through the courtyard, and into the Holy Place for your morning time, and then entering into the Most Holy Place for your evening time, when you will reflect on your past day and look into the mirror of the Law.
Have we been following the sanctuary blueprint? I do not believe we should ignore it, for it models how we are to approach God through the Lamb. It provides for a complete system of worship, which involves praise, thanksgiving, confession, consecration, claiming promises for our various spiritual needs, feeding on the Word, intercession, petitions, and entering into atonement with God.
As for the plan provided here, different prayers are made at each piece of furniture, but the most foundational and important one is the Altar of Sacrifice where a prayer of consecration is made for that day, which should be done thoughtfully, for everything depends on the right action of the will, and if it is not set well for the day, you can be sure of failure. Even if you don’t go through the whole sanctuary every single day, this prayer of consecration in which you are laying your life on the altar and surrendering the will should never be considered optional. Part of this prayer should be stating your choice of serving God for that day, and here are some Scriptures you can claim for that purpose.
Your attitude in entering into the presence of God at the gate is also critical. One should pause to meditate on the majesty and glory of the King of the universe. This will help inspire what follows. True biblical worship involves prostration of the body, and the prayer that follows involves kneeling. Joyful praise and thanksgiving should also begin every session, with hands and face uplifted to heaven. For more information on this, see the presentation Biblical Worship: Reverential Postures and their Meaning.
Your worship can also be enhanced with instrumental Christian music. But your worship will be spoiled if you become distracted by modern media, so please turn off phone calls or notifications if you have devices nearby, and resist the urge to do anything that is unrelated to your devotion.
Many restrict their daily devotions, if they have them at all, to a short prayer, several minutes at most, and a reading, much like how a novel is read. But the biblical worship experience based on the sanctuary is beyond what most have ever imagined. Eating of the Word is done at the Bread of the Presence, which is only one part of the whole experience; and even that is not to be done like novel-reading.
But the experience God intends us to have in His Word is a much deeper experience. We are to hear Him, as the Author, personally speak to us. And we are to commune and converse with Him in what we read, inquiring Him and searching to know Him and His truths. In fact, the Hebrew word translated to “inquire” in the opening Scripture is ‘bakar’—the root verb of ‘boker’, which means ‘morning’. This idea of meditative and relational searching and inquiring is to characterize our mornings spent with God. Our primary goal each reading session should be to know Him better.
And this is the life eternal, that they should know Thee, the only true God, and the One whom Thou hast sent, Jehoshua the Messiah.
— Jehoshua, John 17:3
And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.
— Jeremiah 29:13
Time alone with God in His Word, to know Him—
nothing can replace it;
without that time,
everything replaces it.
— Dan Gabbert
It works best to read the Word aloud, as hearing the Word is more meaningful than just seeing it; and it will also help retain our focus as well as the information better. And then you can also write what you learn, either quotes, or summaries in your own words. And your notes, along with any highlighting, can be reviewed the next day and later again as well. Sometimes as you journal, you will hear the still, small voice of God. His words to you personally can be very precious. And, if it helps you, you can also write down your own words of prayer to Him. You can also write down decisions you make or anything else you want recorded and don’t want to be forgotten. So, journaling and writings the Word down on cards to be carried on you to review during the day are a couple of very helpful tools based on your readings.
Another element in the reading, particularly the morning one, is imagination, or it could be called visualization. Self-help gurus will say to visualize selfish things about ourselves. But instead we should us our imagination to picture the lovely Lord Jehoshua.
It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross.
— Desire of Ages, p. 83
The word “hour,” especially historically, does not always mean 60 minutes, but it is definitely more substantial than a moment. Now, the Praying Through the Sanctuary experience will indeed take a 60-minute hour, if not two or three, largely dependent on how much time you spend at the Altar of Incense in intercessory prayer—a very important practice (see linked video)—or if the Holy Spirit leads you off into a Bible study related to your devotional reading or what you may be facing in life, but if you spend that long with just the devotional reading, you may not be able to spend enough time in the rest of the worship experience. The most appropriate time for morning devotions, being the dawn of morning from darkness to light, generally lasts an hour and a half or two, and includes family devotion time as well. So, just keep that in mind as a guideline, whether you are to begin as early as when it is still dark or not; remember that prayer—your connection with God—should be the main focus; therefore, you should always allow for ample time at the Altar of Incense.
For most people, reading must be done to trigger these scenes of our Saviour. Therefore, we recommend reading that same book, Desire of Ages, which really brings the Bible scenes to life, along with the four gospels, to have this contemplative experience. You can imagine yourself there at the scene or as one of the characters, or you can imagine what the Messiah was thinking and feeling. This practice of biblical imagination, or visualization, is also healing, as your mind will no longer be focusing on your troubles but on the Saviour of all sin and suffering.
