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Watchman's Prayer Letter
Christian Friends of Israel-UK
WATCHMAN’S PRAYER LETTER
A Guide to Intercessory Prayer
May 2015 ~ Jewish Year 5775
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)
“While people are saying “Peace and safety” destruction will come on them suddenly as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape (1 Thessalonians 5:3, NIV). But your many enemies will become like fine dust, the ruthless hordes like blown chaff, suddenly, in an instant, the LORD Almighty will come… (Isaiah 29:5, NIV).
God: The defender of Israel:
Everyone across the globe is talking about ‘peace talks' with Iran, as it continues to be the topic on all of the major television networks and Internet social media. It appears to be a time when great discernment is needed by those who follow the Lord. Why? Because there are so many “voices” out there, some heed nothing from God’s Word, others have one foot half in the world and half in the Church; others are total atheists, following false gods and religions.
Along with talking about “peace talks” we have other politicians and religious leaders sensing something “big”- something “ominous”- is hiding around the corner. Is it just speculation or perhaps are they sensing something correctly? None of us really know, but what we do know for certain, is that these are dangerous times in which we live, for the whole world and especially for tiny little Israel. Many of us are “watching” day to day thanking God for each new morning and wondering what lies ahead. Leading voices on the Internet are saying “World War III is coming soon.” Again, we do not know for certain, we can only express what we are discerning. Therefore, in this month’s Watchman’s Prayer Letter, let us realise that it is not hard to imagine end time scenarios developing quickly, if they ever begin. Even Pope Francis warned last September that a type of “piecemeal World War III” may have begun” (BBC World News Report).
Israel is back in her Land and more are returning home now and many more will come under the current rise in anti-Semitism. Christians are being burned alive and having their heads cut off and many have been uprooted from their homes. All of this should give us more reason to pray, to be ready. Yes, it is a time when the earth is being defiled by its inhabitants, “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof...” (Isaiah 24:5), people are haughty (Isaiah 24:4) and the earth mourns for righteousness to come. A curse seems to be driving evil, and joy has been darkened for many. The foundations of the earth “seem” to be shaking...are we steady? Only in the Lord! The countenances of those driven by mad hatred and murder witness against them as their root is rotten. The reward of their hands will be given to them. “Woe unto the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him” (Isaiah 3:11).
Will the unjustified and seemingly unstoppable aggression by ISIS and other demonically controlled lawless militants – who by the way have no problem using the human heads they have severed from innocent victims to play ball with – be stopped by a current plague of lesions on their bodies that many of them are suffering from? Or, will they be allowed to advance and to pull other terrorist organizations with them into the safety zones of Israel’s borders that protect the Jewish state? Will the United States be spared from an outbreak of Islamic terror cells that have been placed around the nation? Will Iran push the button? Will Israel intervene to stop it? These are answers that only our Lord knows...and so what do we do? We continue on, as Watchmen, standing at our posts for Israel. We need to do all we can to stand.....and when we have stood, continue to stand. I believe JERUSALEM will still be standing no matter what happens because this is the City destined to become the “throne of the Lord” (Jeremiah 3:17), and all nations will come up to JERUSALEM to worship the King (Zechariah 14:16). We might be approaching a Red Sea moment for Israel, as God waited until the last moment before Israel was delivered from Pharaoh, but deliver her He will and HE will, in the end, receive ALL THE GLORY as His Name will be known. “They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9, NIV). This is a certainty we can be assured of for “God is not a man, so he does not lie” (Numbers 23:19). His counsel shall stand! Now...we must get on with our praying.
Believers need to stay balanced in their thinking and approach the “signs of the times” with level heads and hearts of faith. We should not live in fear nor anxiety, but show faith and trust in God’s Word. God has it all under control because He knows the end from the beginning. We do not set dates nor are we alarmists, we just need to know our Bible and watch and pray as we enter the battle zone to hear from Him during these times. This is the very reason why God will get all the glory, because He is the only one who can defend Israel! (Zechariah 12:9, 10)
Let us go to the throne room together
- Pray for the soldiers in the Israeli army, ground troops, special elite units, tank commandos, those assigned to terror tunnels, the air force, navy and all combat and military forces of the nation of Israel. They will need much wisdom, strength, boldness and courage to fight the battles ahead. “My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120:6-7). Pray for every soldier to be secured in their faith in the God of Israel and to know it is HE who will fight “with them” but they need to turn their heads “up” to Him for He is there with an outstretched arm every moment. “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8).
