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Prayer

Prayer


Welcome to the prayer page.  We thank you for your interest in supporting the ministry of Christian Friends of Israel and would fully appreciate your prayer covering for all elements of the work of CFI, its trustees, staff, area representatives and volunteers.


A few years ago the Lord gave this prophecy for the work of CFI in the UK, which was tested out and prayed over by the trustees and staff, and is still as relevant to us all as ever:


God will provide the strategies – not just to cope
But to overcome and
Be victorious
IF we ask…..


As believers – we are in a battle as those who stand with Israel and for biblical truth.  It’s important we know who we are and that we are overcomers in Christ alone and that he promises protection for us and provision for us in these areas and for this ministry.


If you would like to stand with Christian Friends of Israel, please use these prayer pointers as a guide, but if you would like to support further areas of the ministry or pray for the staff and the volunteer area reps, for instance, or begin a CFI prayer group, please contact   julia.soakell@cfi.org.uk


 


Pray for More Intercessors – Thoughts on a 1911 Prophecy


At the recent Lydia Conference a 1911 prophecy was shown to me that was startling in accuracy and detail.  Shortly before his death in 1918, Bishop Aristocoli of the Russian Orthodox Church passed it to Mother Barbara, a Russian nun.


It mentions that not one nation will be without trial, and that the evils to come will affect Russia, that Germany would be divided and Italy would face many natural disasters.  “Britain will lose her empire and all her colonies, and will come to almost total ruin, but will be saved through praying women.”


As with all prophecies, the content of this one needs to be tested carefully. But let’s thank God for these words of prophecy, as in his mercy and compassion our Father warns the nations – he is faithful and does not want anyone to be lost.


Let’s pray that the nations take note, turn back to God and search for their Saviour and Redeemer.


Ask the Holy Spirit to expose the root of anti-Semitism that exists in individuals, churches and nations; and for a great revelation of the promises made by God to Abraham and the Jewish people – and further revelation that the churches need to be praying people.


It seems that many intercessors in the nations are women, but let’s pray for men and women, young and old, to pray for Israel and the Jewish people in an overflow of their love for our heavenly Father. 


 


Julia Soakell 
December 2016





Watchman’s Prayer Letter


A Guide to Intercessory Prayer for the month of March 2017 ~ Jewish Year 5777


`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)


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


The Double Blessing


Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).


Bread (l’chem in Hebrew) is something we all have in our homes.  It is a staple food and there’s nothing like a good piece of bread, be it homemade or bakery purchased.  We probably never stop to think about the importance to the ancient Hebrews of this essential item, nor to the Jewish communities of yesterday and today.  If one visits Israel today, one will find all kinds of bread from all over the world.  Wherever Jewish people were scattered, they took with them their ancient recipes.  When Shabbat came around, Shabbat bread was on every Jewish table (Leviticus 26:26).  It was made according to kosher baking and there is nothing tastier than this wonderful ancient bread.  It was very much a basic part of every diet and usually made from wheat flour, water and salt, and sometimes olive oil.


In ancient times, there was Ezekiel bread, manna, matzah, and the showbread.  The holy showbread was on display in the temple and placed on the altar of the Most High God.  Every Shabbat the high priest removed the loaves and replaced them.  The loaves were seen as something like a sacrificial offering.  Professor Baruch Levine suggests that “two different modes of sacrifice are reflected in the prescribed manner of offering the bread of display.  The loaves themselves were a presentation to God for which no altar of burnt offerings was used.  The bread was viewed by God and, by this means, accepted by him.  Subsequently, the loaves were apportioned to the priests.  In an effort to adapt this widespread mode of sacrifice to the more distinctive method of burning offerings on the altar, frankincense was to be burned near the loaves of bread; just as with other offerings of grain, a small amount of flour was burned on the altar.  God was pictured as inhaling the aroma of the burning frankincense as ‘an offering by fire.’”


“According to medieval commentator Ibn Ezra, the twelve loaves represented the twelve tribes of Israel, and the offering was symbolic of the pledge of the covenant between the twelve tribes and God. Just as a contract between men was sealed and a form of friendship forged by their taking of a meal together, so did ancient Israelite sacrifice seek to strengthen one’s connection with God. As in … all ancient sacrifice, the bread of display sought to bring about God’s appearance and his blessing. And God himself, by accepting the gift ... binds and obligates himself in some way” (Jewish Heritage Online Magazine).


