*The Tabernacle – A model for prayer*
*1) The gate-The place of thanksgiving*
*2) The Courtyard-The place of praise*
*3) The Brass Altar-The place of confession*
*4) The Brass Laver-The place of meditation*
*5) The Table of Showbread-The place of petition*
*6) The Golden Candlestick-The place of ministry*
*7) The Altar of Incense-The place of intercession*
*8) The Holy of Holies-The place of worship*
*/#1 The Gate-/*The place of thanksgiving
\\ \\ Enter into His gates with thanksgiving…
*Exodus 27:16** describes the gate*
* For the gate of the court there shall be a screen of twenty cubits, of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen, the work of a weaver, with their four pillars and their four sockets.
The entrance or door into the outer courtyard was made of the same fabric as the door into the tabernacle itself and the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, because whether we are talking about the door into the courtyard—the place of salvation,
The door into the holy place—the place of service,
Or the door into the Holy of Holies—the place of worship, it’s all the same Door.
*It’s all through Jesus.*
You see, just as the tabernacle was comprised of three sections—the outer courtyard, the holy place, and the Holy of Holies— there are three stages in our life in Christ…
The first group is those who are inside the courtyard.
They have accepted Christ, they are part of the kingdom.
They realize Jesus Christ; the Lamb of God was slain for their sins.
They have received His salvation, they embrace His grace.
The second group is those who say, “Because God has been so good to me, I want to serve Him.”
So they go into the holy place and serve the showbread, which speaks of the Word of God.
They teach Sunday school, lead family devotions, and share the Word with someone at work.
They see the golden lamp stand and desire to let their light shine through good works (Matthew 5:16)—through helping in the nursery, through visiting people who are in the hospital, through helping those in need.
They smell the incense burning and are reminded that it speaks of intercession.
So they pray consistently for the lost and for their brothers and sisters, for their families and the country.
But the third group are those who, like the high priest himself, enter in to the Holy of Holies in order to simply spend time in the Lord’s presence—to consider His character, ponder His nature, give Him praise, express their love, bring Him pleasure.
I think we will be surprised in heaven when we see these certain people who would just sit quietly in church, not seeking the attention of men but fellowshipping with the Father.
All too often, we don’t understand this.
We think if we could lead worship, preach a sermon, or be a missionary, we’d be amazing.
But those things don’t hold a candle to the highest level—to coming in to the Presence of the Lord and worshiping Him intimately.
*And here’s the key: the highest form of ministry, the most satisfying aspect of ministry is available to every single person right now.*
Jesus gives us an example of this when He went to the home of His close friends in Bethany—the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
Lazarus is not mentioned in the Luke 10 account.
He was outside, in the outer courtyard, he’s saved but he is not doing any more.
He was a friend of the Lord to be sure.
But he was outside.
Martha was in the kitchen, or the holy place, serving.
She was baking bread, doing good works, and even praying, “Lord, tell my sister to get in here and help me!”
Mary, however, was sitting at the feet of Jesus.
She was in the Holy of Holies.
And, of her, Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the better part” (Luke 10:42).
Nothing compares to being in the Holy of Holies, to being in the Lord’s presence.
It’s the highest calling, the most important aspect of ministry.
And it’s available to every one of us.
Salvation, service, and intimacy are all entered through the same door—through Jesus’ finished work on the Cross.
1) “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16).
That’s the door into the courtyard.
2) “If any man come after Me, let him take up His cross and follow Me” (Mark 8:34).
That’s the door into the holy place, into service.
3) “Take, eat.
This is My body broken for you.
Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19).
That’s the door into the deepest place of ministry.
*Paul put it this way:* “It’s the love of Christ that constrains me, motivates me to be a servant of His” (2 Corinthians 5:14).
And, “Even as you received Christ Jesus, so walk ye in Him” (Colossians 2:6).
How are Gods people to enter the Courtyard of the Tabernacle?
The bible says were to enter His gates with thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4)
*THANKSGIVING* — the aspect of praise that gives thanks to God for what He does for us.
Thanksgiving should come from a grateful heart, and thanksgiving is required of all believers *no matter how we feel.*
(1 Thessalonians 5:18) (Ephesians 5:20) (Colossians 3:17) (Romans 7:25) (Colossians 1:3-5) (1 Thessalonians 1:2-7) (Philippians 4:6)
*/#2 The Courtyard/*-The place of praise
…and into His courts with praise…Psalm 100:4
*Exodus 27:9-20** describes the courtyard*
We come to the description of the linen fence which formed the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle.
At one hundred cubits long by fifty cubits wide, or one hundred and fifty feet by seventy-five feet, this area was not very big considering that it was for a congregation of possibly three million people.
But perhaps in it the Lord was saying, “At a given time, I know not many people will seek Me.”
Sixty pillars—twenty each on the north and south sides, ten on the east and west sides—kept the linen fence in place and kept out people who didn’t belong inside, *those who weren’t part of the family.*
(hedge of protection)
After spending time thanking the Lord for what He has done, we praise Him for who He is.
Again, as specifically as possible, praise God for His beauty, purity and creativity, for His mercy, grace, and love, for His faithfulness, His holiness, His kindness.
Why does God want us to praise Him?
Is it because He's unsure of Himself?
Is it because He's insecure?
Not at all.
We praise God to foster within our own hearts a spirit of expectation.
Remembering the nature of our heavenly Father allows us to come to Him with great confidence.
When I begin to pour out my burdens and my questions to the Lord, if I have already exalted Him for being omnipotent and compassionate I don’t have to wonder if He is strong enough or loving enough to answer my prayers.
Praising God for who He is gives me confidence that He is able to handle the burdens that are too heavy for me.
That’s why we have praise and worship before we look into God’s word, to prepare our hearts to receive the Word.
That’s why when the children of Israel ask God what tribe to send first into battle, God told them “send Judah”.
Judah means praise.
After thanking and praising God we come to the altar.
*/#3 The Brass Altar/*-The place of confession
Leviticus 17:11 tells us
For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls….
*Exodus 27:1-2** describe the altar*
* “And you shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide; the altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits.
“You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with brass.
At seven and one-half by seven and one-half by four and one-half feet, the Altar is not only the first object one would see when entering the tabernacle, but the largest.
The place where sacrifices would be made, where blood would be shed, it speaks of the Cross.
This is where the Israelites would bring their sin and trespass offerings.
As they placed their hand upon the bull, goat, or lamb they brought as a sacrifice, they would confess their sin not generically, but specifically.
Then they would watch as the throat of the animal was slit and the blood drained.
The animal laid upon the Brass Altar would be an unforgettable picture of the result of their sin.
The bible tells us that the wages of sin are death.
In this example for prayer, the Brass Altar is the place where confession is made.