A Guide to Intercessory Prayer for the month of August 2018 ~ Jewish Year 5778

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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 God of the Armies of Israel

Is the one God truly the God of the armies of Israel today?  “The Philistine army had gathered for war against Israel. The two armies faced each other on opposite sides of the valley. A Philistine giant (Goliath) measuring over 2.7 meters (9ft) tall and wearing full armour came out each day ... mocking and challenging the Israelites to fight.  Saul, the King of Israel, and the army were terrified of Goliath; but David volunteered to fight Goliath. It took some persuasion, but King Saul finally agreed ...  As Goliath moved in for the kill, David reached into his bag and slung one of his stones at Goliath’s head.  The stone hit the giant’s forehead and he fell face down on the ground.  David took Goliath’s sword, killed him and then cut off his head.  When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.” (Wikipedia)

‘David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied’ (1 Samuel 17:45)

Many giant enemies of Israel fight God’s chosen people today.  They fight in the name of their gods.  While young David made the above statement when he was anointed to fight the Philistines, today it’s the Palestinians.  Our question remains, is God still the God of the armies of Israel?  The modern Israeli army serves God in many ways.  Even if there are nonbelievers and atheists in it, there are many Christians in it too.  They are serving Israel’s God whether they acknowledge it or not.  Some may be serving because they live in Israel, but they are still a blessing as Israel’s guardians.  I personally think God’s way of ‘defending’ the nation is through the IDF.  God has planted Israel and promised to defend them.  He defends them through those serving to protect the land and people.  “I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.” (Jeremiah 32:41).  “Like birds hovering overhead, the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem; he will shield it and deliver it, he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.” (Isaiah 31:5). See also Zechariah 12:8, Jeremiah 51:36, and Psalm 20:2.

Every day new problems arise for Israel’s soldiers.  They must find new ways to stop every attack on innocent Israeli families that is driven by a deep-seated hatred towards them.  While Israel’s enemies have sent balloons with firebombs, Israel’s children have sent back balloons with candy.  Iran wants to wipe Israel out and kill every Israeli citizen.  In return for that threat, Israel’s Prime Minister has offered the Iranians solutions to their water supply problems.  As Israel’s enemies in Gaza send rockets into Israel, the Israelis send aid into Gaza.  As Israel’s enemies enjoy killing them, Israelis take the terrorists who survive an attack to the hospital and, where possible, save their lives.

When Israel’s enemies in Syria were fighting among themselves recently, Syrian refugees gathered near Israel’s border in the Golan Heights knowing that Israel would do all they could to protect them.  Israel’s medical experts have helped many pregnant Syrians who crossed into Israel for medical help.  While Israel’s enemies love hatred and death, Israelis continue to pursue peace and life.  As Christians I believe that we have a responsibility to stay at our own posts, as watchmen.  We should pray for the protection, security, and success of Israel’s military, be it army, navy or air force.  All are fighting for the security of the land which God promised to the Jewish people.   Only God can usher in true peace, when Messiah comes.  Until then we need to be God’s guardians over Israel in the spiritual realm of prayer and intercession – onward Christian prayer warriors!  Our numbers around the world are the unknown army, fighting in the spiritual realm for Israel!  All nations must grasp the fact that there is only one true God: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

One Israeli soldier described real life on the Gaza Front:

“Words cannot describe the situations my comrades and I have been through ... the most difficult border in Israel ... It’s not the fact we did not take off our shoes the past week nor shower. Not the fact we didn’t talk to our friends and family the past week. It’s not the fact we sleep an average four hours a night ... It was the fact we did all of this, and at the end of the week, we saw in the media only criticism, how we kill innocent Palestinians. Well, I want to put things straight (since I’m actually here). Have you ever seen 4,000 people running toward you full of hate, yelling “Allahu Akbar”? ... that’s daily threat on the border ... people run toward us with knives and axes and mean to kill us ... We have the right to defend our people, family and friends. We know if they pass us they are going for them ... We first send papers describing we don’t want this, we send smelly bombs to keep them away. No country in the world does that. After all this, they keep coming ... we shoot … you see things you will never forget ... Every shot we took was to protect the people we love.” (IDF soldier Matan Barad / www.jns.org / 8th June 2018).