We recommend having a basic reading plan to go through all four gospels along with the Desire of Ages. There are a couple that we have used. This one goes through the book Desire of Ages, from beginning to end, with the Gospels lined up to it. But there is a newer one that we really like based on the work of Rick Aschmann, who has chronologically ordered all the events of the Gospels. It is in the January 2022 issue of Adventist World on Pages 10 to 13, which also includes the chapters of Christ’s Object Lessons. There is also a chronological reading plan for the entirety of the non-apocryphal Scriptures in the January 2021 issue of Adventist Review on Pages 29 and 30; and for a chronological order of the apocryphal books, see the ‘historical timeframe’ of each of the books here.
After you finish reading the Gospels, you can read of the Messiah in the sanctuary, followed by His Second Advent and the biblical events surrounding it. For this you can read Chapters 8 to 12 in Hebrews preceding Chapters 23 and 24 of the Great Controversy, and read Chapters 14 to 22 of Revelation in connection with the last five books of Great Controversy. The latter includes Paradise. Again, you can imagine, or visualize, yourself in the scenes.
Let your imagination picture the home of the saved, and remember that it will be more glorious than your brightest imagination can portray.
— E.G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 86
Imagine that you are perfectly healthy and happy in the New Jerusalem, and worshiping God before His throne with multitudes of angels, and in your country property on the new earth. In doing that, your brain will rewire itself to create healthier conditions in your mind and body, which are closely related. What you imagine yourself to be, you largely become. You don’t have to wait until you get to that part of the reading plan to do that either. Just ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you and paint the scenes.
We also recommend an additional element to ensure that the “closing” scenes of the life of the Messiah are especially dwelt upon. Here is a reading plan will chronologically bring you through the closing scenes each week, according to the days of the week in which the events happened. Replacing the scene of the cross in your mind each week will do so many things for your spiritual life. Through this, along with your prayer of consecration, the sins you have struggled with for so long will be broken and powerless, for the power of the cross will overtake your life and you will not want to sin and bring your Saviour to shame.
So, that covers the reading at the Bread of the Presence. But the rest of praying through the sanctuary also includes Scriptures—short passages you will be claiming for your personal walk as you go through the sanctuary. This is where the “Romans 10 Experience” comes in, which is such an important and powerful exercise, but so rarely practiced because the chapter is misunderstood and overlooked. So, let us dwell on this for a bit since it has been so neglected, starting with these eight verses from the chapter; and please notice that the believing is in the context is on the Law, its purpose, and how it is to be received:
The purpose of the Law is the Messiah, unto righteousness to everyone that believeth, for Moses writeth of the righteousness which is of the Law, that, ‘The man having done these things shall live in them’ [Lev. 18:5], and the righteousness of faith saith thus: ‘Say not in thy heart, ‘Who shall ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring the Messiah down:) or, ‘Who shall descend into the abyss?’ ’ (that is, to bring the Messiah up from the dead.) But what saith it? ‘The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart’ [Deuteronomy 30:12-14]: that is, the Word of faith, which we proclaim; because if thou shalt acknowledge with thy mouth the Lord Jehoshua, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: for with the heart one believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth acknowledgement is made unto salvation … So then, faith is of hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
— Romans 10:4-10, 17
The faith experience we need, then, is not independent of His Word but is based on it, as we are hearing, or listening, for God to speak to us personally through His Word; and Jesus says that, “the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). When we are thus claiming the precepts and promises of the Scriptures, we are really claiming the righteous life of the Messiah which the Law describes, that He may live it in us, according to whatever the Word of God we are claiming says it will do.
The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the Word of God. This Word imparts power; it begets life. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, it brings with it the life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God.
— E.G. White, Education, p. 126
But it is not enough to believe in the heart; according to the Law itself, in Deuteronomy, we must also express it with our mouth, uttering the mighty Name of our Saviour, which contains the Name of God Himself (‘Jeho-‘) plus salvation ‘-shua‘), and that He is our “Lord.” More information on their Names will be in Chapter 10 of the upcoming book “Seventh Month Revival.”
Some translations have “confession” instead of “acknowledgment” for the Greek word ‘homologeo’. This word can be broken down to ‘homo’ (the same, or together) ‘logeo’ (word). Together they mean that we are agreeing to the same word together with God. God speaks in His Word, and He asks us to simply acknowledge the Word itself, the Lord Jehoshua, in what we hear. He is our Lord because it is His power we are submitting to, which will bring into life—our life—what we are hearing.
