A Guide to Intercessory Prayer for the month of December 2018 ~ 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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Elijah Lived an Amazing Life

‘Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there”’ (1 Kings 17:2-4).

Many have often wondered what it was about Elijah that made his prayers and his life so effective and powerful.  He lived an amazing life.  He was fed by ravens.  He saw a widow’s supply of oil and flour that miraculously never ran out.  He later raised her son from the dead.  And in answer to his prayer, God brought fire down from heaven when he faced the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.

So what are the characteristics of the life of Elijah that can help us with our own prayer lives, and achieve the success in prayer that he did?

To begin with, it seems that Elijah learned to be completely dependent on God.  After his first confrontation with King Ahab, God sent him to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan River.  He didn’t just run away, but Scripture says that God sent him (1 Kings 17:2-4).

We must all learn that in going where God sends us, we are in his will, even if we don’t fully understand the reason why.  Elijah rested there with no food and no provision.  Yet God took care of his needs.  It was also there that earthly things were stripped away from him, yet God sent the ravens to bring him bread and meat in the morning and meat in the evening (1 Kings 17:5-6).

It was after this time that the Lord called him back to face Ahab, and Scripture records for us the encounter with the prophets of Baal.  While human eyes may have seen Elijah as outnumbered 450 to 1, it is always the one true God that makes the difference, no matter what the odds.  After allowing the false prophets their opportunity to call upon their god, Elijah takes his turn and says something very interesting.  Verses 36 and 37 of chapter 18 unveil a truly inspired prayer: ‘At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.  Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”’

Elijah states that the purpose for his actions was for the people to know that the one true God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that he is THE God in Israel.  Elijah wanted their hearts to turn back to God.

Our prayers should always include appeals for those around us to know that he, the God of Israel, is the one true God and that by speaking his words, people will know that it is the LORD who has done these things.

For our prayers to be most effective and successful, we must pray “the word of the Lord” from our mouths.  Then, just as the widow of Zarephath said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth” (1 Kings 17:24).  Those around us will know that it is not our words, but the words of our Lord.

Let’s pray the word of the Lord concerning:

The nation of Israel:

  • In its continuing struggle with the ongoing rocket attacks on the communities surrounding Gaza, even to Beersheba, as Hamas keeps up its war of terrorism against Israel (Deuteronomy 31:6).
  • Their great need for the winter rains to arrive on time and to be plentiful for a beautiful and bountiful new year for all residents of the country (Joel 2:23).
  • The wisdom needed for Israel’s government – including Jerusalem’s new Mayor – to hear the true word of the Lord in dealing with the multitude of issues presented each day (Proverbs 4:6-7).
  • For the military leaders, as they would seek the Lord’s strategy for combating the many enemies of the nation on all borders and fronts (Isaiah 41:10).
  • The political leaders of the nation to know that they need God’s wisdom in making decisions for the nation on the world stage, that they may be in line with the Lord’s timetable and his perfect will (Proverbs 21:1).
  • The people of the nation, that they would all turn their face again to the one true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who is their hope, their future and their deliverance (2 Chronicles 7:14).

CFI in Jerusalem:

  • The health and wellbeing of all those who serve in Israel as they endeavour to fulfil the calling of the Lord on their life in service and humility to the people of the nation of Israel (Psalm 91:14).
  • The ongoing spiritual warfare waged against all those who seek the will of God in blessing the nation of Israel and her people (Ephesians 6:12-18).
  • The wisdom of the Lord to fulfil the purpose of his work in Jerusalem and all of Israel, in the way that he would have it done – according to his perfect will – while awakening the nations to the urgency of the times in which we live (Proverbs 3:13).

In our Lord’s service always,

Kevin Howard

Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem (UK edited version)

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CFI UK News and Prayer items

Give thanks to the Lord for the opportunity to have a CFI UK stall at the Mission Worship Conference held in Eastbourne from 16th to 18th November.  While the stall was not busy, there were a number of very useful conversations and Robin Lane made one of four 15-minute presentations in a seminar on Practical Missional Worship.  The organisers commented after the conference that the seminar was really relevant to the delegates and well received.  Please ask the Lord to embed truth about Israel’s place in his plans firmly in the minds of those who attended the stall or the seminar.

Pray too for all those who attended the two CFI UK regional events on Saturday 24th November.  Ask the Lord to encourage them in their faith through an increased understanding of what he is doing in and around Israel in these days.  And call upon him to refresh and encourage the speakers from both events - Colin Mitchell from the Kehilat Ha Carmel Congregation near Haifa, Israel; and CFI UK’s David and Julia Soakell.

Do continue to pray for the Lord’s guidance regarding all our future activities.  Our desire is to act completely in line with his perfect will as we pursue our particular calling to represent and encourage Christians in friendship of Israel and the Jewish community here in the UK.  Several regular forthcoming activities are: a study tour of Israel for church leaders from 14th to 22nd January; next year’s Parliamentary Lobby Day on 6th March; our Prayer Conference from 27th to 29th March and a general tour of Israel in May and June, linking to the CFI Jerusalem Conference.  Please ask our Father in heaven to help us keep his beloved son Jesus at the centre of all these activities.

On a smaller scale, we have another new opportunity, this time to have a CFI UK stall at the Eastbourne Day of Prayer on 19th January.  Please thank the Lord for this opportunity and ask for his guidance on content that will match the event’s focus on prayer, the local churches and the local community.

“May the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16).

The CFI UK Team