Praying for Israel Michael Mistretta FIRM
Over the weekend, Vanessa and I got an unexpected call from our babysitter that there was billowing smoke outside our window. We soon found out there were multiple forest fires ravaging the outskirts of Jerusalem - one of them heading directly towards our home and our son. Authorities believe these were started deliberately by arsonists and spread quickly due to the current high temperatures and dry climate. Would you join us as we pray for the families that had to be evacuated and the 600+ acres scorched by the fires? Thankfully, we are all safe and our apartment was not affected, but that is because of the response of our neighbors! Something beautiful can happen in the midst of a crisis: people often lay aside their disagreements and rally together to respond to the problem. We are stronger, together. People in the apartment complex next to us grabbed buckets of water and pointed their own water hoses towards the flames. While their balconies were quickly covered in ash, the unified civilian response held back the fire until the firefighters were able to arrive and completely stop the course of the flame. This is exactly what we are praying how God would use the new Israeli government of varying parties, viewpoints, and backgrounds. We are praying they rally together as they lead this nation forward. On Sunday, June 13th, Israel’s parliament (the Knesset) officially approved a new government following four inconclusive elections in the last 26 months. Decided by a single vote, the 12-year reign of Benjamin Netanyahu has ended. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has been welcomed in with his new governing coalition. At FIRM, our love for Israel and the Jewish people is not based on a political personality but rooted in the promises of God. We believe that “the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world. He gives them to anyone he chooses” (Daniel 4:17). In this moment of change, we want to remember that God raises up leaders. It is in Him, and not the government, that we put our trust. We celebrate the fact that Israel is an example of democracy in the Middle East and there has been a peaceful transition of power. We are grateful that this is the most diverse government in the history of Israel: first government with Arabs as part of the governing coalition, the highest percentage of women, and representation from multiple minority communities. Would you join us as we pray for our leaders? Let’s continue to pray for discernment, direction, and wisdom for our new leaders and their decisions moving forward. We saw a unified response from our neighbors with differing backgrounds to fight off the forest fires to save lives and property—including ours. In the same way, we are praying that in this transition of governments in Israel, there would be unity to respond to current problems in effective and peaceful ways. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure.” Psalm 122:6 Thank you for your continued prayers and support. No matter who is in power, the King of Kings is on the throne - and we are honored to serve Him with you. If you have a friend who’d want to join us in prayer, please forward this email to them. Until all Israel believes, Michael Mistretta CEO at FIRM (Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries) Have you ever wondered “How do I pray for Israel?” We’ve put together this guide with 3 helpful tips: https://firmisrael.org/learn/how-do-i-pray-for-israel/
Praying for Israel
God invites all believers to pray for Israel day and night. Those who pray are called watchmen by the prophet Isaiah:
“On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put YHVH in remembrance, take no rest, and give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth” Isaiah 62:6-7
Have you ever prayed in hope, but still wondered to yourself if you are actually praying God’s will? I have often wrestled with this issue in my own prayer life. Even if I have faith in God, perhaps I don’t always have faith in the purity or validity of my requests? Are they in line with His will?
To help you gain confidence in how you pray for Israel, we prepared a Prayer Guide based on the instructions in the Bible. Here are some helpful tips:
1. Pray for Israel According to God’s Will
Many of us are familiar with 1 John 5:14-15:
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And since we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that He will give us what we ask for.”
This is an incredible promise, but what if I’m not praying His will?
I have tried to be faithful to call upon Him even in my moments of self-doubt. But what if there was a topic upon which I could know that not only am I praying God’s will, but His reputation depends upon His answering?
I discovered one such topic when I attended for the first time a prayer meeting for Israel! As I started to pray with several passages regarding God’s promises to His chosen people, the hair on the back of my neck stood up!
I could literally feel the Holy One of Israel draw close to me, to listen to the cry of His own heart, be uttered through mine.
It still brings me to tears as I recall that moment. As if He had been waiting for years for me to speak these particular words back to Him, in the place of prayer.
I absolutely, without a doubt, knew that when I prayed for Israel, I was directly praying the will of God. I knew He would answer!
But don’t take my word for it, let’s look at what His Word says.
2. Pray God’s Promises
A man after God’s own heart wrote, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May they be secure who love you!” (Psalm 122:6) For David this was not merely a suggestion, but a command to his readers. This command stemmed from a passion for the walls of the holy city. The same walls which would house the Temple— the dwelling place of God.
If Scripture commands us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, then we can know the Lord will answer that prayer!
Here are a few more great promises of God, which you can pray over Israel:
God has plans to prosper Israel (Jeremiah 29:11)
God promised that He will make a new covenant with the house of Israel in which the law will be written on their hearts. Each one will know YHVH and the Land will no longer be plundered (Jeremiah 31:31-38)
No weapon formed against God’s people will prosper and He will have compassion on them (Isaiah 54)
God will regather His people from near and far and bring them back into their Land (Isaiah 43)
He promised to bring Israel back into their Land and will give them a new heart (Ezekiel 36: 24-28)
God said He will make Israel into a mighty army filled with the Spirit of God (Ezekiel 37)
He promises He will bring salvation and a reward to Zion and make Jerusalem a praise in the Earth (Isaiah 62)
God will restore David’s fallen tent, and He will restore His people and their Land (Amos 9:11-15)
He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep, the Lord is their keeper (Psalm 121:4-5)
The Jewish people’s acceptance of Yeshua as their Messiah will lead to life from the dead and unprecedented worldwide revival (Romans 11:15)
YHVH will have mercy upon Zion and favor her. He will build up Zion and appear in His glory. He will regard and not despise the prayer of the destitute (Psalm 102:13-17)
3. Pray Day and Night
How should one pray for Israel? Day and night. Literally.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 urges all believers to pray without ceasing, offering up all kinds of prayers for all of the saints. If you put the Lord in remembrance, this verse applies to you.
When you pray for Israel, you will know that you are praying according to God’s will and that His promises will come to pass in His perfect timing. You will be answering the 24/7 challenge of God to intercede on behalf of His people—just as Yeshua intercedes for you!
“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet…” Isaiah 62:1