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Watchman's Prayer Letter

A Guide to Intercessory Prayer

November 2015 ~ Jewish Year 5776

'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)

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And it shall come to pass

"In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed ... Be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defence to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress ... I trust in the Lord" (Psalm 31:1-3, 6 NKJV).

Two main issues this month have appeared on the horizon of concern:

(a) the Islamic State is still a concern on the Israeli Golan border, and

(b) Russia's move for dominance in the Middle East brings troubling thoughts. Let's look at the situation on both fronts and bring them to the Lord in prayer.

Here in Israel we have recently passed through a year that was not just any Shemitah year – but was the 49th year in a cycle. The 50th year is a year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:10-13), which is a year of release. It is our prayer that it will be a release from the violent spirit surrounding Jerusalem, as this beloved City will become an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. Whatever happens in the coming days, as one source said "Jerusalem will do more than just survive." "I believe that at the end of the conflict, the gates of Israel will be fully opened and the greatest aliyah of all time will be accomplished. This is restoration - this is redemption - this is jubilee." (Geoff Barnard)

In Syria, if Assad is removed, it is felt that the advance of ISIS will be rapid. "As for the 'moderate rebels,' they were never all that moderate. The Free Syrian Army has collaborated with al-Qaeda and terrorised Christians in Syria" (Jihad Watch, October 3, 2015).

"Islamic State gaining ground on Golan border as moderate rebels wither" was the headline in The Times of Israel (1st October 2015). Islamist groups appear to be growing stronger, with ISIS fighters operating openly near the border with Israel. At such a time our spiritual vision needs to be correctly focused in order to see what is happening with the advance of ISIS.

  • Intercede for the Israeli commanders and border watches to be alert at this time, day and night. Pray that there will be no night infiltrations by ISIS or any other enemy of the Jewish State. "Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me ..." (Psalm 31:4). "Plead my cause, O Lord ... Fight against those who fight against me ..." (Psalm 35:1-3).

  • Pray for a revelation of the Lord to those who walk in darkness, especially the estimated 500-700 Islamic State fighters active in the towns of Jamlah and Ash-Shajarah, next to the Israeli border in the southern Golan Heights. The surrounding villages of Daraa are largely held by rebel forces. "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment ... these ... will utterly perish in their own corruption ... having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin ..." (2 Peter 2:9-14a).

  • Pray fervently that the Syrian fighters in the southern front will not switch to Nusra or ISIS. The lack of salaries and ammunition is humiliating them, and reports say they will not take it much longer.

  • Watch closely the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, which owns 40 tanks and armoured vehicles and has pledged allegiance to ISIS and its leader.

  • Beseech the Lord to open the eyes of the young fighters attracted to organisations like ISIS, who believe that anyone speaking for religion is truthful and wants to liberate the country, when the opposite is true. "Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; yes, let them be put to shame and perish, that they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth" (Psalm 83:17-18).

Russia's Move for Dominance in the Middle East is Disturbing

"... Russia has made a strategic decision to challenge America for dominance in the Middle East ... The Kremlin is probing for US weaknesses, meddling across the region in ways unprecedented since Anwar Sadat expelled Soviet military advisers in the 1970s, reversed Egypt's global orientation, and thereby ultimately enabled the Camp David Accords with Israel." (John Bolton, The Weekly Standard, 12 October 2015).

  • Pray that unholy alliances and motivations will be revealed to Israel. Russia is not pursuing its objectives alone. It is strengthening allies and proxies such as Syria and Iran and advancing each of their agendas.

  • Pray for God to show Israel much wisdom as air strikes in Latakia are clear evidence of Russia's new, sweeping strategy of challenging America. Putin's successful February visit with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo sent a powerful signal of regional realignment.

  • Watch closely as Russia is selling Iran its S-300 air defence system, other weapons and nuclear reactors. The S-300 will end any prospect of a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear weapons program.

