For five years now, Jesus’ Holy Spirit has asked me to pray for a prophetic prayer focus for each new year. At first, I began receiving these names in January at the start of a new year. For the last two years, I’ve been receiving the names in the preceding Autumn (harvest) season, so that I can begin to prepare for the next year ahead of time.
Here’s the years and names I’ve tracked since this experience began:
- 2018 Restoration – Galatians 4:1-7
- 2019 Wild Frontier – 1 Corinthians 2
- 2020 Deep Dive – Job 38
- 2021 Establish Roots – Jeremiah 17:5-8
- 2022 Firstfruits – 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
Every new year, our Abba Father reveals to me three additional words to help provide context and depth to the prayer focus. Here’s what I’ve heard about 2022 Firstfruits Year:
2022 Firstfruits Vision
While praying about the year 2022, I saw established roots underneath the soil’s surface from 2021 Establish Roots Year. The seedpod had broken open, and the roots were deep in rich soil, but nothing had emerged out from the soil yet. Then, I saw a slender plant shoot up from the seed, overflowing out of the established roots. The growing, vulnerable plant broke through the soil’s surface, rose up into the air, and a beautiful flower opened wide. A butterfly alighted upon the flower to drink the nectar and take the pollen to another plant, so that more seeds could be sown, and much more fruit could be born.
Firstfruits Year – 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
- Break Through – Matthew 7:7-8
- Rise Up – Isaiah 60:1-3
- Open Wide – Mark 8:34-37
First Fruits – As we establish our roots in Jesus Christ, he produces firstfruits through us that are pure and valuable. We generously give them back to God as worship, so he can transform them into much-needed resources for his Gospel mission to all tribes and nations.
Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the Firstfruits; afterward, at his coming, those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when he abolishes all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be abolished is death. For God has put everything under his feet. Now when it says “everything” is put under him, it is obvious that he who puts everything under him is the exception. When everything is subject to Christ, then the Son himself will also be subject to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be All in All. (1 Corinthians 15:20-28 CSB)
Firstfruits carry deep ancient wisdom from the Scriptures and Israel’s history. Noah’s generation drowned in the sea and his family alone saved is a firstfruits for Judgement Day. David, the musician shepherd who became a mighty warrior who became Israel’s king, is a firstfruits for Jesus, the Humble Carpenter who became a Spirit-filled Teacher who became a Wonderful Savior who became an Eternal King.
Missionary Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15 that Jesus Christ is the Firstfruits of the resurrection of the dead. Father Yahweh already resurrected his Son Jesus from the dead, and these firstfruits are the sign that we too will be resurrected from the dead when our Messiah King returns. As Adam brought death to all mankind through his sins in Eden Garden, so Jesus brings life to all mankind through his righteousness on Calvary’s Cross.
Missionary Paul says that Jesus Christ reigns on high in heaven right now, today. He will put all his enemies under his feet, meaning the Hellfire Dragon and his demon armies; even Death itself. At the end of this age, after Jesus has returned to earth to judge the nations and inaugurate the next age of his eternal reign, he will hand over his authority to Father Yahweh to rule and reign forever.
The context, the culture that serves as the bedrock for these Truths is that we must depend upon God for everything. Let us not trust in ourselves or our possessions, our education or our experiences, our plans or our comforts. One of the greatest expressions of firstfruits in the Bible is through our rhythms of generosity. As God provides for us, we take the first and the best every time and return it to him through giving to Jesus’ mission to reach every tribe, tongue, nation, and people with the Good News.
Another expression of firstfruits is our daily time. What’s the first thing I do when I wake up? Check the news or social media? Get crackin’ on the new day’s task list? Lord, protect us from a cursed life like that. No, let’s set apart and fiercely guard the firstfruits of every day to abide in Jesus, rest in the Spirit, talk to our Heavenly Father in prayer, drink of the Living Word, and participate in Maranatha intercession for all nations, tribes, peoples, and languages.
This year, I truly believe that Jesus’ Holy Spirit plans to teach us all a ton about the Kingdom culture of a firstfruits lifestyle. Let us keep “firstfruits” close to our hearts as a word of knowledge throughout 2022. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to cultivate an understanding and practice of firstfruits generosity as disciples of our Lord Jesus.
Break Through – The seeds sown the previous year have been planted in good soil, nourished with living nutrients, and baptized in pure water. The seedpods break open, the roots dive deep, and the stalk breaks through the surface of the soil to catch the sunlight.
