“Comfort, yes, comfort my people,” says your God.
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and tell her that her sad days are gone.
Her sins are pardoned, and I have punished her in full for all her sins.”
Isaiah 40 v 1-2
In a speech to UNESCO in July 2017 Israel’s Ambassador said: “The Holocaust stands alone in its atrocities, stands alone in its cruelty, stands alone in its systematic and industrial human butchery.” He went on to comment on the distortions and evil dilutions of the Holocaust by some, and even the contempt of its memory.
It would seem there is a need for us to pray for a greater respect and acknowledgement of what is described in Jewish circles as the Shoah in Modern Hebrew, literally often translated as ‘catastrophe’.
One definition of the word Holocaust is: ‘the mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime during the period 1941–45. More than 6 million European Jews, as well as members of other persecuted groups, were murdered at concentration camps such as Auschwitz.’
It is important to be sensitive to the other groups who were targeted – Jehovah Witnesses, homosexuals, Romani, etc. but the words of the Israeli Ambassador are so important, in that the Jewish people were the primary focus of the Third Reich. The dates assigned to the definition are for remembrance of the six million Jews who were systematically murdered.
We must thank God for people who stood up for those targeted, some of whom paid with their own lives. We think of Oskar Schindler and the ten Boom family, but the ‘Avenue of the Righteous’ in Yad Vashem shows that many ordinary people stood against evil and for the ‘People of the Book’ and we know each one is ultimately recognised by the Lord. We must thank God that he strengthened them supernaturally to give comfort and support to all who experienced the horrors of that time in history.
In today’s society many like to think they would stand in the gap for Israel and the Jewish people. Some do and are often vilified and misunderstood, or judged harshly. Priti Patel MP has been outspoken in her support of Israel, Theresa May has acknowledged anti-Zionism as the modern version of Anti-Semitism, Lord Polak was recently misreported on matters relating to Israel, and some well-known journalists seem able to voice personal opinions that stray from good, unbiased reporting.
There is much to pray for – God can and does expose the roots of evil, compromise and personal agendas; but anti-Semitism is at the heart of the problem.
- Pray for all our MPs, Peers and interns, that they would have a spiritual revelation of the heart of God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Ask God to bring good counsel to all in authority – especially Theresa May – and to protect all Christians in Parliament.
- Pray for the roots of anti-Semitism, anti-Israel bias, etc. in the media to be exposed – firstly in the hearts of those who are intolerant of others who do not share their views. Pray also for journalists to have the integrity to report and discuss such matters without bias, and that news programmes are not dominated by personal opinion, but are focused, insightful and fair.
- Ask for the Lord’s favour and protection of those in the UN and UNESCO who speak out for Israel and against intolerance.
- Pray that Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January in the UK is used primarily to commemorate the Shoah – the Holocaust of the last century – and that respect and fair coverage is given by the media.
- Pray for all CFI staff, trustees, regional links and church links as they prepare their own acts of remembrance. Ask that the need to remember is not only perceived by those already aware, but also touches the younger generation and those who feel no connection to this important date in the nation’s calendar.
- Please pray too for all the work of CFI Jerusalem with Holocaust survivors, that compassion and unconditional love are instruments of the ‘healing balm’ needed for these elderly and beautiful Jewish hearts. Click here for more information.