Watchmen of Israel – Pray for Israel

God hears when you pray for Israel

God cares for His people Israel. The Bible says they are ‘the apple (pupil) of God’s eye’. Recall how God delivered His people from Egypt (Acts 7.34), how He parted the sea for them (Exod 14.16), how He provided water out of the rock (Exod 17.6, Num 20.11) and gave Israel meat in the desert (Exod 16.12). Recall how God defeated the Philistine who defied the armies of Israel (1 Sam 18.50), how He answered Elijah by fire (1 Kings 18.38), reversed the shadow on the sun dial (Isa 38.8), blessed Solomon’s kingdom (1 Kings 3.13) and heard Elijah’s prayer for rain (Ja 5.17,18). Many also believe that God delivered Israel from defeat in the 1967 6-day war, link. Jews across the world thanked God for the great miracles that happened. These examples encourage us to pray for Israel.

The Lord’s Prayer for Israel Today

The disciples asked Jesus …”Lord, teach us to pray” and He replied with a model prayer that has become a classic – a brief and compact prayer but full of deep truths and instructions for godly living (Lk 11.2-4). Let’s see how it applies today and especially in the context of modern Israel:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name – a prayer of adoration and worship to the God of Israel who’s throne is in heaven. In prayer Jews usually address God as ‘Adonai’ (Lord). But here Jesus alludes to a warm and free family relationship between God and man, whilst retaining awe and respect. Such a relationship is only possible through the Mediator, Jesus Christ. Pray that God’s people will soon enter into such a warm relationship with Him.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven – a prayer for the growth of the kingdom of heaven here on earth, but also looking to the end of the age when all unrighteousness is removed from the kingdom of heaven. It looks to the time when the kingdom of heaven is perfected to become like the kingdom of God, to the time when Christ rules as King from Jerusalem. In contrast, Jews are looking for their Moshiach, a great earthly king who will deliver Israel and usher in world peace. Pray that Jews will recognise Christ as their coming king.
Give us this day our daily bread – an acknowledgement that all we really need actually comes from God. Jesus tells us to “seek first His kingdom” and God will provide our needs – often through those who love Israel. Today man prefers to be self-sufficient, but as we near the end of the age believers and God’s people Israel will be forced to turn more and more to their Creator and Sustainer. In 2016 Israel had the highest rate of poverty among OECD members, link, and many who make aliyah are in great practical need. Pray for Israel’s needy.
And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us – a reminder to believers to keep a clear conscience and short accounts with God. We must never forget that we are redeemed through the Lord’s sacrifice, and today He is redeeming his chosen people so they can evangelize the world with His truth. God’s word says that, at the end of this age, “they (Israel) will look to Him (Christ) whom they pierced”. A trickle has started and Jews are now recognising Yeshua as their Messiah, and through Him receive forgiveness.
Do not bring us to the test, but deliver us from evil – a plea to be delivered from temptation and evil. At the end of this age the world will be in spiritual darkness (Isa 60) and demonic forces will seek to destroy Israel. Pray for the protection of Jews in Israel as they experience daily rockets and stabbings.

pray for Israel

Why be a Watchman over Israel? Why Pray for Israel?

When asked for a sign of the end of the age, Jesus said:

Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He (Christ) is near, right at the door
(Mat 24.32,33)

pray for Israel

Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives. Enlarge

Many see the fig tree as symbolic of the nation and people of Israel, and they see the birth of modern Israel as a sign of Jesus’ return. There is little doubt that this prophecy is coming true in terms of Israel’s people, infrastructure and industry, link, link.

Prophecy says that Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives (the place of His Ascension), which is on the east side of Jerusalem, (Zech 14.4). But prophecy also says that, just before He returns, all nations will eventually turn against Israel and attack Jerusalem. That is a very good reason to pray for Israel and for the peace of Jerusalem! Has God called you to be a watchman for Israel?

Israel’s Watchmen Pray for Israel

What is the role of a ‘watchman’ in the Bible? God made the prophet Ezekiel a watchman for the House of Israel. Ezekiel’s role was to first hear the word of God and then to pass on what he heard to Israel. In Ezekiel’s case, he passed on warnings, even if they didn’t want to hear them (Ezek 33.7). In Old Testament times the watchman blew the shofar to warn Israel of impending danger (Amos 3.6). That is still true, and today’s watchmen should be alert to future problems for Israel and sound the alarm (this time by the media).