I do not know how many loaves of Shabbat bread are sold in Israel every Friday, but it must be millions.  Who would set a Shabbat table in Israel without this wonderful loaf of bread?  It reminds me of the covenant God has with Israel every week when I take it, and it also tells me over and over again, that the ‘bread of life’ for me is Yeshua, who allowed his body to be given for all who believe in him.  As a Christian I cherish that tiny portion we take to our mouths as we pray “Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha olam, Ha Motzi Lechem, Min Ha’Aretz” (Blessed are you, oh Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth the bread from the earth).  The next time you purchase bread, take time to think about the meaning it has for Israel and the meaning it has for all of us as followers of the Jewish Messiah.  This bread will strengthen your soul and give you immediate energy to go on serving the one True God, the God of Israel, and as Christians to follow the one Redeemer and Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus).  Think and ponder the next time you eat bread at your table. You will receive a double blessing for taking the time to stop and consider its true importance to us all.  ‘Thank you Lord, for our daily bread.’


Let’s Approach the Throne of Grace


“From the golden altar rose the sweet cloud of incense, symbol of Israel’s accepted prayers ...” (Alfred Edersheim).  Today Israel is passing through some deep waters.  With the constant lies about Israel, propaganda from Israel’s enemies, and an anti-God and anti-Christ world, Israel’s oppressors in their strength and pride are continually threatening to destroy the entire Jewish nation with the press of a nuclear button.  Jews and Christians need to appeal to the one True God, the God of Israel, for his intervention in today’s shaky and unsteady world.


The headlines in the Times of Israel read, “After Gaza Flare-Up, Ministers Hear War Drums as Army Seeks to Return to Calm.”  Israeli ministers have been saying that it is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ the next war will begin here.  Israel’s military leaders do not want an escalation in hostilities with Hamas but the threats from Gaza continue day after day, threatening to harm Israel and her citizens.  Everyone is guessing when it will start, but only God knows the exact timing.



  • Thank God for the soldiers in the IDF who have sought to do all within their power to restore calm and lessen some of the tensions surrounding the Gaza Strip.  May they be strong in the Lord, as there are many believers in the Israeli Army.  There are God-fearing Israelis who love the Lord God with all of their hearts.  Many Christians serve in the IDF too, as well as Messianics and Arameans.  “Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.” (Psalm 4:3).



  • Praise the Lord for the determination of Israel’s soldiers to protect the people of Israel living in the land.  Israel has been retaliating when rockets are sent into populated areas, but Hamas then holds Israel accountable – just for protecting her citizens and everyone else in the land.  “… because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger” (Psalm 55:3).



  • Beseech the Lord for Israel to remain strong in the face of world opposition to her possession of this God-given land.  Almost the whole world is against Israel returning and making prosperous the once desolate and barren land left after many invading armies overran her for centuries and treated her as a barren land.  Praise his Name that his word is coming to pass just as he promised it would.  “Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89).



  • Pray about the new homes approved for construction in Judea and Samaria, the ‘heartland’ of Israel.  They are condemned by the world and the Palestinian Authority, whose threats resound to punish Israel for new construction.  May God bring confusion upon the enemies who threaten Israel with “death to the Jewish state.”  “May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace.” (Psalm 35:26).  As a Christian living in Israel for many years, I can say that all Israelis want is a safe place to raise their children, as well as protected borders.  Israelis are seeking to obey God in possessing the land whenever they can.



  • Intercede regarding the terror that reigns in the camps of those who continually plot the killing of innocent Israelis.  The light is very dark in the tents of the wicked and they walk continually into a snare.  ISIS is the king of terror today, but it will be stopped.  “Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished. The LORD reigns for ever; he has established his throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity”
    (Psalm 9:6-8)
    .



  • Thank God that in the midst of Islamic enemies, Israel agreed to accept 100 orphaned children from Syria, refugees from the civil war.  This will have an impact upon these children for years to come.  Israel will give them the freedom to be educated, and will place them in foster families.  They will eventually become temporary residents, receiving identity cards and passports, and be treated as citizens.  “Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me”
    (Psalm 31:2)
    .


Let the intercessors around the world who utilise this Watchman’s Prayer Letter know that your prayers are not in vain.  The Lord has sought intercessors before and found none.  Today there are thousands.  Let us be found praying for his chosen people when he comes.  It is my privilege to provide you with prayer topics each month.  As a shield of prayer for the nation, you have the privilege of sending sweet-smelling incense to the Father, through the Son.  God bless each of you.


Until He Comes,


Sharon Sanders


Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem (UK edited version) 


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CFI-UK News and Prayer requests


Thank the Lord for his guidance, in answer to prayer, as to which Christian festivals and exhibitions we attend this year with our resources stall.  We have been accepted for Big Church Day Out weekends, both north and south, with staff and helpers in place to attend to both.  We have submitted our application for our resources stall at the national New Wine United, weeks 1 & 2 in the South West.  Pray that it will be favourably received and that confirmation of acceptance will come in May.  Thereafter, pray that we will have the right staff and representatives to attend to them and availability of accommodation to book.


