Nehemiah started explaining the practices that God had given.
“First, there were daily routines. You remember how I had talked to God morning and evening for four months as I was wondering how the walls could be rebuilt? That morning and evening prayer had been part of my routine long before my brother came with the bad news. Morning and evening prayer was part of our story as a people.
- The Levites prayed in front of the altar morning and evening. David outlined their duties in 1 Chronicles 23, and specified their daily prayer routine: ‘They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They were to do the same in the evening and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the Lord on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals’ (1 Chronicles 23:30-31).
- David had prayers, psalms, for morning and evening. Psalm 4 is an evening prayer, for example.
- Through Moses, God laid out morning and evening sacrifices in Numbers 28. He said there was to be an offering all the time, but he specified morning and evening to start the offerings. When you are offering a lamb, it takes that long.”
I interrupted, “But we’re not doing burnt offerings any more. And no one has, Jew or Christian, since the temple was destroyed in 70 AD.”
I was relieved by that, since I’m not a fan of blood.
He paused. “Do you think that the removal of the sacrifice means that you don’t need daily reminders?”
He was right. Paul talked about making ourselves living sacrifices in Romans 12:1. Maybe looking at the when of the sacrifice rather than the what might teach me about routine. And maybe, when Jesus talked about daily bread, he was creating a daily routine.
“Let’s go back to the list please?” Nehemiah’s quiet voice broke in.