The Story – Hanukkah Prayer
Each night of Hanukkah we say a Hanukkah prayer as we light candles. Our prayer at Hanukkah reminds us of our dedication to God. Imagine standing in Jerusalem, at the beginning of a newly independent nation after Antiochus has been expelled. Once again, you walk the busy streets through the marketplace, hearing the lowing of bulls in your ears, and the sound of sheep baaing. You smell smoke as the priests once again pray and burn sacrifices in the Temple. The capital is bustling and growing. This city center is again the heart of the religious world for the Jewish people, and it is your home. You love this city, and the people in it.
Because the Jewish people had fought for so long, they had missed many celebrations and holidays, so they commemorated the season of Sukkot late in the year. They spent eight days celebrating Tabernacles in the month of December, commemorating God’s goodness and rededicating the Temple, just as King Solomon had done when he dedicated the Temple hundreds of years before.
The conviction and bravery of the Jewish people once again proved their dedication to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God in return had upheld his covenant to protect and provide for them. As the city returned to normal life, and again practiced their tradition and holy rites, they were reminded of the reason for their dedication and tradition. God’s miracles, and their faith reinforced their values of freedom, faith, integrity, and selflessness. So, as we light the Menorah each night, we too pray a Hanukkah Prayer, so we can remind ourselves that we are to be dedicated to God always.
THE THEME: DEDICATION
We are called to be dedicated to God! During the time of Jesus, Hanukkah became known as the celebration commemorating our deliverance and rededication to God (John 10:22).
As the Temple was dedicated, so the people dedicated themselves to God and His ways. The lives of Mattathias and Judah Maccabee are testimonies of men who realized obeying God was more important than obeying man. The fight against the kingdom of darkness and the surrounding culture is not just to be free, but also to embrace God and the holiness He has called us to. Today we’re called to dedication to God’s ways, regardless of the sacrifice. Many of those who stood against assimilation were killed. Some gave up their livelihood, position and popularity. Our dedication to God’s ways may cost us the same things, but God will stand with us for His glory. God is willing to give His supernatural power to us if we will seek to be dedicated to Him by His Spirit.
Hanukkah is considered the time to rededicate our lives to His ways no matter the cost. When the Messiah came, this spiritual lesson became a living reality. Through the life and ministry of Jesus, the people of His generation saw the fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah. Now we dedicate our entire lives to walking in His ways no matter what the cost might be.
- How is God calling you to be dedicated in this season?