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The Ninth Hour, the Hour of Prayer

The Ninth Hour, the Hour of Prayer details logo The LORD is near - Sunday, May 15, 2022
by Jacob Redekop, Brian Reynolds, John van Dijk, Eugene P. Vedder Jr
The Ninth Hour, the Hour of Prayer

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour; but about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?
Matthew 27:45–46

The Ninth Hour, the Hour of Prayer
During this sacred scene, in which the Lord Jesus was bearing the judgment for our sin, we hear His cry of desolation. This occurred at the “ninth hour.” We learn from this passage that there was darkness over the land from the “sixth hour,” which would be our 12:00 noon, until the “ninth hour,” which would be 3:00 pm for us. The “ninth hour” was the “hour of prayer” (see Acts 3:1; 10:30). At the very hour in which the Lord Jesus cried out to God, the Jewish people were turning to prayer. Meditate, oh my soul, upon this amazing fact, that while the Christ cried to God when forsaken, His people, who had just rejected Him, were praying. The priests were in the temple at the hour of prayer when the veil of the temple was rent in two (Mt. 27:51). This signified the way was now open for us to approach God in prayer with boldness (Heb. 9:8; 10:19–20)!

There is yet another wonderful thing connected with the “ninth hour.” For Israel, this hour (3:00 pm) was considered the beginning of the evening. In fact, it was the time of the “evening sacrifice” of the “continual burnt offering” (Ex. 29:38–41). A lamb “of the first year” was to be killed “between the two evenings” (“twilight” nkjv), that is, at the ninth hour, the very hour of the Lord’s heart-breaking cry! The continual burnt offering was the ground on which God could meet with His people and speak with them (Ex. 29:42). It is also a blessed type of God’s having “taken us into favor in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6). Not only has He opened up the way of approach to God, but we stand there in all the savor and worth of His sacrifice.

Brian Reynolds


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