Ten Days of Prayer 2023Return to Blog
DAY 2: Consecration and Commemoration
Back to the Altar — A Place for Remembering
Consecration and Commemoration
In the Bible, altars always represent places of consecration and commemoration. They are an outward symbol of one’s personal connection to God, of one’s acknowledgment and worship of the true and living God. Altars were often built to commemorate encounters with God that had a profound impact on someone’s life. When God did something “super-normal,” “supernatural,” or “super-special,” the recipients of God’s mighty act often did not want to forget it, so they would build an altar—a place for remembering—on the spot where they had seen God move.
When God told Abram in Genesis 12:7 that He would give the land of Canaan to his descendants, Abram built an altar there because his encounter with God was “super-normal.” In that moment God promised to transcend everything normal in Abram’s life and make from his seed a great and mighty people. When Isaac was wandering the desert of Gerar and fighting the locals over well-water, God appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants” (Genesis 26:24). Isaac commemorated this divine encounter by building an altar on that very spot because his encounter with God was “supernatural.” God had broken through the natural order of Isaac’s life to affirm that His promise to Isaac’s father was now Isaac’s promise also. Isaac’s son Jacob traveled to a place called Bethel (Genesis 35:3) and built an altar in honor of God, who had appeared to him during his flight from Esau. Because that encounter with God was “super-special,” Jacob built an altar there. A fearful Gideon was pleasantly surprised when God appeared to him in peace and called him to lead the nation to victory. Gideon was so moved that he built an altar on the spot and called it “Jehovah is Peace” (Judges 6:24) because his encounter with God was “super-peaceful”!
While many see God’s mighty acts in their lives as mere moments of coincidence or chance, others recognize the moving of God and do all within their power to never forget what He has done. And there is an added benefit to their efforts: future travelers along life’s journey are blessed by the altars set up by believers. Ellen White notes, “Abraham set us a worthy example. His was a life of prayer. Wherever he pitched his tent, close beside was set up his altar, calling all within his encampment to the morning and evening sacrifice. When his tent was removed, the altar remained. Roving Canaanites received instruction from Abraham, and wherever one of these came to that altar, he there worshiped the living God” (From Eternity Past, p. 76).
What heavenly blessings do you want to remember in the future? And what altar to God will you build today?
Let’s talk to our God.
Prayer Time (30–45 Minutes)
Praying God’s Word — Genesis 12:7
“And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.”
“He Built an Altar”
God, on this day I want to remember what You have done in my life, how You have intervened when I was on the wrong path, how You rescued me. I want to remember and praise You for Your loving grace toward me. I remember Your goodness, and in response will (re)consecrate my life to You. Amen.
“To the Lord”
Lord God, You and You alone deserve our praise, our worship, and our consecration. There is no other god like You: so loving, so kind, so patient, so merciful, so powerful, and so willing to save and help. Our eyes are on You, Lord. Our hearts are Yours. Our adoration and praise are for You alone, for You are worthy! Amen.
“Who Had Appeared to Him”
Father, Your presence always surrounds us—yes, closer than we realize. You have made Yourself known, whether through the Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, a sermon, a prayer, or another person, and we thank You for revealing Yourself. We rejoice in the reality of Your all-permeating presence through Your Holy Spirit, and we invite You to inhabit our bodies as living vessels. Glorify Yourself through us. Show us how to love people around us and lead them to Your truth. Amen.
More Prayer Suggestions
Thanks and Praise: Give thanks for specific blessings and praise God for His goodness.
Confession: Take a few minutes for private confession and thank God for His forgiveness.
Guidance: Ask God to grant wisdom for current challenges and decisions.
Our Church: Pray for regional and world church needs (see separate sheet with requests).
Local Requests: Pray for current needs of church members, family, and neighbors.
Listen and Respond: Take time to listen for God’s voice and respond in praise or song.
SDA Hymnal: I Will Sing of My Redeemer (#343); O Worship the King (#83); Come Thou Fount (#334)
Other Songs: Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart; Count Your Blessings
Published by the General Conference Ministerial Association
Daily Readings by Pr. Dwain Esmond