Watchman's Prayer Letter
A Guide to Intercessory Prayer
April 2013 Jewish Year 5773
"I will stand upon my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer." (Habakkuk 2:1)
"We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22)
"Evil never surrenders its grasp without a tremendous fight. We never arrive at any spiritual inheritance through the enjoyment of a picnic, but always through the fierce conflicts of the battlefield. And it is the same in the deep recesses of the soul. Every human capacity that wins its spiritual freedom does so at the cost of blood. Satan is not put to flight by our courteous request. He completely blocks our way, and our progress must be recorded in blood and tears. We need to remember this, or else we will be held responsible for the arrogance of misinterpretation. When we are born again, it is not into a soft and protected nursery, but into the open countryside, where we actually draw our strength from the distress of the storm." (John Henry Jowett, Streams in the Desert)
Today's world seems so different to me than when I was a child - my childhood was carefree-sunny days with good neighbours who cared, dear hearts and gentle people in my hometown who helped one another, and friends were friends for life. But all over the planet today there seems to be an upsurge in violence and terrorism and political tinderboxes that have been ignited in an unstable world. Childhood innocence is gone. Virginity is a thing of the past. Peace with one's neighbour has turned into violent hatred. Yes, it is an entirely different global terrain than when I was young-when I rode my bicycle in freedom on a country road in rural America.
Today, in my neighbourhood, we prepare for the fall of neighbouring countries such as Jordan to the east of Israel. The beautiful landscapes of Syria have been marred by the blood of rebels against the ruling regime; picturesque Lebanon to our north has been overrun with terrorist groups and destructive forces; Egypt is in ruins and being plagued with pestilence (locusts); Iraq continues to be in an upheaval and Iran is on the precipice of escalating a catastrophe for the entire Middle East and world. A tiny nation chosen by the God of Creation to be His Chosen People and Land, (Israel) stands right in the middle of the conflict, and the storm brewing around us has an all too familiar scent - something is about to happen. Could it be the calm before the storm?
Places like the Maghreb, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia as well as the Sahel - Chad, Mali and Niger have become worrisome places in the world for the international community, as far as terrorism is concerned. Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, and Algeria are also under dangerous threat to freedom in their regions. Europe has gone to sleep spiritually, America is on a rapid decline spiritually and the last bastion of true freedom and truth is right where I am writing this Watchman's Prayer Newsletter: Jerusalem. While some call this nation a catastrophe, I see it as a true fulfilment of Bible prophecy. The many inaccurate descriptions of this Land are troubling to my soul. Far from being perfect and now laden with sin like so many of the nations around the world-the only way we are going to see the beautiful City of Jerusalem become a "praise in the earth" (Isaiah 62:7) is by becoming conquerors for the Lord "on our knees."
We Christians, especially those who love Israel and the Jewish people, need to ask God to breathe a new fresh breath of His Spirit into us! We need to become real intercessors again! The task ahead is going to be difficult. Yes, evil will never surrender without a tremendous fight, but of all people on the planet, we must have HOPE! When hope is nowhere else to be found, there is always hope in the Lord. We must believe and obey and have faith in our hearts like never before! Hang on. Don't give up. Whatever your problems are today-the God of Israel reigns! He is with those who love Him and His Only Begotten Son, Yeshua, will indeed, rule and reign in Jerusalem one day, perhaps in the near future. Because of this hope-we must perform our duty for such a time as this: pray, pray and pray some more!!! This solemn time in which we live puts us on the threshold of the age to come. The polestar of all of our lives must be the Lord's Soon Coming. This should stir our hearts to stand on the Lord's Side and make our choices according to His Truth and His World on various matters. Let us accept our great task and be found worthy of the high honour He has given us as Watchmen on the Walls for Jerusalem. We are His co-workers and watchers.
A Tremendous Fight: While many are arming themselves against barbarians and demonic activity never seen before, we need to be arming ourselves spiritually with the spiritual armour given to us by God. Revelation 16:14 is a reference to the type of battle we face today.
Fierce Conflicts Of The Battlefield: While others are having conflicts between themselves, fiercely holding on to selfish ambitions and dreams, we need to be good soldiers in the Lord's Army on the battlefield of prayer.
Misinterpretation: When others deliberately take Scripture out of context and take away the blessings from the nation of Israel and leave them with the curses, we need to remove ourselves from misjudging Israel and misconstruing the message of God: "I will bless those who bless My People." (Genesis 12:3)
Distress Of The Storm: When the storm finally arrives and we are caught in it, we must move through it and not be destroyed by it. The eye of the storm must be GOD and holding onto His Promises in His Word, which is immutable. The very fact that He does not change should help us make His Word the anchor of our souls. "I will hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest" (Psalm 55:8). "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil..." (Hebrews 6:19)
LET US GO TO THE THRONE ROOM TOGETHER:
"Stay here...and watch with me..." (Matthew 26:38)
With the Passover season in Israel upon us (Exodus 12:27)...we must remember that God passed over those who had the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their homes. We, who have the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world on the door posts of our hearts and the Torah written upon our spirits, need to concentrate on the central point of concern for the moment: those who would try to annihilate the tiny nation of Israel.
"Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles far off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock" (Jeremiah 31:10). The nations are to hearken unto the word of the LORD, give ear to His Word and listen to His Message regarding His Chosen People. As God has and continues to regather His People, He will watch over them...and so must we through prayer and support.
- Pray that world forces of evil who have no other desire than to obliterate Israel from the world maps-will be defeated by the Lord God of Israel through the carrying out of His Word. When a nation such as Iran has one ultimate goal: the destruction of another nation, something is terribly wrong. Pray that the plans of the wicked will come to nothing.
- Intercede in the spirit of prayer for those in the Israeli Defence Forces-the army, navy and air force as well as ground forces. May they be in unity and may they turn to the Living God of Israel to be their strength and their power. May many Jewish hearts turn to God through the trials of the coming storm.
- Lift up the Chief of Staff of the IDF, Benny Gantz that he will be able to give Godly wisdom to his soldiers as to what to do when they are in tight situations. May the soldiers show resilience and a willingness to serve. May the Lord God of Israel shine down into their hearts and souls to reveal the importance of defending the Land that belongs to Him and given to His People to be custodians over, and to plant and build. "He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved." (Psalm 62:2)
- Watch over the north of Israel with a map of Israel in hand. Pray the Scriptures with faith that pertain to future attacks upon Israel. The next war in the north has been prophesied to be much worse than prior wars. Pray that all preparations necessary for another war will be carefully thought through and may many of the IDF soldiers carry the word of God with them into battle. Pray that they will know where the enemy is positioned at all times.
Cofounder/Director ~ Christian Friends of Israel-Jerusalem
Thank you for continuing to remember the work of Christian Friends of Israel here in the UK. Since the last Watchman's Prayer Letter went out, Jacob Vince and Robin Benson from the Eastbourne office have attended various meetings representing the ministry. The same is true for David Soakell from his Middlesbrough base, and for many of the CFI Area Reps in their local areas. If you and your church fellowship would like someone to come and speak about the work CFI does here in the UK and Israel, please do not hesitate to contact us.
In the coming weeks, CFI will be represented at the Zionist Federation's Annual Independence Day celebrations. While the work of the Eastbourne office continues, Robin Benson has speaking engagements in Hailsham, London, Salisbury and Southwell, and Jacob Vince will be assisting CFI Trustee Jenny Forbes in leading the South West Prayer Conference in Rockwell Green, near Wellington, Somerset.
Thank you again for your on-going support,
The CFI-UK Office Staff Team