Standing Together Prayer Fasting and Support Group
Outreach of The Kings Gardeners Ministries based in Spokane Valley Washington U.S.
Group Director is Billie Sue Mills, Florida, U.S.
Shofar Watchman Leader - Atholynne Lonsdale, UK
In whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.
Each Friday at Sundown where ever a member and those who will join them can pray this group sounds an alarm in the spirit world. It is a sound that brings shudders of fear to the enemy of our souls. It is a time of high praise to our Lord and Savior and our Father God. Bringing the sacrifice of praise is so important. It defeats so much doom and gloom in our lives. We praise and sound the Shofar!
Then we pray over OTHER standing families and LASTLY our own. This is the order we use for Friday night. We DELIBERATELY put God first, others second and ourselves last.
The Shofar sounds are provided online for each member that wants to participate. They can be found at the Standing Together at Yahoo groups site in the files section. That link is sent out to the group periodically.
Our Shofar leader Lynne Londsdale in the United Kingdom starts us off. As sundown comes the sounds of the Shofar ring out across the world as member after member relays the sounds and prayers around the world! We put the enemy of our souls and the souls of our family members on notice that GOD WINS!!! NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES! WE WIN! Jesus Christ saw to that a very long time ago.
You can find the Shofar Watchmens Emphasis for the week at http://sandymall.com/tkgm/MENUShofarWATCHMEN.htm
Understanding of the Shofar begins with recognizing the value of the word chosen for its name. Literally translated, the Hebrew word Shofar is "a sense of incising; cutting or burning into" and it comes from a root word meaning "beauty". "And if you go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresses you, then you shall blow an alarm with the trumpets ("veharei'otem b'hatzotzrot"); and you shall be remembered ("veniz'kartem") before the Lord your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies.
Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow with the trumpets ("ut'ka'tem b'hatzotzrot") over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a remembrance ("l'zikaron") before your God - I am the Lord your God."[Bamidbar 10:9-10 that's transliterated Numbers in the English bible].
In the Bible, the Shofar was blown for a variety of reasons. The Biblical references are at the end of this article and are listed by type of events in which it was blown. It was most frequently blown to call for fasting and prayer, repentance, praise and worship, to rally troops, for God's intercession when going to battle the enemy, and for sounding a memorial to God.
Many people in the Bible used the Shofar, from priest to shepherds of the field and the watchman on the walls. It was not just used in religious ceremony. The words watchman, sentinel and shepherd are linked together in meaning by the vigil that they take upon themselves. Vigil means an act of praying and standing watch for someone or something, guarding that person or thing, waiting for however long as necessary for the safety of the one watched over. These three, the watchman, sentinel and shepherd will stand the vigil and sound the alarm, attack the enemy, or cry out to God for mercy when necessary. I have no doubt that the greatest call for the Shofar today is its use in the hands of the mighty prayer warrior, the intercessor.
The overall use of the Shofar as an effective tool for breaking down spiritual walls, snapping the chains of bondage, facilitating worship, and empowering intercessory prayer can be best understood when one realizes the significance of its penetrating tones in the spirit realm. As previously noted, our Lord and Savior, Jesus, will return to its sound. His return signifies the end of Satan and his principalities and powers. It is easy to understand the fear and confusion it causes the enemy when it's played. When he hears the sound, he doesn't know if the time has come for his end or if it is just a reminder of his ultimate finish. Either way, he surely must hate it.
The sounding of the Shofar can also call sinners to repentance for the same reason though they may not actually understand why they seem to be so troubled by its sound. It is useful for opening the soul of man to the conviction and drawing of the Holy Spirit. However, the soul of the right standing believer is reassured and made glad at its sound because we welcome the return of our Lord and Savior while, at the same time, the sound brings us into a place of reverence at the awesome-ness of Almighty God.
The sound of the Shofar also speaks in another way. It calls us to unity, encouraging us and causing our faith to increase.
Standing Together, the strength of our faith is multiplied many times greater than our number in a synergistic manner. This voice of corporate faith penetrates the air just as does the sounds of the Shofar God not only hears us, but He willingly responds to our faith with all His Power and Glory.
During the blowing of the Shofar Notice there are three distinct sounds:
Tekiah -- one long, straight blast
Shevarim -- three medium, wailing sounds
Teruah -- 9 quick blasts in short succession
THE TEKIAH SOUND
This sound is blown as we appreciate who God is. God is all-powerful. God is the Creator. God is the Sustainer God is the Supervisor. In short, God is King of the Universe.
But for many of us, the idea of a "king" conjures up images of a greedy and power-hungry despot who wants to subjugate the masses for his selfish aims.
In Jewish/Messianic tradition, a king is first and foremost a servant of the people. His only concern is that the people live in happiness and harmony. His decrees and laws are only for the good of the people, not for himself. (see Maimonides, Laws of Kings 2:6)
Tekiah -- the long, straight Shofar blast -- is the sound of the King's coronation. In the Garden of Eden, Adam's first act was to proclaim God as King. And now, we use the Shofar to proclaim to ourselves and to the world: God is our King. We set our values straight and return to the reality of God as the One Who runs the world... guiding history, moving mountains, and caring for each and every human being individually and personally.