But a watchmen can also be an encourager, one who ‘builds-up’, as in Isa 62. Here the watchmen are focused in multiple directions: on the coming glory and righteousness of Jerusalem (Zion), on the return of God’s people to their own land, on the coming blessings of the land itself, and on the witness of Israel to the Gentile nations:

pray for Israel
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day and night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. (Isa 62.6,7)

The Power of Prayer

pray for Israel

The empty cross and the risen Christ showed God’s love to us

The cross of Christ speaks of His sacrificial death for mankind. And an empty cross speaks of His resurrection. Jesus lives today! and He promises all who believe in Him that He is always with them, right to the end of the age (Mat 28.20). As their ‘High Priest’ Jesus has become the one and only Mediator between God and man, and He lives to make intercession to God the Father for all who trust in Christ (Heb 7.25). This means that believers made righteous in Christ through His sacrifice for them on the cross can now come ‘boldly’ to God through Jesus and God will hear their prayer. Jesus said:

Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you” (Jn 16.23)

Now that is some promise! Through fervent earnest prayer, believers can ask the God of all creation to intervene in the affairs of men (Ja 5.16-18). This was demonstrated in Britain during the 20th century as the fervent prayer of a few individuals led to the Hebridean and Welsh Revivals, link. And there’s more. Jesus gives His followers spiritual power and authority to take action in His name, link. So Israel’s watchmen are well equipped!

Guidelines for Corporate Prayer:
Be brief, speak clearly, speak from the heart, don’t preach, keep to the current theme, listen to the Spirit. More ….

 

Prayers for the People and Land of Israel

pray for Israel

Prayers for Israel

Jewish Prayers: In his book ‘Prayers for Israel’, Rabbi Yonah Bookstein calls for lovers of Israel to harness the power of prayer to bring peace to Israel and the Middle East. It contains new and ancient prayers based on psalms, sacred writings, and teachings of Hasidic Masters. Note: The Hasidic movement focuses on the joyful observance of God’s commandments, heartfelt prayer and boundless love for God and the world He created.

You might find this serene non-vocal Jewish Prayer good for quiet meditation on God’s word:

Gentile Prayers: In the last days God raises up ‘foreigners’ (Gentiles) to support Israel and to pray for Israel:

The sons of the foreigner … who love the name of the Lord … even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer … for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations (Isa 56.6,7)

This is seen for example in The International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) whose primary role is to pray for and partner with Messianic Jews living in Israel, and to pray for God’s purposes in the nation of Israel, link.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone … though all nations of the earth are gathered against it (Zech 12.3)

pray for Israel

Crossed Israeli and Palestinian flags, with ‘Peace’ written in Hebrew and Arabic. Image: Wikimedia Commons

God places on the heart of Israel’s watchmen what is on His heart. But there are generic areas to pray for. Psalm 122 is all about Jerusalem and in it God instructs man to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. What does this mean? Historically, Jerusalem has been besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times, link. And end time prophecy indicates that Jerusalem will be attacked at least twice more, link. So it is natural to ask God for mercy on Jerusalem and Israel’s people in these last days. There will be great suffering (Jer 30.7).

Daily Suffering: Even during times of relative peace, Israel is under attack as rockets rain down on Israel’s villages and towns, and daily stabbings continue around Jerusalem, link. Pray for the survivors of terror attacks and for those who deal with their psychological damage and scars, link.

Pray against the Demonization of Israel

Susan Michael, Director of International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), link, says that demonization of Israel
is a particular problem on college campuses and that it is bringing the world to a feverish pitch and causing anti-Semitism. Likening it to the Nazi campaign against Jews, Michael says that it paves a way for military action. If Israel is portrayed in a bad light, it leaves the country in a weak position, in that other countries don’t want to step up in its defense.

So pray against increasing world-wide antisemitism. Be specific in prayer: Spain, France, Poland and Greece tend to be the most anti-Semitic countries in Europe, link. Pray against the various forms of economic warfare waged against Israel, as in the BDS campaign, and for the western churches to realize that Israel is a blessing not a curse, link.

Pray for the Aliyah – Jewish Immigration to Israel

Psalm 122.4 says that one day the tribes of Israel will go up to Jerusalem to give thanks to the Lord. So pray for those wanting to make aliyah to Israel and live there since this too is prophesied:

I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west; I will say to the north ‘give them up’ (Isa 43.5,6)

Pray for organisations like The Jewish Agency and the WZO who oversee aliyah, immigration, settlement and education.

Pray for Israel’s Poor

pray for Israel

Israel has a technologically advanced market economy with a debt-to-GDP ratio that compares favourably with western democracies, link. Economic growth has exceeded most other OECD countries rates for more than a decade. On the other hand, Israel needs to address productivity, inequality and poverty if it wants to improve well-being and reduce socio-economic divides, according to a recent OECD Economic Survey of Israel, link. Today, Israel is characterised by high poverty and the OECD ranks Israel as the country with the highest rates of poverty among its members, with over 20% of Israelis living under the poverty line, link, link. Those making aliyah and arriving in Israel are also in great need. Pray for those in Israel (Jew and Arab) suffering poverty.

