For the land which you go to possess (Israel) is … a land for which the Lord your God cares;
the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it,
from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.
(Deuteronomy 11:10-12)

Our own nation is seeing huge contrasts as lockdown continues. As isolation continues for some, other people are reaching out and caring. Churches are suspended yet some believers are communicating more than ever. Hearts are being stirred, prayer is intensifying, and online Bible sales are up.

Israel is finally coming out of lockdown, shops and schools are open and cafes are serving takeaway. Life is gradually coming back towards normality. The nation has excelled in technology and treatment to deal with the pandemic and its consequences.

Continue to pray that Israel is seen to be a light to the nations and a blessing through innovation and technology, especially in terms of medical advancements 

We know that behind the headlines God is working out his purpose, but several contrasts have struck me, and I bring them to you for prayer. Israel is a land of contrasts, usually there is snow on Mount Hermon all year through, while summer temperatures rise to the high 30s and even up to 49 C. Despite months of lockdown in Israel, more than 100 Ethiopian Jews joyfully prepared for Aliyah (moving to Israel) in mid-May.

Pray for these people – struggling through poverty in their own land, magnetically drawn to Israel, often not fully aware of their Biblical roots. Pray for safe travel and help with paperwork to settle in Israel.

A move to the thriving towns and cities of Israel is a huge culture shock for most Ethiopians. Many leave elderly family members behind. But some come to Israel from every generation. It’s difficult for the elderly, as they aren’t able to grow their own food and eat it as they did before. Language is a barrier for them and it’s important that communities of Ethiopians grow, assimilate and thrive again, becoming part of society, gaining education and employment. This community still represents some of the lowest achieving and earning in Israel.

Please pray for them and their encouragement in every way. Pray too for the Ethiopians who pastor Ethiopian believers, or who run schemes to help Ethiopians start up as entrepreneurs and become role models for their young people in the services and in business.

Pray for CFI Jerusalem’s Marcia Brunson as she oversees many projects for the Ethiopians in Israel. Pray God stirs the young adults and women into new ventures and educational opportunities. For more see our Project Hope for the Future in CFI Jerusalem, in Israel.

Behind closed doors in Israel, isolation over the last few months has brought hardship and heartbreak, causing the suicide rate to soar, as in other nations. Through the lockdown period Israel has continued to have rocket attacks on her borders and security issues to contend with. They sense the hatred for them from other nations. I read recently "An age is called dark not because the light fails to shine but because people refuse to see".

Pray for those in Israel affected by trauma, health issues, mental health and domestic abuse. Pray for comfort for Zion (Isaiah 40), for light to come into their worlds. Pray for supernatural revelations of God’s love for all people, Jews and Gentiles.

Pray for all in Israel’s new government, that all cultures and communities are represented in it, and all can experience God’s blessing on the nation and be united as a land and people.

In Scripture the Holy Spirt is said to hover over the world (Zech 4:6). We are commanded to pray for Jerusalem and all Israel. Pray that many will recognise their need and reach out to projects like CFI’s Communities under Attack and Under His Wings so our staff there can help and bring God’s healing balm. Pray for Maggie Huang who over sees these projects.

“The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble.
But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel”
(Joel 3:16 NIV)

Julia Soakell

May 2020