Maimonides adds one important qualification: It isn't enough that God is MY King alone. If ALL humanity doesn't recognize God as King, then there is something lacking in my own relationship with God. Part of my love for the Almighty is to help guide all people to an appreciation of Him. Of course this is largely an expression of my deep caring for others. But it also affects my own sense of God's all-encompassing Kingship.
THE SHEVARIM SOUND
When we think about the year gone by, we know deep down that we've failed to live up to our full potential. In the coming year, we yearn not to waste that opportunity ever again. Some say that Shevarim -- three medium, wailing blasts -- is the sobbing cry of a heart.
Every person has the ability to change and be great. This can be accomplished much faster than you ever dreamed of. The key is to pray from the bottom of your heart and ask God for the ability to become great. Don't let yourself be constrained by the past. You have enormous potential.
At the moment the Shofar is blown, we cry out to God from the depths of our soul. This is the moment -- when our souls stand before the Almighty without any barriers -- that we can truly let go.
THE TERUAH SOUND
We need to wake up and be honest and objective about our lives: Who we are, where we've been, and which direction we're headed. The Teruah sound -- 9 quick blasts in short succession -- resembles an alarm clock, arousing us from our spiritual slumber. The Shofar brings clarity, alertness, and focus.
The Talmud says: "When there's judgment from below, there's no need for judgment from above." What this means is that if we take the time to construct a sincere, realistic model of how we've fallen short in the past, and what we expect to change in the future, then God doesn't need to "wake us up" to what we already know.
God wants us to make an honest effort to maximize the gifts He gave us. You aren't expected to be anything you're not. But you can't hoodwink God, either.
The reason we lose touch and make mistakes is because we don't take the time everyday to reconnect with our deepest desires and essence. The solution is to spend time alone everyday, asking: Am I on track? Am I focused? Am I pursuing goals which will make the greatest overall difference in my life and in the world?
The Tekiah Gedolah: "the great Tekiah," a single unbroken blast, held as long as possible.
The expert who blows the Shofar is termed the ba'al tokea'" (the sounder of the Shofar).
Apart from its liturgical uses the Shofar was closely connected to history. Its blast destroyed the walls of Jericho, and in the Dead Sea scrolls we read that during battles Shofar blowers sounded a powerful war cry to instill fear into the hearts of the enemy while priests blew the six trumpets of killing. Historically the Shofar has also served in a number of popular usages: it was sounded during rites to bring rain, in the event of local disasters, and so on.
Besides these traditional sounds, there is a different sound coming to the Shofar In the Church today we have the advantage of the Holy Spirit and are no longer limited to the law of the Shofar and, therefore, have much more liberty with its use. We are no longer confined to producing only the traditional Jewish soundings but can produce the pitches or 'notes' as led by the Holy Spirit. It is important for those blowing a Shofar not to get too caught up in learning the "proper" soundings to produce but rather to stay in communion with the Lord and simply allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.
Unlike the traditional "soundings" of the Synagogue, today the Lord is "playing a new song". It is a new song, a new way in which God is speaking to His people. And yet it is not totally new. It is very similar to the system He instructed Moses to employ as the Israelites moved through the wilderness (Numbers 10:1-10). He called for distinct soundings to be blown as a means of maintaining order while the multitude of His people followed the Glory Cloud and other soundings for raising the alarm when going to battle. I am convinced that the day of the Lord is at hand and God is again using the sounds of the Shofar as one way among many to direct the movements of His Church.
1. It was blown to herald the Lord's descent and the giving of the law at Mt. Sanai. Ex 19:16,19 & 20:18
2. It was blown to usher in the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah). This was a call to "Sabbath rest, a memorial of blowing trumpets, and a holy convocation (assembly)."
3. It was blown to herald the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Lev 25:9
4. It was blown to announce the Year of Jubilee. Lev. 25:9-10
5. It was to blown continually by seven priests before the Ark of the Covenant, as part of strategic warfare at the battle of Jericho. Joshua 6:4-20
6. It was blown by Gideon to rally troops and with only 300 men in his army, to confuse the enemy in battle. Judges 6:34 & 7:8, 16, 20
7. It was blown to usher in the ark of the Lord (His presence) as David danced.
2 Sam 6:15; 1 Chron 15:14
8. It was blown when a king was anointed. 1 Kings 1:34, 39, 41; 2 Kings 9:13
9. It was blown at the taking of an oath. 2 Chron 15:14
10. It was blown to rally the troops. Neh 4:18, 20
11. It was blown to announce Yahweh's presence and to praise and worship Him.
Ps 77:5; 98:6; 150:3; Is 27:13; 18:3; Rev 1:10
12. It was blown to call people to repentance. Is 58:1; Hosea 8:1; Joel 2:1
13. It was blown to sound the alarm of war. Jer 4:19, 21; 6:1, 17; 51:27; Joel 2:1
14. It was blown to sound the warning of danger. Amos 2:2; 3:6; Zep 1:16; Hosea 5:8; 8:1; Ezekiel 33:2-9 (The sound of the trumpet is compared to a prophet's voice.)
15. It was blown to call to repentance and fasting. Joel 2:1, 15
16. It was blown by the Lord, Yahweh. Zech 9:14
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Questions? Contact Ministry Director at firstname.lastname@example.org