A Guide to Intercessory Prayer for the month of April 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 Call of Ezekiel as Watchman

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel …”
(Ezekiel 33:7)

You can love Israel, but my questions to you are: “How much do you really pray for us?” and “How much are you prepared to suffer in praying for us?”  The rest is superficial.  Unfortunately, in charismatic circles this whole matter of intercession has been devalued.  People tell me that they’re going to have a time of intercession – it’s anything but intercession.  Intercession is the deepest form of prayer because it is no small thing, no light thing and not an easy thing.  The need for intercessors, for watchmen to look out for Israel and the Jewish people, is great.  True intercession is crucial.

In Ezekiel the Lord wrote-off everything in the land – prophet, priest, king, nobles and people, everything!  Wherever he looked nothing came up to his standard, there was nothing that his blessing could rest upon, nothing that he could smile upon.  What did he say?  “I looked for the King?”  No!  “I looked for a prophet?”  “I looked for a priest?”  No!  “I looked for the Church?”  No!  “I looked for a man” he said!   One solitary man “who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30)  One man!  The key to any national situation, or any international situation, is the intercessor … the Lord looks upon that matter as so strategic and the enemy knows it.  (Excerpt from a talk given by Lance Lambert on Intercession at the Christian Friends of Israel Teaching Conference in Jerusalem, 28th May 1987).  This word from Lance is as important today as when it was delivered to an international audience 22 years ago.  Just as someone once compared himself to a salmon fighting its way upstream, we with a watchman’s call upon our lives can continue to ‘swim’ until the Lord Jesus returns to Jerusalem, or until he calls us to our eternal home.

Watchmen in the Bible were responsible for protecting towns and military installations from surprise attacks and other dangers.  Ancient Israelite cities often stationed watchmen on high walls or in watchtowers.  Their job was to keep watch and warn of impending threats.  The Hebrew word translated ‘watchman’ means “one who looks out … one who watches.”  Sometimes watchmen were scouts who looked out for approaching friends as well as enemies.  There are many references to watchmen who kept an eye out for physical threats in the Bible: “When the lookout standing on the tower in Jezreel saw Jehu’s troops approaching, he called out, “I see some troops coming.” “Get a horseman,” Joram ordered. “Send him to meet them and ask, ‘Do you come in peace?’”” (2 Kings 9:17).

As Lance said at the conference, “It seems as if Israel is always in some critical situation, and so for this reason we have to pray – we need more intercessors who understand what the objective of the Lord is ... If the powers of darkness have their way there will be no House of Israel to be saved.  There will be no nation here to be redeemed … Dear friends this is the call to be Watchmen.”

Won’t you consider raising up a ‘Watchmen on the Wall’ prayer group in your city, town or village?  Even though the opening Scripture was for Ezekiel personally to stand in the gap for his nation, it is also for all who love the God of Israel and his chosen people.  Praying God’s word over Israel is effective and timely.  NOW is the time to pray for Israel.

Let us Pray Together in the Spirit

  • Thank God for the rain!  Prayers have been answered with torrents of rain in Israel this winter.  The desert, Jerusalem, surrounding cities and towns are green and abloom with many beautiful flowers across God’s chosen land.  “Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime; it is the LORD who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone” (Zechariah 10:1).
  • Intercede for the area of the Golan Heights which belongs to Israel.  God will judge all nations who continue to ‘poke him in the eye’ with regard to the land he has granted to Israel.  Those who seek to divide the land allotted to Israel will pay a huge price.  “I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land” (Joel 3:2).
  • Pray fervently for Israel’s military who are the modern day warriors of this nation.  Everyone longs for the day when swords will be beaten into ploughshares and the Lord God of Israel will be worshipped and praised by all nations.  Pray for soldiers on the frontlines, in the supply centres, behind the computers and those with their ‘boots on the ground,’ who are daily in harm’s way from the extreme hatred surrounding them.
    “Together they will be like mighty men trampling the muddy streets in battle. Because the LORD is with them, they will fight and overthrow the horsemen” (Zechariah 10:5).
  • Pray diligently for the Arab nations who hate Israel (for God loves all nations, but hates cursing against his people).  May they accept the millions of square miles they possess and, as Esau once said to Jacob, may they too say: “I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself” (Genesis 33:9).  Esau knew he had enough space to live.
  • Beseech God to enable Israel to pass through her sea of troubles, to deliver Israel from all her enemies.  Ask that those who rule the nations who hate Israel will drop their swords, and that their hardened hearts would become soft.  Only the return of the Lord will do this.  So let’s add a longing for Jesus to return and usher in true peace.  “They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up. Assyria’s pride will be brought down and Egypt’s sceptre will pass away” (Zechariah 10:11).

With elections coming up in Israel, it is imperative to pray that God will ensure that his choice of leaders is made.  We will need supernatural alertness on all of our borders, as well as timely and wise leadership decisions in any explosive situations that might arise in the future.

As we pray, let us thank God for all that he has done for Israel in the past. Let us acknowledge the fact that he has brought them through every situation, signalled to them to return to the land, returned them home from 2,000 years of dispersion, given them the stamina, strength and insight to build.  Come and visit Israel.  Come and see what God is doing to fulfil his prophetic word.  Let us remember Lance’s words – that it is the intercessor who has the ‘key’ to victory in any given situation.  We all have an important role to fill, in which to stand strong during the storms.

Until he returns

Sharon Sanders

Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem (UK edited version)

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CFI UK News and Prayer items

We thank the Lord for excellent responses at the first Christian exhibition attended by CFI this year - CRE Manchester.  As Julia Soakell writes: “We had great conversations and lots of ground covered, from believers who wanted to know more about Israel to general enquirers who wanted to know why we were there and what CFI was about. Everything we prayed for!”  Continue to pray for our preparations for the other exhibitions and festivals ahead – particularly Spring Harvest, Harrogate 13-17 April, where CFI have a resources stall.  This is our first visit to Spring Harvest in recent times.

On April 6th Jacob Vince is speaking at the Echad day conference in Hitchin Northampton on the subject of Israel and the Church in God’s bigger picture, for which prayer is appreciated.

Pray for any adjustments to the Israel Tour and CFI Jerusalem conference itinerary, that the right speakers will be available and that everyone whom the Lord wants to attend will be present.  Thank the Lord for the good number already booked in and pray for any who are still considering joining the tour on its own, or the tour plus the conference extension.

Thank the Lord for a good turnout at last month’s parliamentary Lobby Day and the fifteen MPs and three Peers who addressed those present.  Pray that the subjects lobbied continue to receive favourable response and that action will be taken to instigate change as a result.

Pray as we continue to implement the trustee’s ‘way ahead’ proposals.  In particular, as we refresh our materials, display stands, free literature, website and on-line presence, ask that the design and message conveys well who CFI are and what we do – encouraging the Church toward a fuller understanding, challenging anti-Semitism and prejudice and assisting humanitarian projects in Israel.  Pray too for the right IT systems, database and online resource-processing systems to assist better communication.  Thank the Lord for his continued provision and more recently the faithfulness of those who have left bequests.  Pray we will continue to know the Lord’s provision for the tasks he has for us to do and will use that which he provides wisely, as good stewards.

The CFI UK Team