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Watchman's Prayer Letter
A Guide to Intercessory Prayer
August 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)
Pouring out our hearts
'Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but
the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.' (Romans 8:26 NKJV)
According to Lance Lambert, intercession is a burden, pain or anguish, locked up in your spirit from which you only get relief when you pray. When you pray the relief is only for a little while, for in a few hours the pain is back. Even when you have poured out your heart to God in prayer, you sense that you have hardly touched the matter. 'So fall back on the Holy Spirit, who makes intercession for this burden.'
Then according to Bible History online: 'There are no directions as to prayer given in the Mosaic law: the duty is rather taken for granted, as an adjunct to sacrifice, than enforced or elaborated. It is hardly conceivable that, even from the beginning public prayer did not follow every public sacrifice... In later times it certainly grew into a regular service both in the temple and in the synagogue. But besides this public prayer, it was the custom of all at Jerusalem to go up to the temple, at regular hours if possible, for private prayer, (see Luke 18:10; Acts 3:1) and those who were absent were accustomed to "open their windows toward Jerusalem" and pray "toward" the place...' (bible-history.com).
People in ancient times had burdens on their hearts just as we do today, but the point here, as Lance says, is to "pray through until the burden is lifted", and from a Jewish point of view, to pray toward Jerusalem if possible. Praying for the "peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6) is the main underlying and essential purpose of our prayers for Israel.
Religious Jews will tell us that the Hebrew word for prayer (in Yiddish) is 'daven'. It may look strange to gentiles to see Jewish people 'daven' but some say the word comes from 'dovaiv' which means to move the lips and pray verbally, vocalising prayer. Let's remember Abraham was the first person to pray the Morning Prayer, Isaac the Afternoon Prayer, and Jacob the Evening Prayer. Thus the Jewish people believe that prayers originated with their forefathers, and they 'daven'. It is a time to be one with God and to pray through until the burden – Israel for those of us chosen to be Watchmen on the Walls – is lifted. It will return, only to be prayed through again – all a part of the heavenly incense ascending to the Father in Heaven on behalf of His Chosen People.
When we 'stand in the gap' (Ezekiel 22:30), we give of ourselves for that which is deeply on the heart of God the Father: His People, Nation and City. Clinging to this call of God, we must be faithful to travel to Jerusalem every day on our knees or in the Spirit. So fall back on Him and pour your heart out to God in prayer and intercession as His Beloved!
Let's Go to the Throne Room in Prayer Together:
It has been one year since the war in Gaza started with Operation Protective Edge. Though that war of defence is over, all indications are that it is much too premature for Israelis to sleep soundly. Israel's enemies continue to create better weapons to use against Israel and this forces Israel to prepare for more war. As we pray 'on target' regarding the tunnels which are being rebuilt under the soil of Israel, continue to pray according to God's Word. Do not hurry ... let the Lord speak to each one praying ... and keep praying until the breakthrough comes. If prayers are short, that's okay, but pray with compassion upon every Jewish home and family in the Land who continually, daily, give their sons and daughters to the Israeli army, air force, naval command and ground forces, to protect God's Land from those who would destroy what God has done in returning His people home and rebuilding this beautiful country. Hamas is working very hard with breakneck speed to rebuild its underground network of terror tunnels. Let us 'take the ground for God' (Joshua 1:16) in the Spirit and help hold back enemy forces at work, carrying out what God has called us to do: pray and intercede for Israel.
- Ask God in Faith to continue to save Zion and to continue to give His people strength to build the cities of Judah and Samaria, so that the people who have returned to the land can live and dwell in their own homes. 'For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.' (Psalm 69:35).
- Speak God's Promises over Israel that the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will love the Almighty with all of their hearts and inherit the blessing given to their forefathers. 'The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love His name shall dwell therein' (Psalm 69:36).
- Pray for the evil terrorists (do not bless them, only pray for them). Even the hardest can be touched by God's Spirit and turned around – perhaps not many – but let's pray for the few who might. Voice of the Martyrs reported recently in the Christian Post that one Saudi Sheikh, who taught ISIS fighters, asked for a Bible after growing 'sick of killing'. It seems that the story can be verified. 'With reports that VOM staff generate from hostile and restricted nations, we do seek to verify their stories through our contacts where they work.' (Nicola Menzie, 6 July, 2015, Christianpost.com). The terrorists are possessed by a 'spirit of error' and the Spirit of Anti-Christ (1 John 4:3). They are sick human beings, please pray for their salvation. 'Watch unto prayer' (1 Peter 4:7).