- Give yourself to prayer (Psalm 109:4) that the Lord will bring confusion into the camps of the enemies and that all that is driving them in a maniacal way, will be exposed and defeated by the Spirit of God to cause them to run away from their goals of destruction. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned that Israel is to expect another war soon, IDF Planning Directorate Chief Major General Nimrod Sheffer stated recently that he “does not rule out dramatic steps to combat Iran’s nuclear program” (Israel Hayom, April 3, 2015). “The LORD watches over you: the LORD is your shade at your right hand” (Psalm 121:5).
- Intercede for unity in the newly formed government of Israel so that they will be able in times of danger, to truly protect their heritage. Pray “for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1Timothy 2:2, NIV).
- Pray against Iran placing guided warheads on its rockets and smuggling them to Hizbullah in Lebanon, as was reported by a senior Defense Ministry official in Israel. “Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowler...” (Psalm 124:7, NKJV).
- Pray fervently that United States’ warships stationed in the region of the Mediterranean with Aegis naval missile defense systems will work with God in His plans and purposes for Israel, to ensure that Israel will be protected against long-range Iranian ballistic missiles. We know that only God is Israel’s defense but that he does also use others to help. “If the Lord had not been on our side, let Israel say; if the LORD had not been on our side, when men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive.” (Psalm 124:1-3).
- Beseech the Lord that His angels will help defend Israel in the next war as the IDF expects 1000-1500 rockets a day in the next Lebanon war (Israel Hayom, April 1, 2015). The IDF will need to deploy their limited number of Iron Dome anti-rocket systems trusting that God will use them for defense. “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion...” (Psalm 125:1).
- Praise the Lord for the good report (JewishPress.com, 4/1/2015) that nearly every Israeli would eat matza and keep kosher on Passover eve. The breakdown was 90% of Israel participated in a Passover Seder, and 80% of secular Jews said they do believe in God, according to a study done by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. It is a wonderful step in the right direction. “And so all Israel will be saved: as it is written, the deliverer will come from Zion, he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.” (Romans 11:26).
- Pray that the advanced weaponry - much of it supplied by Iran and flowing into Syria and Lebanon – will be halted. Whatever happens in Syria will happen in Lebanon (in terms of weapons availability).
- Pray that the evil, aggressive mission of the terrorist and militant organizations that have created a joint military force will be stopped by the Lord.
- Praise God that during Passover and especially on the priestly blessing day 75,000 Israelis went to the Western Wall to pray. One of the Rabbis (Vaknin) called for a day of prayer to encourage the arrival of the Messiah and the redemption of the Jewish people and the world. People responded. We live in exciting days...and many Israelis agree with the Rabbi that the connections between the blood red moons and the times of redemption run deep.
- Intercede for Israel to realise that the heart of the battle is spiritual and that unity in the God of Israel is needed. “I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.” (Psalm 142:1).
- Thank God that through all that is coming, on the other side of the battle, lies Jerusalem and since God has already - for those of us who believe - paid for our sins, that He will restore total peace in this beloved Land and City and Messiah will return to only one place: Jerusalem! “On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem...” (Zechariah 14:4).
We would ask that you also pray for the ongoing ministry and staff of Christian Friends of Israel Jerusalem based in the beloved City, that the work will go unhindered, especially in times of war and that we will be used for His Glory, in the midst of it. Your prayer and your support are vital. Thank you!
Until He Comes,
Co-founder, Director of Christian Education and Ministry
Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem
On behalf of Christian Friends of Israel in the UK, thank you for your continued interest in and support for the work we are engaged in on behalf of Israel and all its people, and for the Jewish community here in the UK.
Staff, Area Reps and Trustees were involved in Passover presentations in their various regions, all of which were well received. The monthly two part presentations of the Kesher Course at Pilgrims Hall Conference Centre in Essex have continued to go well, with Sam Hailes presenting the teaching sessions and Melissa Briggs, the Hebrew word studies.
Leisel is settling in well, but over the same period Richard Briggs has taken an opportunity to move to pastures new. We appreciate your prayers as we seek to recruit the right staff member with IT and Graphic Design skills and a willing heart to serve.
Thank you for praying for our most recent quarterly board meeting which went well. As Trustees and executive, given specific responsibility for the ongoing work, we seek with a prayerful heart to communicate the truth of God’s word concerning Israel and its understanding and outworking in our day. In this respect we have just learned of the home-calling of our dear sister and fellow worker Joyce Bentley who faithfully served for many years as a Trustee of CFI UK. Joyce was always so enthusiastic concerning God’s unfolding purposes for Israel. We thank the Lord for her life and witness.
May we prove faithful stewards as we continue in this ministry and tell of His works from one generation to another. Thank you for your continued prayer and support.
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)
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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 P.P.)
To purchase this book, please click here.
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