Jesus said, “Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 HCSB)
Here’s what God calls us to pray for this year:
- Breakthrough in seeds previously sown to open up and establish deep roots.
- Breakthrough for people whose hearts are closed and cold towards Jesus’ Spirit.
- Breakthrough in areas of fundraising and resources for Jesus’ Great Commission.
- Breakthrough for people who have been praying for months and years for something without seeing the results they’ve beheld in their dreams & visions, and know in their heart of hearts will one day come true.
- Breakthrough for people wrestling with addictions; breakthrough victory for those who have grown weary in the endless battles, may they see firstfruits this year.
- Breakthrough in broken and struggling marriages where husbands and wives fight all the time or are on the brink of giving up and abandoning one another.
- Breakthrough in a new generation rising up with more distractions and deceptions than any previous one, that they will see Christ shine through the pervasive, persistent darkness and choose Jesus against all the promises of wealth, fame, power, and pleasures in the world.
- Breakthrough for churches all over the world to return to the True Gospel and go together to the nations with the Good News.
- Breakthrough for the remaining unreached and unengaged tribes around the world who still today have no believers or disciplemakers.
Rise Up – The new plant’s stalk rises up, drinking in the sunlight and oxygen and preparing to flower and produce pollen for reproduction.
Arise! Shine! Your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has dawned. Darkness now covers the earth, and thick darkness covers the nations. But the LORD dawns, and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings will come to the brightness of your dawn. (Isaiah 60:1-3 GWT)
Here’s what God calls us to pray for this year:
- That Christ has already risen up out of the grave, and for his Church to lift him up through prayer and evangelism so that all tribes and peoples may see him and believe.
- Rising up to see above all the suffering and spiritual warfare of today and my current season to see the big picture of what our Abba Father is doing in the world through years, decades, and generations.
- Rising up from the ashes of pain, failure, disappointment, bitterness, and all kinds of Hell’s footholds and poisoned roots in my heart to be purified, healed, refreshed, and inspired by the Living Water & Holy Spirit.
- Rising up from bondage to satanic strongholds to soar on the wings of heaven’s angels.
- Rising up from my lethargy and inaction to walk with the Holy Spirit and tread boldly into the wild frontier of heavenly adventures: YOLO!
- Rising up from the disappointments and isolation of the last few years to see a new day dawning and a new season on the way.
- Rising up from doctrines, theologies, strategies, systems, structures, and snares to live in the freedom of the Holy Spirit, discover my spiritual gifts and life passions, get serious about Great Commission generosity, and make my first disciple without anyone’s help.
- Rising up from building my own wealth, security, and comforts to see the needs of the poor, the widow and orphan, the slave and refugee, the outcasts and abandoned, the unreached and unengaged tribes of my generation and begin giving sacrifically to the Great Commission.
- Rising up from past mistakes I’ve made, people I’ve failed, and regrets I’ve collected to receive a full pardon from my Father in Heaven, believe that I’m eternally free of all condemnation and spiritual death through Jesus Christ, and walk with trust and hope in my heart in the Holy Spirit.
Open Wide – The plant flowers beautifully, with blossoms opening wide to display the beauty of Yahweh’s glory and create an environment for God’s kingdom to spread and produce even more fruit.
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Mark 8:34-37 NIV)
Here’s what God calls us to pray for this year:
- Open wide the floodgates of heaven and let it rain righteous grain on the Great Commission.
- Open wide my heart to the love of my Abba Father in heaven who so loved the world that he sent his One & Only Son to rescue me from the Hellfire Dragon’s dungeons and seat me in a favored place at the Lamb’s Wedding Feast as his eternal child, coheir, and companion.
- Open wide my past trauma and troubles to Jesus the Healer’s love and grace. Open wide to forgiving my enemies, attackers, abusers, neglectors, and persecutors. Open wide to the full measure of God’s kingdom and power moving in and through my life and story, transforming who I am, despite myself and misgivings, to be nurturned into who he has always wanted me to be with his help.
- Open wide my mind to understanding the mysteries of the Almighty Ancient of Days who loves to spend time with me speaking to my heart and revealing who he is, what’s important to him, what he thinks and cares about, what he’s up to among the nations, and how I can join him if I’m willing and courageous enough to take that first next step.