- Remember the Lord's Promises to those who remain faithful to Him. Intercede for little children, youths and families who are Christians who are being crucified, burned alive, and tied to trees and shot – all because they will not renounce their faith. These are the martyrs of the faith who will not bow to another God. 'And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good? But and if you suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror.' (1 Peter 3:13-14).
- Intercede for the many Christians who still are in Syria, a country where the old maps no longer exist (along with Iraq). The old World Order of the Middle East has collapsed and these countries are like slowly-sinking Titanic ships.
- Pray for Israel as Hamas is doing whatever it can to improve its ability to murder innocent victims. New tunnels have been built in the underground terror network. The Gaza 'reconstruction' is taking place under the ground instead of on top of it. Thank God for Israel's new technology for locating terror tunnels. Pray that Israel will be delivered from her enemies.
The leaders of Iran continue to vow that Israel will be destroyed and that it is temporary. Iranian Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani keeps boasting that Israel will one day be forced into the body of an ancient nation and an historical region will be wiped off the map. He lies blatantly when he says 'Even Tel Aviv knows well that Iran is not after acquiring nuclear weapons.' He expresses his motives when he says 'the usefulness period of Israel will expire' (Hana Levi Julian, Middle East news analyst). Meanwhile Hamas, which we know means 'violence', continues their ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip. When we think of Hamas we weigh the prophecies contained in the Bible that speak of the complete destruction of the 'Philistines' in the last day, as Philistines historically occupied what is today the Gaza Strip. Of course, the Gaza Strip is governed today by the terrorist group Hamas, who one day may likewise 'no longer be heard' in the Land. On top of Iran and Hamas, ISIS is 'knocking on Israel's borders' (Israel News Digest, July 6, 2015). According to our correspondent, Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out that Islamists are now encircling the Jewish state and Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon said 'terrorism is engulfing the Middle East.'
- Pray that the outcry of radical Islam, which is exceedingly grave will be silenced and that one day true peace will reign in the Middle East. As Christians, we pray for the return of Yeshua (Jesus), as He is the only true Prince of Peace, the only one who can usher it in. Only someone like Yeshua can turn the tide of Hagar's children and descendants whose character is that of 'a wild man' (Genesis 16:12) and whose hand is against everyone. We must pray for Yeshua's return with the words 'Baruch Haba B'Shem Adonai,' 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord' (Matthew 23:39).
- Thank God that we know His Word and that the words which the leaders of Iran proclaim about the destruction of Israel will not happen. 'Thus saith the Lord which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night... if those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever' (Jeremiah 31:35-36).
- Praise God that He is stronger than Israel's enemies and will fight on Israel's behalf. 'Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam (Iran), the chief of their might. And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come' (Jeremiah 49:35-36).
- Ask the Lord to put a burden on individual hearts in the Church today to pray more often and more diligently, for the hour is very serious for Israel. We, who have embraced the Jewish Messiah, Jesus (Yeshua), must be willing to sacrifice our time for Israel.
May the Lord use our prayers to accomplish His purposes, as we press in and pray.
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.
Please pray for a good response to our CFI UK Conference flyers and for the speakers as they prepare to join us. This year requires pre-booking and prepayment due to the Kings Church Centre having their own catering team, hence lunch will be provided.
Our stand at the New Wine Christian Bible and Music festival will be overseen in week one by Jacob and Ellen Vince with Area Rep Audrey Lee, and in week two by David Soakell with Area Rep Philip Aitchison. Please pray that many open enquirers will respond positively during these two weeks (25th July – 8th August), that those already supportive will be encouraged, and that those set against will have their hearts softened.
Thank the Lord for answered prayer in that we now have more staff. Pray also that both they and our area representatives will be able to serve well and grow into their respective roles. And please pray that time will fit in well for annual leave to be taken and that our Lord keeps us in good health.
We very much appreciate your prayers to our Heavenly Father, through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit.
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 postage and packing)
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