 

Let’s Pray to the Sovereign Lord

  • Pray for mercy on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.  The largest hospital in the north has prepared for war with a 2,000-bed medical facility.  Also, Israeli authorities have predicted a huge earthquake, which could take place in the north. A number of smaller quakes have already happened.   
  • Intercede for the Israeli army and other branches of the military so that they continue to operate as a team.  The platoons are like family, more like brothers than friends.  The IDF has been the people’s army since its inception and 65% of Israeli-Arabs are proud to be Israeli.
  • Thank God for Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and his cabinet.  Please pray God will give them supernatural wisdom and clarity on every threatening situation. (Proverbs 8:12; 14, 15-16). “When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you ... For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you … to give you victory.” (Deuteronomy 20:1-4).
  • Pray Fervently for the severe drought in Israel to be broken.  Unusual summer rains flooded Israel’s south in June, when there is usually none.  But the Sea of Galilee is still going through a punishing drought.  Pray for Israel to turn to the Lord for healing, and to repent for sin in the land.
  • Pray too for the honey industry and scorched agricultural fields to be restored from fires started by kites sent over our border from Gaza.
  • Call upon God and truly stand in the gap for Israel.  No one is perfect, so we often need to repent of our actions – sins of omission, and commission.  Pray for the shortcomings of Israel.  As Moses stood between the Judge and the Accused (Exodus 32:9-13), we need to pray for repentance from religious hypocrisy and the rebellion paraded on the streets (as in many nations).
  • Thank God for the Iranian people who sent messages to Israel like: “We love you, and know you love us.”

Until he comes,

Sharon Sanders

Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem (UK edited version)

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CFI-UK News and Prayer items

We very much appreciate prayer this month for the two weeks we are at the New Wine Christian festival at the Bath and West Showground, Somerset.  Week One runs from 28th July – 3rd August overseen by Ruth Henderson and Ann Campbell, plus Jacob Vince for some of the time.  Week Two runs from 5th – 11th August overseen by David and Julia Soakell and their son Matthew.

On Monday 6th August 2:30 – 3:30pm Jacob will speak on behalf of Christian Friends of Israel UK at the Showcase Tent.  Please pray for a good-sized and receptive audience, for Jacob to speak clearly and helpfully. This is the first occasion in around 10 years that such an opportunity has arisen.

Pray that those attending the CFI Resources Stall will have good conversations with many open enquirers, distribute free literature widely, and sell many resources.  Pray too for David and Julia Soakell with the CFI Resources Stall at One Event, Lincoln, 24th–28th August; for good responses from open enquirers.

Pray about the six teaching sessions that Jacob will present on the subject of ‘Israel and the Church in God’s bigger picture’ at Glyndley Manor, East Sussex, Friday evening 17th and all day Saturday 18th August.  Ask for a good number to attend and that the teaching will be both inspiring and helpful in communicating with fellow Christians the importance of Israel in God’s ongoing plan of salvation. To book: phone 01323 440440, email bookings.glyndley@ellel.org   or   visit www.ellel.org/glyndley.

Pray earnestly for the final preparations of the CFI Annual Conference in Eastbourne, Friday evening 14th and all day Saturday 15th September.  Pray for the travel arrangements for our three speakers, the coming together of the music team, all the practicalities and especially that many will take the opportunity to come, including those at the start of the journey toward a deeper understating of Israel in God’s purposes.  Having a Jewish believer in Jesus, an Aramaic Christian and a Christian from Beit Jala is a unique opportunity to hear a range of perspectives.

Thank you!

The CFI UK Team