- Open wide my resources to being filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit. Open wide my clenched fists around what I have that I keep and store up for myself to let go of freely and joyfully and allow my life to be a channel of heaven’s blessings to the Great Commission.
- Open wide my calendar and routine to healthy, unexpected adjustments of the Holy Spirit who is Immanuel, my Good Shepherd who leads, guides, and directs my every step, thought, decision, desire, and dream according to the Father’s will and sovereign plans for my good and his glory.
- Open wide my life to the Refiner’s Fire, to see my life, thoughts, decisions, and struggles through the vision of the Perfect One, to make my life completely available to the Trustworthy Potter’s hands to prune out whatever doesn’t belong and plant freely whatever he desires to give, because he knows best and I love him.
- Open wide my hopes and dreams and plans and expectations for the future and let the Spirit within to align my values and goals with his lordship and authority, to offer all that I have and all that I am and all that I hope to be into his leadership to guide me each day by faith knowing that he will take care of me and will walk with me in the warfare fires.
Firstfruits Questions for Personal Reflection & Group Discussion:
- What does the Bible say about firstfruits?
- What was the firstfruits offering of ancient Israel?
- Back in the Old Testament, how did Israelites determine the proper amount of firstfruits from their harvest to give to the Levite priests?
- What is the relationship between agricultural firstfruits and financial firstfruits?
- What is the relationship between earth’s firstfruits and heaven’s firstfruits?
- How have we carried on the firstfruits (tithe) culture of ancient Israel into the present day Church?
- What changed about tithing on Pentecost Day when Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to dwell inside every believer instead of only resting upon a handful of anointed priests and prophets?
- What is the difference between tithing and sacrificial giving?
- What are examples of giving God the firstfruits of my time each day?
- What are examples of giving God the firstfruits of my time each week and month?
- What are examples of giving God the firstfruits of my time each season and new year?
- What are the signs of firstfruits the Bible describes of a new believer who just received the Holy Spirit?
- How is Jesus Messiah the Firstfruits of the resurrection of the dead on the Last Day?
- Why is it so challenging, and sometimes overwhelming, to keep giving the firstfruits of your finances, time, and resources through changing seasons and relentless spiritual warfare?
- What is the Holy Spirit saying to me personally about 2022 Firstfruits Year?
- What is the Holy Spirit teaching me about the Kingdom culture of firstfruits?
- What are examples of ways I’m already giving the firstfruits of my time, resources, finances, and spiritual gifts to the LORD in every season?
- What space of my life is the Holy Spirit revealing needs more of his lordship and leading, because I have tried to depend upon myself rather than surrendering to him?
- Why is the concept of “surrender” considered negative in today’s context of militarized nations, competitive marketplaces, and selfcenteredness?
- How is surrender in the world incompatible with the Bible’s teaching on surrender?
- How can you surrender fully to God and yet still take care of yourself and be your own advocate, standing up for your rights in the world?
- How can a deeper understanding of Kingdom Firstfruits draw me closer to the LORD and walk more closely with him in the new year?
- Who do I know who would be encouraged to discover and discuss Kingdom Firstfruits?
2022 Firstfruits Year Blessing Prayer
Abba Father, we worship and praise you as our Creator, Sutainer, Savior, and Friend. Thank you for the gift of 2022 Firstfruits Year. We don’t know when Jesus is coming back, but we are ready, and we proclaim again in the new year, “Maranatha!” Come quickly, Messiah King Jesus.
Father, help us to perceive and understand the culture, values, and practices of your Kingdom Firstfruits ways and wisdom. Help us to see that all we are and all that we have belongs completely to you. Help us to walk in freedom from fear, worry, anxiety, doubt, and frustration when things don’t go our way or according to our expectations.
And in times where we are afraid or we do worry and become anxious, we praise you Immanuel for never leaving or forsaking us, for staying faithful to abide with us though we sometimes wander from you. Thank you that nothing and no one can ever separate us from your Spirit. Thank you for sealing our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Help us to devote ourselves to deeper depths and new thresholds and greater dimensions of Kingdom Firstfruits in every space and pursuit of our lives. We love you, Father. Help us to be the firstfruits of our generation, to see your kingdom come and your will be done among all the nations, tribes, peoples, and languages for your glory and majesty alone.
We pray, trust, and believe in Jesus’ name, Amen, Shalom, Hallelujah.
+> Article by James Harvey, Blazing Trees CEO/Founder
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