Why pray for Israel? Why pray for Israel now? Will our prayers make a difference? These are all questions that I have had to answer as a result of traveling with a group of women on a 10-day Prayer Journey through the country of Israel. Prior to going to the Holy Land, I had always heeded the words from Psalms 122:6 that we were to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’.
My interpretation of this was that I was praying for the return of Christ because that is the only answer for peace to come to Jerusalem. As a believer, I have always prayed for and supported the rights of the Jewish people to live in their own country. As an American, I have prayed for our country to always be a friend to Israel.
BUT as I walked the land where Jesus walked and met the people of Israel, God began to work in my heart that I was to do so much more than just pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I didn’t go to Israel with any agenda in mind; but God had an agenda and I’m so thankful He shared it with me (and others) as we traveled. For several years, Georgia WMU has had a prayer partnership with Northern Africa and the Middle East. God has heard and answered the prayers of many women praying for our workers and the people of NAME. This prayer partnership officially comes to an end at the end of May 2013; however, our prayers will continue for the people in this area of the world who still need to experience the love of God.
Those of us who have been so closely involved with our Georgia WMU (Hearts Called to Pray) prayer partnerships (Tibet, the Southern Rim, NAME) did not have a peace about what God was asking us to do next, but we knew there was something. During my visit to Israel, we spend some time at the Jerusalem Prayer Center (be sure to put this on your to-do list if you visit Jerusalem – a must for every believer). One afternoon as I was sitting in front of a world map in the Upper Prayer Room at the Jerusalem Prayer Center, I was asking God the question – Where do we go from here? – What’s next with our prayer partnership? As I prayed, my eyes continued to come back to the country of Israel. I didn’t know exactly what this meant, but I knew that I didn’t need to ignore what God might be saying. I shared by thoughts that night with Barbara Curnutt and God had been speaking to her as well about what it meant to ‘pray for Jerusalem’.
While continuing on our journey in Israel, God continued to affirm through various believers that praying for the people of Israel was to be our next Hearts Called to Pray partnership. One afternoon, we listened to a worker share his heart about how God is still calling the believers in Israel to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost – just as Jesus shared with the disciples prior to his ascension back to heaven (Acts 1:8). The promise that ‘you will be’ not that ‘‘you should’ has not changed – the believers in Israel must go out from their homeland to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth and our responsibility is to pray for them to be the witnesses today just as in the early church. God continued to speak as we were able to share a special time of prayer with some of our prayer strategists in Israel and pray with the other women who were with us.
Upon returning home, we contacted our prayer strategist for NAME and shared what God was leading us to do. Her response was an overwhelming affirmation that this was to be our prayer focus as we continue to mobilize the men and women of Georgia to pray for God to move upon the nations.
We are still working through some of the details, but our new prayer partnership will be focused on a specific people group in Israel each week of every month:
Week 1 – the Jews of Israel
Week 2 – the Palestinians and Bedouin of Israel – these live in the West Bank or south of the country
Week 3 – Believers in Israel – including Messianic Jews, Arab Israeli Christians, and Palestinian Christians
Week 4 – Israeli Arab Muslims and Druze
Isaiah 62:6-7 says:
‘I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They shall never hold their peace day or 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.’
I believe God is asking us to be the watchmen on the walls as we pray for the people of Israel, that we do not keep silent, and that we continue until God makes Jerusalem a praise in all of the earth.
There are no coincidences in God’s timing – He has always had His eye on Israel and I believe He has called us to focus on Israel with Him. As we watch and listen to the news, we know that the world is watching what is happening in Israel and as God leads us to pray, I believe we will see God moving among the people of Israel in some amazing ways – my prayer is that you will want to be a part of what God is doing in Israel.
Mary Laughman, Georgia WMU&WEM State Prayer Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.orgJerusalem Prayer Center Download Israel Map
Are You a Watchman on the Walls?’ – When we began our Hearts Called to Pray prayer partnership with Israel in April of 2013, we committed as Georgia women and men to hear and heed the words from Isaiah 62:6-7 to become His ‘watchmen on the walls’ of Jerusalem in praying for ALL the people of Israel – ‘to not keep silent but pray day and night, giving Him no rest until He makes Jerusalem a praise in all the earth’. Our eyes and ears have seen and heard much these past several weeks that should burden our hearts even more for the people of Israel causing us to be more diligent in our prayers for all who are affected by this fighting and turmoil. God has called us for ‘such a time as this’ to be involved in what He is doing in His land and with His people as each month we receive specific requests to pray for the Jewish people, the Palestinians, the Believers, the Israeli Arab Muslims and the Bedouins who inhabit the land of Israel.
Because of the urgency of the situation in Israel, I want to share with you some specific prayer requests I received this week from one of my friends who is on the frontlines of praying for the people of Israel. Please join me at 9:00 AM each morning this week as we join together in a concert of prayer for the people of Israel. One day there will be peace in Jerusalem – Jesus will return to set up His Kingdom – Jesus told us to pray ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven’. As we pray ‘even so come, Lord Jesus’, let’s continue to pray and be His light for the millions who do not yet know Him as Lord and Savior.
My Prayer for you this week: ‘Father, we recognize Your authority and power in every situation that affects Your people and we know that You will bring Your purpose to pass in Your time and in Your way. Thank You for involving us in Your work as You invite us to pray and intercede for the people of Israel and her neighbors. Help us to be diligent and faithful in bringing these concerns to Your throne of grace throughout this week knowing that You are ready and willing to help Your people in their time of need. Even though the situation sometimes looks like the Enemy is winning, we know that You are in control of all things and will triumph over evil. May we also remember to seek Your face and pray for our own country as well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!Download Special Call to Prayer for Israel