Pray for the upcoming Strategic Prayer Conference near Oxford this month, that those sharing will inspire prayer for the people, situations and issues that the Lord would desire we focus upon.  Pray that the practical arrangements, including travel, will go well so we are not unnecessarily distracted from the purpose of the conference to pray and be ‘filled with the knowledge of his will’ (Colossians 1:9).


Pray for those booked onto and those still considering joining the forthcoming CFI Land and Life Israel Tour 15th – 21st May 2017, led by Jacob and his brother Tim Vince, with an extension option to include the CFI Jerusalem conference.  May there be close fellowship as we travel the land together and meet with the people of the land in this most significant anniversary year.


Thank the Lord for a new member of staff joining this month to provide extra assistance in an administrative capacity.  Pray for return to good health for staff members and close family members when they are not well.  Thank the Lord for his especial enabling during the times we manage with less staff than we would want.  Thank the Lord for all staff and volunteers who have served the work of Christian Friends of Israel over the years; and we, in turn, extend our thanks to the Lord for all who provide much valued prayer support.


Thank the Lord for opportunities to share about Christian friendship of Israel at various churches, some of whose ministers have participated in our co-sponsored minsters’ study tour of Israel.  Pray for the right invitees for the next tour in January 2018, that they will have the time available, commit to booking and grow in their interest to learn more of Israel - biblically, historically and currently.


“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations. Forever and ever, Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).


The CFI-UK Team

New Christians


As we consider the times in which we live, with the bias against Israel, the rise of anti-Semitism and the anti-Zionism that has developed from it (which in effect is anti-Israelism), we see that it is vital for new Christians to be ‘born’ properly.  Let’s pray that our pastors, ministers and group leaders have a true revelation of the foundations of our faith in biblical Judaism, and that our Hebraic roots are preached and understood as a powerful work of the Holy Spirit. 


We want the Lord to impress on hearts – in his own ways and his own timing – that we owe a great debt of gratitude to the Jewish people and to the teachings of the Jewish Messiah, conveyed to us through a thoroughly Jewish book (the Bible).  There is so much to learn in our churches, and our own lives, when we study the word of God in its context of Hebraic meaning, and in the setting of the day in which it was given.


Let us pray that all new Christians will receive correct teaching and revelation through their churches. But if that does not happen, let us pray that they learn these things through other divine appointments – so that we no longer need to correct churches about these things, and we see churches recognise the fact that gentile believers are ‘grafted-in’ to the Olive Tree of Israel.


Let’s pray with expectation for: 



  • Student Unions in Colleges and Universities

  • Pastors inside and outside of the Church of England

  • Those in Theology Colleges in the UK and USA especially

  • The Prison work done through various Christian ministries

  • Clear biblical teaching every time churches pray about and plan evangelistic outreach.

  • Churches that have CFI Church Links, where our literature is freely available, that every copy will bear fruit in witness and in teaching, and lead people into greater revelation and insight.

  • More supporters to pray about being Regional Links and Church Links – so we are able to ‘teach the Church and bless Israel’ while there is still time.


‘As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.’ (John 9:4) 


 


Julia Soakell
March 2017

The Rise of anti-Semitism


Recent reports have shown an increasing wave of anti-Semitism, including 1,309 incidents during 2016, according to the Community Security Trust. Even more worrying is the rise of anti-Semitic rhetoric within our ‘seats of learning’, like the protest by 40 ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ who blocked the door to a venue in Trinity College Dublin where the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Ze’ev Boker, was due to speak. In another example, Bristol University is reported to be investigating claims of anti-Semitism after a lecturer said that Jews should stop “privileging” the Holocaust.


Anti-Semitic GraffitiExample of anti-Semitic graffiti


At our recent Lobby Day in Parliament, Baroness Deech expressed deep concerns that some of our universities were becoming ‘no go areas’ for Jewish students, and that this has become worse over the last ten years. She said it was vital that a definition of anti-Semitism like the one offered by Eric Pickles recently should be adopted to make things simpler for universities. We were horrified to hear that most, if not all, universities were holding Israel Apartheid Week events each year, which is illegal in her opinion as well as in ours – there is a great need for prayer.


It must be said though, that many of our universities do hold events to commemorate the Holocaust each year.  We must encourage these events and commend their organisers for standing up for tolerance and standing against anti-Jewish bias.