Confession is certainly part of the meaning. We are to confess with our mouth the One we believe in with our heart when we read a precept or promise we are agreeing to; again, the Word, especially the Law, is the context and thus the application of the believing. Salvation is hence from specific sins defined by the Law and not in general. So, this is not a once in a lifetime confession as in the sinner’s prayer, but it is a confession that should be made many times every day for as many Scriptures we are claiming. This is biblical salvation. Jehoshua is the living Word brought forth from the dead, so we are acknowledging Him to do for us what the written word says.
This Greek word also has the meaning of ‘giving thanks’, and it is translated that way in Hebrews 13:15. In fact, according to Webster, the English word ‘acknowledge’ includes as one of its definitions the following:
5. To own with gratitude; to own as a benefit; as, to acknowledge a favor, or the receipt of a gift.
The equivalent Hebrew root word is ‘yadah’, which also means both confession and thanks. Why these two seemingly unrelated meanings? Because a person’s ability to give thanks is based on his ability to admit he is incomplete; it acknowledges that we are depending on another for the thing we are giving thanks for, which is why it is difficult for prideful people to give thanks. Another element in this Hebrew word is ‘praise’. The word is based on ‘yad’, which means ‘hand’, and has the idea of throwing the hands out, which is done in praise or thanksgiving; this is similar to how the Hebrew word for ‘worship’ literally means to prostrate oneself to the ground—which Christians should be doing before praying, so that we worship in spirit and in truth. So, in effect, when we “acknowledge” the Lord Jehoshua, we are thanking Him for the precept or promise we are claiming and for being our Saviour to fulfill it in us.
Do you realize how powerful this generally unheeded practice is? It is the 1888 message of justification by faith in action. Here is how A.T. Jones defined faith:
To expect the Word of God to do the thing which that Word says, and to depend wholly upon that Word itself to do it, this the Lord Jesus pronounces faith. This is true faith.
— American Sentinel, 10/25/1894
So, before we read the Scripture, we can ask God for whatever He promises us in the Word. Asking with a sense of our need is always the first step. Then, with our mouth we can acknowledge the Lord Jehoshua, while lifting out our hands in thanksgiving, and proceed to speak the words of the promise. And, as we do, we believe we are receiving what is promised, as the seed of the Word is springing into life to produce it.
“The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11. As surely as the oak is in the acorn, so surely is the gift of God in His promise. If we receive the promise, we have the gift.
— E.G. White, Education, p. 253
The Word is likened to seed because it can be nearly omnipresent and has life principle in it like the Word, yet it lies dormant until the ingredient of water activates it so that it springs into a living plant. Our lives are likened to plants, for our heart is like a living garden to produce fruit for the Husbandman, our Father. The Word is already in our mouth and in our heart, for it is written that the Messiah is “upholding all things by the Word of His power” (Heb. 1:3)—which includes every part of us—but its qualities for holy living lie dormant as a Seed until the activating ingredient of faith comes into contact with it. This faith is expressed with the mouth in confession, and then it is believed in the heart according to the precept or promise being claimed. The faith is grounded on “the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10), which is the same miraculous power that activates the dormant qualities of the Seed of the Word in our flesh when the ingredient of faith is applied to it. Thus, the Word, containing the resurrected life of our Saviour, resurrects us from our deadness to righteousness. E.J. Waggoner put it this way:
To believe in the heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, is to believe that He justifies me. The one who does not believe that Jesus does cleanse him from sin, does not really believe that God has raised Him from the dead; for we can not believe in the resurrection of Jesus, without believing that for which He was raised. The resurrection of Jesus is much less generally believed than is commonly supposed.
— Present Truth, 1/31/1895
To confess Christ, therefore, is to acknowledge that He is in us with power, even the power of the resurrection, and that He has a right to be there, having purchased us by His death.
— Ibid., 12/19/1895
The same truth is expressed by the apostle John in this way:
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledgeth that Jehoshua the Messiah hath come in the flesh is of God.
— 1 John 4:2
This statement is qualified with the words:
Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
— Verse 4
To personally acknowledge that Jehoshua the Messiah hath come in the flesh is to acknowledge Him as the Word personally made flesh in you by the utterances of that Word as you hear and receive it. He is already in your flesh, with all His qualities revealed in the Word dormant but available, but unlike in Creation, because we are free moral creatures, the activation requires one extra step before the creation of righteousness can occur in us: our faith—breathed out in acknowledgment, and exercised within. He was crucified and resurrected “that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us” (Rom. 8:4). Our flesh, in all its actions, is to then express that righteousness.
