A Guide to Intercessory Prayer for the month of March 2021 ~ Jewish Year 5781

 `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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Little is Much

‘The LORD said to Gideon, ‘You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands,
or Israel would boast against me, “My own strength has saved me.”’’
(Judges 7:2).

The angel of the Lord visited a poor, obscure Israelite man named Gideon.  He was secretly beating out wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites, Israel’s oppressors.  He simply needed food for his family.  Despite Gideon’s low status in the community and lack of confidence, God designated him to lead the Israelites to victory over their persecutors.  Through several miracles, a dream, and his obedience to divine instructions, Gideon was emboldened by the Spirit of God.  Amazingly 32,000 men responded to his clarion call to revolt against the Midianites!  When gathered to prepare for battle, God gave Gideon his strategy.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8)

Instead of using the 32,000 who initially answered Gideon’s call for warriors, God designated only 300 of those men to launch a surprise attack on the huge encampment of the Midianites.  The Lord chose less than 1% of Gideon’s army – only a tiny remnant!  At God’s instruction, that small band stealthily surrounded the enemy camp in the middle of the night and burst out upon them with shofar blasts, a sudden explosion of light, and crashing clamour yelling, “‘For the LORD and for Gideon’” (Judges 7:18).  Their enemies were so startled that pandemonium broke out.  The Israelites did not have to fight because the Lord caused their oppressors to begin attacking one another, with some running away in terror.  God does not need a large number to win the victory.

Could it be that our human mindset or maybe our pride longs for impressive numbers?  Moses said to the children of Israel, “The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other people, for you were the fewest of all peoples” (Deuteronomy 7:7).  Please understand, what is little becomes much when God is involved.

The Lord does not always choose the most prominent people or the ones we deem ‘most likely to succeed’, to accomplish his purposes.  In fact, he seems to specialise in doing just the opposite.  When the odds of winning are humanly impossible, the victory must be attributed to God, not man.  If the people of God obey his instructions, it does not matter how many people are with them or against them; neither is their ability or inability a factor.  As the scripture says, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty … ‘Who despises the day of small things?’” (Zechariah 4:6, 10).  It was David, the overlooked youngest son of Jesse, whom God chose to be the great king of Israel and through whose royal line Messiah Jesus came.

Viewing a map of the Middle East, we see the tiny nation of Israel dwarfed by many surrounding nations who may or may not genuinely have her best interest at heart.  Do not be fooled!  The Lord Almighty watches over his beloved Israel.  In the context of the Church the apostle Paul writes, “What then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).  God pronounced judgment on those who aligned themselves against Israel.  “For this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘After he has honoured me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you – for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye I will surely raise my hand against them” (Zechariah 2:8).  Israel may be small, but the God of Israel is great!

Let us turn to God on behalf of Israel

  • Praise God for his surpassing greatness!  His power is unexcelled and unequalled!  “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” (Exodus 15:11).  ‘“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One … Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.’ (Isaiah 40:25, 28).
  • Thank the Lord that his promises are trustworthy.  We can have faith in his words.  “The LORD said to me, "You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled” (Jeremiah 1:12).
  • Cry out to the Lord to open Israel’s eyes to recognise their need of him.  Many in Israel are secular and do not believe in God.  Please pray that the fear of the Lord would come on Israel, overruling the fear of man – no matter who the man is.  Fearing and obeying God will start Israel on the road to recovery in every aspect.  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom...” (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 9:10).
  • Ask God to provide for his people during these times of economic stress by multiplying the little that they have – just as he did in the days of Elisha.  “‘Your servant has nothing there at all” she said, “except a little oil” ... They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring ... and he said, ‘Go sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left’” (2 Kings 4:2-7).
  • Declare God’s Word over the remnant of believers in the Middle East – Jews, Arabs and others.  Pray for believers living in countries opposed to Israel.  “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them” (Psalms 34:7).  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

Dear prayer partners now is the time to spiritually engage and contend in prayer for Israel and the nations.  This is our cry, “An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength!” (Nahum 2:1).  Some prayer groups are small yet effective when directed by God’s strategy, and at times he gives last minute instructions we might not have anticipated.  Remember, the Lord God Almighty is in control, not us!  Little can become much if God is in it!

In God’s service,

Linda McMurray

Wall of Prayer Supervisor
Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem (UK edited version)

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CFI UK News and Prayer items

Thank the Lord for guiding our meetings with the trustees, reflecting on the past year and looking forward to events and commitments for the forthcoming year.  We are thankful for God’s provision through ongoing prayer support, financial giving, staffing and volunteer support – including regional links and church links; as well as online facilities supplementing postal communication, venue-based events and festivals.

Early in the month, Wednesday 3rd March, we have our Lobby Briefing Sessions, so please pray that many will take the opportunity to become informed on how to challenge the UK’s poor voting record at the UN on matters relating to Israel.  Pray too that they will then write or speak to their MP and pass on the excellent booklet prepared for the occasion.  We hope to republish this in the current affairs category of our ‘Israel in Context’ booklet series.  Pray too that the Lord continues to guide as we review additional resources, more material for our Context booklet series and refresh our Explore CDs and DVDs.

Pray for Julia and David Soakell as they plan the arrangements for our CFI UK National Prayer Conference online, one weekday and one Saturday in June.  Thank the Lord for the experience already gained by them, assisted by Philip Aitchison, and many participants through previous regional or topical prayer gatherings.

Thank the Lord that both speakers and the theme are now identified and confirmed for the CFI UK Annual Conference 3rd – 4th September 2021.  Please pray as we prepare the brochure, allowing for our preferred option of a venue-based event with live stream.  Pray too for the speakers as they prepare their presentations, that these will reach the wider church and encourage fuller understating of Israel, as well as guiding and strengthening those already supportive of Israel.

The CFI UK Team