Let’s ask the Lord how we can pray effectively about these issues:



  • Pray for all members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons to be informed and challenged about anti-Semitism and Muslim extremism in the UK – especially in our colleges and universities.

  • Pray for the Lord to expose and deal with, in his own way, any anti-Semitism within our governments, councils and educational departments.

  • Pray for all the Jewish students who are able to study at this level to be safe and able to courageously raise any concerns for themselves with their authorities.

  • Pray for those involved in Holocaust Memorial Day preparations each year in universities.  The foremost reason for holding such events, when originally established by Tony Blair, was to remember the Jewish Holocaust, so it would never be repeated.

  • Pray for good, balanced Media coverage of these concerns, across social media too, and that young Christians and CFI supporters will engage in conversations to help fellow students gain greater understanding and concern about this increase in anti-Semitism. Pray that they would encourage them to look into the Hebraic roots of the Bible and the debt of gratitude we owe to the Jewish people for the Bibles we use, and indeed for our Jewish Saviour. 


Julia Soakell 
February 2017



A Legacy of UK Intercessors


Having the privilege to speak at the Lydia South East Conference recently, reminded me of the scripture in Hebrews chapter 12 about a ‘great cloud of witnesses’.  What a great legacy we have in this country of intercessors, often women, who have stood in the gap for great concerns and world issues, famines and disasters, wars and acts of anti-Semitism, as well as family conflicts and situations of heartache and poor health.


It was quite astounding to be in a place with such an attitude of worship, meditation and submission to the Lord, with over 120 ladies whose priority was to pray to the Lord for the nations. The Lydia Fellowship has a great heart for Israel and I led the first session as we prayed together in small groups for the youth in our churches in the UK, as well as the youth of Israel and the Palestinian areas.  There was a crescendo of prayer and a fantastic response to the prayer topics, as well as a desire to know more about CFI.


Give thanks that through the decades, even centuries, devoted Christians have been praying faithfully for the needs of the nations; and especially for the Jewish people, their land and heritage, and for Christian Friends of Israel, here in the UK and throughout the world.


Please pray for these ladies of prayer – like our great intercessor Jenny Forbes, former CFI trustee and Lydia leader, who went to be with the Lord last year. She had been instrumental in this region’s great heart for Israel and understanding of Hebraic teaching.


Pray for the young people mentioned in these three areas and for the next generation of intercessors – so vital for the nations.


I believe this year the Lord told me to pray for a greater wave of intercession than ever before. In small but not insignificant ways we can see the Lord wakening churches from their slumber (Revelation 3:2 “Wake up!”) and becoming ‘watchmen on the walls’, praying for Israel and the Jewish people.


 


Julia Soakell – Church Liaison and Prayer Encouragement UK
November 2016

Holocaust Memorial Day


 January 27th was established as a national Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) in 2001, a day in the United Kingdom dedicated to the remembrance of those who suffered in the Holocaust under Nazi Persecution. The chosen date is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Union in 1945. Numerous memorial events around the country are organized and attended by CFI’s Area Representatives, Church Links and supporters – some getting involved for the first time this year. These events will be held in schools, youth centres, churches and fellowships.


If you would like ideas on how to get involved, or any help to host an event, contact julia.soakell@cfi.org.uk.


In the present political climate, with so many distractions and news stories, please pray about the following:



  • That many people, including young people, will acknowledge and support events in their locality and see the need to remember the Holocaust each year – not as a political statement, but to consider its place in history and how we can all challenge hatred and intolerance so as to create a safer and better future.



  • That the media – television channels, social media, radio and newspapers – will broadcast about the date and events in a meaningful, balanced and dignified way.



  • That the true Church will stand with the Jewish Community in respect and compassion. Pray that there will be a hunger for truth and to adhere to the biblical teaching about Israel, and that a harvest of true understanding of our Hebraic roots and our debt to Israel will emerge in new areas.



  • Pray that the root of anti-Semitism will be exposed in the heart of people inside and outside of the Church.  Pray too for the police and community leaders who need great wisdom to know how to deal with such hatred in our towns and cities. 



  • Pray for CFI reps and Church Links in Essex, Birmingham, North Yorkshire, Scottish Borders, Stockton, Southampton, Rockwell Green, Llandudno and other places – for all the hard work, preparation and manning of services that needs to do done each year to run these exhibitions and events – Lest We Forget


"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.
We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."
Elie Wiesel - from his speech when given the Nobel Peace Prize. 




Julia Soakell
January 2017

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 verse 9 tells us that even the archangel Michael did not dare to condemn the devil for slander, but said, "The Lord rebuke you." Rather we are told to `resist the devil` (James 4:7) and to: `put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil`s schemes` (Ephesians 6:11).

  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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