A Guide to Intercessory Prayer for the month of December 2019 ~ Jewish Year 5779

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`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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The Prayer of the Lord 

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’”

(The Lord’s Prayer can be found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4).

I find it interesting that, according to Charles Gardner’s article in Israel Today (3rd November 2019), this most familiar prayer of our Lord Jesus actually begins with a plea for Israel’s restoration as a nation-state.  He says that in the ‘very first line of the Lord’s Prayer, it stresses the importance to God of the great sign of our age – the return of the Jews to their ancient land.’  It is understood that as a ministry, CFI has supported aliyah (immigration to Israel) and have helped hundreds of thousands of immigrants during their first days in their new land.

In Prophecy Today, Dr Fred Wright writes: ‘Jesus taught his disciples ... among other things, on the return of the exiles.  “Hallowed be thy name” – or “may your name be sanctified” in modern versions – is obviously our Lord’s priority.’  He notes that Ezekiel 36:23-30 and following is headed Kiddush ha Shem in the Hebrew Bible (The Sanctification of God’s Holy Name).

Jewish exile was a consequence of rebellion against God.  But out of concern for his holy name, the Lord says five times that he would bring them back (verses 24-26).  The return of the Jewish people would accelerate the Latter Days and give us a sign that it is the time of Israel’s Redemption and the soon Coming of Messiah (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:26; Revelation 1:7).  Aliyah is one of the last great signs leading up to the return of the Lord Jesus (Matthew 24:32-33; Luke 21:24).

As we pray the Lord’s Prayer, let us remember that Israel is not a political accident, nor is it an irrelevant political issue to be ignored.  Let us give new impetus to the prayer the Lord taught us by agreeing that God’s name will be sanctified – honoured as holy.

Please keep our Jerusalem Distribution Centre in your prayers as we continue to minister the love of God – the compassion needed as young and old uproot from wherever they are and take the big step of starting over in a new land.  It often is stressful and settling-in is a real challenge.  Thank you to all of you who support our Distribution Centre, which was opened in 1990.  May we all play a part in the glorification and worship of the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, thereby being an answer to the requests made in the Lord’s prayer.

Let us Pray in One Accord Across the World

So much is happening all around us in the Middle East and, indeed, throughout the world.  Prophecy is being fulfilled, demonic warfare has increased, time seems to have accelerated as everyone is on fast-track days, there are military alerts and briefings being held in the Golan Heights.  Iran is positioning itself for rapid nuclear breakout, air defence systems are on alert in Israel, there are disputes over oil, weapons and politics.  There is the rapid move into Syria by Russia.  Lebanon is on the verge of collapse.  Israel has a leadership problem – and all of this is happening while celebrations are held for 28,000 new immigrants so far this year of 2019.

  • Pray wholeheartedly for the Prime Minister’s son, Yair Netanyahu who (from reports in the local news) claims he receives daily death threats.  May Yair trust in the Lord.  “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:8).
  • Believe the Lord’s promises in the song sung by Jewish people for over a century: Israel’s National Anthem.  It is a powerful response to the word of God.  It was published in 1886 and the anthem expresses Jewish aspirations for a sovereign state in Eretz Israel.  As Prime Minister Netanyahu said, Iran has the capability to strike Israel and the Israeli Air Force prepares for attacks from Iran.  The ‘hope’ expressed in the National Anthem inspires faith to rise up in our hearts that God will do what he says in his word for his chosen people.  “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
  • Pray for Lebanon.  Israel’s neighbour to the north is now gripped by a popular uprising that many fear could lead to civil war.  “You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:6-8).
  • Believe the Lord’s promises that in spite of many troubles which Israel faces, he promised to bring the Jewish people back to their homeland.  It happens every day before our eyes.  “I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety” (Jeremiah 32:37).
  • Read together the Lord’s prayer (found in the above two passages).  Proclaim sanctification of the one true God’s name throughout the entire world.  “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).

For all who so faithfully pray, in the United Kingdom, across Europe, in the United States, the Far East, Africa, China and Mexico; and all nations who receive these prayer letters from CFI in Jerusalem, we bless you as you so loyally and devotedly fulfil your calling to pray for heaven’s blessings to fall upon Israel while she continues to stand as a beacon of light in this war-torn part of the world.

May we weep with those who weep, bless those who persecute, pray for eyes to be opened to the truth of God’s word and redemption; and work alongside God to continue praying, until his redemption comes.

We bless you from CFI in Jerusalem as you carry out your task of prevailing prayer.

In his service together,

Sharon Sanders

Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem (UK edited version)

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CFI UK News and Prayer items

Thank God for enabling us to cope with some challenging situations during the last month, when arrangements that seemed straightforward have suddenly become more complex and given rise to a number of difficulties.

Please continue to pray for divine guidance as we add the necessary details to our plans for involvement at festivals, exhibitions and other events in 2020.  There are many such details to be finalised, such as which staff and volunteers will attend our bookstalls at each event, the corresponding accommodation arrangements and associated travel plans.

Ask for God’s guidance as we continue to plan the next CFI-ZF Lobby Day, arranged for Wednesday 4th March.  Detailed arrangements need to be made for the morning briefing and the afternoon lobby in Parliament.  And pray that other Parliamentary issues will not eclipse this event in which we seek to challenge anti-Semitism and appeal to MPs to work for a better relationship with Israel.

Pray too for other events, such as Let’s Celebrate Israel, to be held in Brighton, on the evening of 22nd February, and also CFI’s part in the events that will mark the Centenary of the San Remo conference, at which it was agreed that the British would administer the area which was then referred to as Palestine, under an obligation to implement the Balfour Declaration.

Ask God to bless the communication of arrangements for these events, as well as those for the CFI UK Israel Tour which will run from 21st to 28th May and has been planned so as to link into the CFI Jerusalem Conference.  Appeal to him to guide all those he wants to attend each event to receive and understand the information that has been prepared.

Many personal, practical and technological difficulties continue to arise, affecting individual team members and the whole team.  Please continue to ask our gracious Lord to protect all aspects of CFI’s work, including the efforts of many volunteers who help us in our Eastbourne office, as well as others who help around the country – our Regional Links and Church Links.

Thank you so much for your support in prayer,

The CFI UK Team