This is all to say that the believing that God raised His Son from the dead is not merely an event that happened a couple of millennia ago but a living reality in us as we believe. It is a simple, childlike faith in His resurrection power today.
We can then finish off our exercise of faith by thanking God that we have received it.
Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust His promises. When we come to Him in faith every petition enters into the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it. Then we are to go about our duties, assured that the blessing will be realized when we need it most.
— E.G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 200
Here is an example. Say you need wisdom. You can pray something as simple as this:
“Father, Thy servant is in much need of wisdom for accomplishing this project. Please give Thy servant the wisdom Thou hast promised. I receive it from the Lord Jehoshua, whom I acknowledge this day in the words of James 1:5: ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him’. I thank Thee, Father, that I have received Thy wisdom.”
This will truly revolutionize your spiritual life.
Also remember that you can call on the powerful Name of “Lord Jehoshua,” (which also contains the Father‘s Name) at any time of day, however many times you need to, with or without a Bible promise attached; He will save you in whatever temptation you face:
And it shall come to pass, that everyone that shall call upon the Name of Jehovah shall be saved.
— Joel 2:32
This is the verse that Paul quotes from in Romans 10:13, applying it to when hearing the Word, but in the original it is a broad promise for any salvational situation.
The rest of the Praying Through the Sanctuary printout is self-explanatory; just remember that the passages to claim are in blue and other quotes, for explanatory purposes, are in black.
Family Morning and Evening Worship
Morning and evening are also when the family unit is to gather together to offer the sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving; personal and family time cannot replace each other as they both have their own purpose. Here is a quote explaining family morning and evening worship in a nutshell:
In every family there should be a fixed time for morning and evening worship. How appropriate it is for parents to gather their children about them before the fast is broken, to thank the heavenly Father for His protection during the night, and to ask Him for His help and guidance and watchcare during the day! How fitting, also, when evening comes, for parents and children to gather once more before Him and thank Him for the blessings of the day that is past!
The father, or, in his absence, the mother, should conduct the worship, selecting a portion of Scripture that is interesting and easily understood. The service should be short…
Fathers and mothers, make the hour of worship intensely interesting. There is no reason why this hour should not be the most pleasant and enjoyable of the day. A little thought given to preparation for it will enable you to make it full of interest and profit. From time to time let the service be varied. Questions may be asked on the portion of Scripture read, and a few earnest, timely remarks may be made. A song of praise may be sung. The prayer offered should be short and pointed. In simple, earnest words let the one who leads in prayer praise God for His goodness and ask Him for help. As circumstances permit, let the children join in the reading and the prayer.
Eternity alone will reveal the good with which such seasons of worship are fraught.
— E.G. White, 7 Testimonies, pp. 43-44
Here is a quote stressing the importance of confessing the sins of the family, which makes for accountability which most families have never had, thus keeping sins in check:
The father is in one sense the priest of the household, laying upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice. The wife and children should be encouraged to unite in this offering, and also to engage in the song of praise. Morning and evening the father, as priest of the household, should confess to God the sins committed by himself and his children through the day. Those sins which have come to his knowledge, and also those which are secret, of which God’s eye alone has taken cognizance, should be confessed. This rule of action, zealously carried out by the father when he is present, by the mother when he is absent, will result in blessings to the family.
— E.G. White, Signs of the Times, 3/28/1892
A special feature of the evening worship time should be a praise service.
During the evening hour of prayer have a blessed season of confession, and of praise and rejoicing. I am sorry that we do not have more praise services in our homes, sorry that we are so slow to learn to praise him from whom all blessings flow.
E.G. White, Review and Herald, 6/23/1903
Keep in mind that praise and thanksgiving are two different things, though thanksgiving can be part of a praise session. Thanksgiving is for what God has done, and praise is for who He is, such as our Sanctifier and our Provider and our Restorer.
As for the family readings, more explanation is necessary since some important things have been overlooked by many.
The evening worship time should include special Spirit of Prophecy books if not read separately from it in the evening.
The volumes of Spirit of Prophecy, and also the Testimonies, should be introduced into every Sabbath-keeping family, and the brethren should know their value and be urged to read them. It was not the wisest plan to place these books at a low figure and have only one set in a church. They should be in the library of every family and read again and again. Let them be kept where they can be read by many, and let them be worn out in being read by all the neighbors.
There should be evening readings, in which one should read aloud to those assembled at the winter fireside. There is but little interest manifested to make the most of the light given of God. Much of it is concerning family duties, and instruction is given to meet almost every case and circumstance.