Pray for Israel’s Spiritual Restoration

God’s people are returning to Israel mostly in unbelief – they reject Christ as their Moshiach (‘the anointed one’). But the Bible promises that this ‘spiritual blindness’ will soon be removed (Rom 11.25-27). So pray that the Holy Spirit will move upon them and open their eyes to the true identity of Yeshua, the one Mediator between God and man. Pray for those reaching out to their brothers and sisters (see video). There is an urgency here: many believe that those born again before Christ returns will be taken to be with Christ before the time of Jacobs trouble in Israel, link.

Thank God for Assured Future Blessings on Israel

Psalm 122.5 looks beyond this present age and into the Millennial age when Christ will sit on the throne of David (Lk 1.32) and rule the nations in righteousness from Jerusalem. So pray that the Lord will come quickly to reign from Jerusalem. Pray for the day when “living waters flow from Jerusalem” (Zech 14.8). And be encouraged in your prayers for Jerusalem, since those who pray for the peace of Jerusalem are promised a blessing (Ps 122.6).

Pray for Israel’s Arab Neighbours

Prophecy says that in the Millennial age, people from those nations that attacked Israel will go up from year to year to worship the Lord in Jerusalem (Zech 14.16). More specifically, we read:

“In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance” (Isa 19.24,25)

In the time that this prophecy was made, Assyria embraced what is now Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon – all Arabic countries. So God loves the Arabs and reaches out to them today through our prayers. Listen to Christian Arabs praising God (remember, Christian Arabs normally use the term Allah (God) in association with His begotten Son, Yeshua or Jesus). Listen to Christian Arabs singing “Immanuel, Immanuel, God with us”, a reference to Jesus.

Pray for Your Own Nation

pray for Israel

Pray that your nation (your government, your universities, your churches …) will have a good relationship with Israel and the Jewish People. Remember that God blesses those who bless Israel (Gen 12.3). Pray that any Israeli goods boycott will be made illegal and that business ties with Israel are strengthened. Pray for your church members and leaders, that they will recognise the important role of Israel in these last days. Pray especially that they will reject the common lie of Replacement Theology.

Send your Specific Prayer Requests

pray for Israel

Pray 4 Zion know that God answers prayer. So send them your praise reports and prayer requests. Once a month they also place your prayers on the ‘Wailing Wall’ in Jerusalem, link.

Jewish Voice Ministries International aims to proclaim the Gospel to the Jew first, and also to the Nations (Romans 1:16), and to equip the Church — providing education about the Hebraic roots of Christianity, the Church’s responsibility to Israel and the Jewish People, and how to share Messiah with the Jewish People. Send your praise report or prayer request to JVMI.

The Joshua Fund aims to mobilize Christians to “bless Israel and her neighbours in the name of Jesus”, according to Genesis 12:1-3. They invite believers to join with them to pray over topical and serious issues in Israel and in the countries neighbouring Israel, link

The Messianic Bible invites people to submit prayer requests. You can ask for someone to pray privately for you, or for your prayer request to be shared publicly and or on social media, link

Christians United for Israel (Cufi) offer to hand deliver and place your prayer in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, link.

Prayer Groups Based in Israel

Intercessors for Israel seeks to raise up a prayer army in and for Israel. Their primary calling is to intercede before God on behalf of the people and Land of Israel, and to do their part in the battle to prepare the way for the return of the Lord. The leadership of Intercessors for Israel is comprised of Messianic Jews who live in the Jerusalem area, link.

Jerusalem Prayer Tower welcomes groups from the nations seeking to participate in continual prayer and worship in unity as one new man until Yeshua returns, all Israel is saved, and Jerusalem is a praise in all the Earth. Location: Jaffa Road, Jerusalem, link, link.

Bridges For Peace believe that God has enriched our spiritual life through the Jewish people and that it would be an appropriate response to have Christians meet regularly to pray for Israel and to learn about our Jewish roots. The weekly “Israel Current News Update with Prayer Focus” is sent from Jerusalem by email to anyone who requests it. The International HQ is in Jerusalem, link.

International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) was founded in 1980 as an evangelical response for the need to comfort Zion according to the command of the scripture found in Isaiah 40:1-2. It was literally birthed in prayer in the late 1970s by a group of Christians from some six countries who met regularly to pray for Israel, link.


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