  • Beseech the Lord to reveal how to pray for the stronger positions in which Assad and Iran will operate. Any 'truce' would allow ISIS to consolidate its new state from the rubble of Syria and Iraq and focus on the Arabian Peninsula's apostate, heretical, oil-producing monarchies.

  • Watch China as it is another potential partner that has already conducted naval manoeuvres with Russia in the eastern Mediterranean and is expanding its blue-water capabilities in nearby Pakistan. China's interests and ambitions ... will only grow. (John Bolton, as above).

  • Pray that the Church will understand the urgent strategic perils that little Israel faces not only worldwide, but especially in the Middle East. The nations will be held responsible for how they respond to Israel's needs.

  • Pray fervently for the nations who are betraying Israel, to awaken to their folly and foolishness. They are turning against the God of Israel. Some of the nations have been friends of the Jewish nation for a long time, but have now turned away. They will bear their shame in the end.

"For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me ..." (Psalm 55:12-13).

Until He Comes,

Sharon Sanders

Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem




CFI-UK News and Prayer requests

Please thank the Lord for restoring Sharon Sanders to good health and bringing her safely to the UK. The first half of the tour has gone well.

This year has been extremely busy for many staff and area representatives, so please pray for much-needed rest and for our Lord's guidance in the implementation of plans for the future. These include the Parliamentary Lobby day in February 2016, the Strategic Prayer Conference in March 2016, the annual teaching conference, the biennial Area Representatives' training conference, and a variety of individual speaking engagements.

Thank you for your continued interest in, and support for, our work on behalf of Israel, all its people, and for the Jewish community in the UK.

Together in His service,

The CFI-UK Team

Start a prayer group

This is a great help to consistent and effective prayer.

Guidelines for Corporate Prayer

(Adapted from teaching given by Lance Lambert and Art Carlson)

  1. Be brief. In Matthew 6:7 Jesus says that the Gentiles suppose they will be heard for their many words. We haven't changed much!
  2. Speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard. As Paul said in another context, how can we say "Amen" if we don't know what is said.
  3. Pray from the heart, don't preach. Avoid sentimentality and unnatural speech. Sometimes you can tell what group people come from by listening to them pray, because they adopt a particular style. Be honest; talk to God the way you talk to your best friend.
  4. Keep on the theme. Pray through one subject before introducing another. Obviously, that doesn't mean we have to see the mountain moved into the sea before proceeding to the next subject, but we do need to give God time to speak concerning the subject in hand before moving on. When not praying aloud, quietly support the one who is. Don't let your mind wander.
  5. Don't take "pot-shots" at the devil. Jude v. 8 tells us that even the archangel Michael did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against the devil, but said, "The Lord rebuke you." We do have authority in Jesus to bind the evil forces, but this should only be done corporately as a group under the direction of the leader. One goal of corporate prayer is to reach a place in unity where we can effectively bind the enemy.
  6. Avoid personal pronouns. When speaking for the group say "We" rather than "I". Of course, if there is doubt about agreement on an issue, that should be settled before praying on behalf of all.
  7. Good repetition builds the case. Some teaching would indicate that once a thing is prayed for, it is unbelief to mention it again. There is need for balance in this. To keep pleading for something which God has made clear He wants to give us can be unbelief. On the other hand, true intercession is speaking into reality that which is as yet unseen. That usually takes time and repetition. We should not assume that what "worked" on the last prayer project will work on the next. There was a different strategy for different cities as Israel took the land.
  8. Lay aside preconceived ideas. Die to your own imagination. Ask for fresh guidance from the Holy Spirit for this prayer time. We need to cultivate absolute dependence on the Holy Spirit.
  9. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4). Let the high praises of God be in our mouths and a two-edged sword in our hands (Psalm 149:6)

Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem

Penny Valentine

The writer draws on her experience of writing prayer materials in Jerusalem to provide a unique aid to prayer for Israel and the Middle East. Each of these 40 short devotional studies helps us to understand God's heart for Israel and then pray biblically and intelligently into the current situation.

£4.00 (plus postage and packing)

To purchase this book, please click here

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