— E.G. White, 4 Testimonies, p. 390
The Spirit of Prophecy volumes later came to be expanded; either form can be read. But first we recommend reading the Testimonies, for they contain special counsels for the Assembly to fit us up for translation. They contain many reforms that are needed, which, if not taken up, prevent the revival of the latter rain. The neglect of heeding the Testimonies is largely why we are still here.
There is more time for reading in the winter with the long nights and no agricultural work. 30 minutes to an hour seems like a decent amount of time in the winter, considering that this is the minimum time the families watch television; perhaps 10 to 15 minutes would be better in busier seasons. There is no excuse for doing other activities that would keep us from learning the conduct of our families that would fit us for heaven through a revival and reformation.
If the warnings and reproofs given in the Word of God and in the testimonies of His Spirit are not plain enough, what words would be sufficiently plain to bring about a revival and a reformation?
— E.G. White, Manuscript 108, 1901
The morning family devotions could be much shorter, just reading a passage of the Scriptures. Our plan is to read one book of the Bible at a time, including all of the books of the original King James Bible—which included the 14 books of the Old Testament apocrypha—except for the Law and the Gospels, which are read in our personal devotions. Sister White was given a vision that we should read the apocrypha, and she alludes to 2 Esdras the most in Early Writings. It is a book that covers the sealing of the 144,000 and future events. The other books have special application to the last days as well.
For your convenience, we have a checklist of Bible books that you can use to keep track for your family devotions. We also have a separate checklist for the Psalms, which may be useful for keeping track of the Psalms you have read.
Why the Apocrypha?
I saw that the Apocrypha was the hidden book, and that the wise of these last days should understand it.
— E.G. White, Manuscript 4, 1850
The list of Bible books includes the Apocrypha for a very important reason. It is that remnant of the Scriptures—separated and later removed from the other Scriptures by men led of Satan (according to an early vision of Sister White)—that is especially for the elect remnant people of God in these last days, on whom He shall place His seal. This is because the themes common in the apocryphal books are the wisdom of fearing God, holiness, and casting out all idols—the very themes that must be internalized by the remnant people. Thus, I strongly encourage you to listen to the following message on this subject (after hearing the main message).
The Remnant for the Remnant – AUDIO
Download the outline for the above presentation here: The Remnant for the Remnant Outline.
We have a PDF of the full Apocrypha of the Septuagint, as noted in the presentation above. It is called the Anaginoskomena, which contains three genuine Scriptures not in the original King James: 3 Maccabees, Psalm 151, and the Psalms of Solomon (in the appendix). Just ignore 4 Maccabees, which is a spurious book that was never in the Old Testament apocryphal Scriptures.
Each day you will have a balanced and nutritious spiritual diet. But, if all possible, do not read on a screen; for writings that are not available in print, I recommend you print for yourself. Only do your readings in paper books, because research shows that people assimilate what they read much better this way. This will also help you avoid computer distractions. If you can, get hard cover or leather-bound books that will hold up. I will be reading out of The History of Redemption. This excellent volume contains multiple Ellen White books, namely the Conflict of the Ages series, Christ’s Object Lessons, Mount of Blessings and Steps to Christ.
Keep in mind, too, that there is nothing the devil fears more than that we shall wake up, dig into the Word and pray earnestly to God with the persistence that unlocks the power of heaven. When we do this, he’s through! So, he’ll do his utmost to get in the way and prevent us from engaging in this plan. Therefore, “A life of daily communion with God, a life that will shed light upon the path of others, cannot be maintained without earnest, persistent effort” (E.G. White, The Watchman, September 29, 1908). This is war, brothers and sisters. Never weary in the struggle!
Don’t Delay! Begin Today!
Are you ready to join us in this wonderful new adventure in God’s Word, beloved? Let’s seek the revival of the Holy Spirit together! I leave you with these poignant words from the pen of inspiration, which suggest that at least two hours a day (the time it takes to eat our physical food in one day if eaten slowly as it should be for digestion) should be spent in the Word of God, which would include personal and family morning and evening devotions as well as going through memory texts, which is also part of our revival plan.
THERE IS MORE TIME SPENT IN EATING AND DRINKING THAN IN STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD, AND WE WANT YOU TO REFORM IN THIS.
— E.G. White, Manuscript 33, 1885
Lastly, just remember, our morning and evening devotions are supposed to be sacrifices—which, for us, means sacrificing hours of each day. But we will be richly repaid by a life of peaceful communion with God and an eternity of perfect bliss to come!