In 1978 I visited Israel for the very first time. From the moment I stepped out of the plane I felt a very powerful presence there. I felt at home and I felt a desire to know more about my spiritual roots which come out of Israel.
There was a particular moment that has stuck with me over the past thirty-three years. I saw a Jewish man praying at the Western Wall. I was mesmerized by his actions while praying. He had the Word of God in his hands and he was rocking and kissing the Word. His cheeks were drenched in tears and he was covered in his prayer shawl.
At that moment I felt the Lord tell me to “discover the mystery of the prayer shawl.” I went to a store and purchased a prayer shawl. I packed it in my suitcase. Once I returned from the trip I begin to dive into the Word of God and search the Scriptures on everything I could find on this mysterious garment.
What I found was a treasure of who God is and what He means to Believers.
The prayer shawl reveals the name of God, the Word of God, the residence of God, His double portion of power for miracles, and the prayer shawl reveals the prophecy of Israel.
As I researched I found a veritable list of who’s who that wore the prayer shawl. Moses wore it to his funeral. David wore one on the day he fought Goliath and Daniel wore one as he went into the Lion’s den. Jesus wore His prayer shawl as He went into the darkness of Gethsemane and He will wear it again when He returns.
In researching the mystery of the prayer shawl we can begin with these verses from Numbers 15: 37-41: Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.’
How did God communicate His Word to man before the printing press? It was through the prayer shawl. God Himself designed the prayer shawl. The shawl reveals the name of God.
God is a god of numbers. Consider the number one: “Behold O Israel the Lord our God is ONE.”
Then there is the number two: A certain man had two sons; there were two builders; there were two foundations and there are two positions in the Word of God: saved or lost, wheat or tares, sheep or goat and many others. The number three is the number of Spiritual Authority: Father – Son – Holy Spirit. Ecclesiastes says, “A threefold cord is not easily broken.”
Seven is the number of completion. There are seven days in a week, seven ages in dispensation and seven golden candlesticks. Twelve is the number of governmental authority. There are twelve disciples, there are twelve that rule in Heaven and there are twelve gates of the city of Jerusalem.
The study of Bible numerology is a fascinating study, but when you open the Word of God you immediately discover in Exodus 6 that the name of God was a mystery.
In Exodus 6:3, “To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I was known as God Almighty, but they did not know Me by the name of Jehovah.” God let men follow Him for hundreds of years before He even dared to share His name.
The name of the Lord is seen in the Tzitzit. Down the sides of the shawl there are knots that stand for 613 commandments of the Word that Jewish people memorized.
Before the Word was printed on the Guttenberg press the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Before the Word became flesh it was transmitted in the prayer shawl through the 613 principles of truth.
David said, “Thy Word have I hidden (memorized) in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” It is important to remember that the Word you memorize is the Word you utilize. It is a known fact that Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness trying to sabotage His mission to Calvary
Jesus didn’t cower in fear, He answered “It is written” three times and instantly Satan obeyed the Word of God.
Satan is not afraid of your feelings, or your philosophy, but he is afraid of the Word of God. Satan is mastered by the Word, so with authority you can speak it, believe it and act upon it.
A prayer shawl is God’s residence.
Moses had a congregation of between two and six million, but the Tabernacle in the Wilderness was small (18’ x 45’). There wasn’t room for everyone, so every man had his own tabernacle – the prayer shawl.
Every Jewish man has one from the age of thirteen. He would put one on quoting Psalm 104: 1-2: “Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, 2 Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.”
Israel camped around the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle held the Ark of the Covenant which was the presence of God. Without the presence of God you will die spiritually.
Jesus wore His prayer shawl continually. In Mark 5:25-30 we read the story of the woman with the issue of blood. She cried out, “if I can touch the hem of His garment.” The definition of hem in the Greek language is “twisted coil.” She reached for the tzitzit of the prayer shawl.
The prayer shawl was part of the resurrection of Jesus (John 20:6-7). It was gently folded in the corner of the empty tomb. The manner in which the prayer shawl was folded was the ultimate testimony of Jesus resurrection.
The last appearance of the prayer shawl in Scripture comes in Revelation 19:11-13. Revelation 19:12 says “And He had a name written that no man knew… on His vesture and on His thigh a name written King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That is the tzitzit.
Through this teaching you will see how the prayer shawl reveals the name of God, the Word of God, the residence of God, His double portion of power for miracles, and the prayer shawl reveals the prophecy of Israel. It is more than just a covering; it is representative of who God is and how much He loves us.
This is only a small portion of the mystery held in the prayer shawl. When we begin to grasp all that our precious Father has in store for us, we will begin to know how much He truly loves us. My prayer for you is that when you begin to study the mystery of the prayer shawl, you will begin to accept the most incredible gift God has made available to us through His only Son, Jesus, the redemption through the Blood!