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Watchman’s Prayer Letter

Watchman’s Prayer Letter

A Guide to Intercessory Prayer for the month of June 2017 ~ Jewish Year 5777 ~ Click here for PDF copy

`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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Entering the Gates to Pray

“Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.” (Psalm 24:7)

“Every gate challenging the entrance of the word of God in my life must now be lifted up in the name of Jesus” (www.prayer-meeting-over-blog.org).

As Christians who follow Yeshua (Jesus), we sometimes struggle against the forces of evil that continually want to destroy or harm the Jewish people.  It is not easy to dedicate regular times to pray for Israel, but we must.  I know that I have to work on this, and perhaps you do too.  We engage in a battle against tiredness, fatigue, weariness, the “cares of this world” and many other things vying for our attention.  I was very interested to read about excavations in Jerusalem (October 2011) that uncovered an ancient Christian prayer box.  “A miniature box decorated with a cross was ... uncovered in archaeological excavations of the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Giv’ati car park in the City of David, located in the walls around Jerusalem National Park.  The box, which dates to the Byzantine period (sixth-seventh centuries), is adorned on the inside with the drawings of two figures ... surrounded by a background lined with gold leaf, and it seems that the artefact was used as a personal prayer object.” We do not know what the early Christians were praying about, but it is obvious that they did pray and express their thanks to God, and would have brought their petitions before him.  And so, the important point about this little prayer box in today’s Christian world, is that someone, some groups, may have kept their written prayers in a little box like this or perhaps a Scripture from the Torah was written within.  Jewish people often write their prayers out and place them in the crevices of the Western Wall as a sign of their faith and belief that God will hear their cries.  I used to write out my prayers as a little girl.  I had a small brown notebook in which I wrote them down.

Jewish people have three daily prayer watches, “... in the morning (shacarit), in the afternoon (minchah) and at nightfall (arvith or maariv) ... Abraham introduced prayer in the morning, Isaac in the afternoon, and Jacob added one at night” (Nissan Mindel, Keohot Publication society).  In 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 we are encouraged to “pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.” And so, whenever we pray, God is there ready to hear our petitions and praises.  I don’t know about you, but I am convicted that I do not pray enough, and need to pray more.  There may be gates in your life right now, challenging you about allowing the word of God entrance into a disciplined prayer life, especially on behalf of the welfare of the Jewish people.  May you become a conqueror, as we all need to win the battle with fatigue and tiredness – right when we need to be pressing through the gates and entering in.  May God enable us to persevere in praying to him every day.  As in days of old, our places of prayer can become like “small sanctuaries” (Beit Mikdash Me’at).  Let us build that sanctuary of prayer and be found faithful as watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem.  May all who are looking for his coming, seek the stamina to pray through until he comes, when his house of prayer will become a house of prayer for ALL nations! (Isaiah 56:7)

Let’s Approach the Throne of Grace Together

A few years ago the Education Minister in Israel declared publicly that in education, the Bible is the most important subject in Israel.  At that time Naftali Bennett stressed that the Bible and faith are the most important topics children should learn in school.  He saw the need for Israel to become “a spiritual superpower and export spiritual knowledge to the world.” I believe Mr. Bennett was correct in that one day: “The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).

It has been on my heart to pray for exactly this because it is not enough that Israel be the nation of start-ups.  It needs to be the people of the Bible, as they are called to be.  To do so, they must know who they are – their identity in the Lord.  They have come from all around the world, from many walks of life and with many personalities.  They now need to be unified and they can only be truly unified in the Lord.  A few years ago the Prime Minister also called for more study of the Bible, as it is the basis for the Jewish nation’s existence and why they are in the land of Israel today. Let’s target one strategic area this month by praying for an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon Israel.  A number of Bible-believing Jews have been praying for this outpouring for some time now.  Let us join our prayers with theirs for a change of heart in all the people of Israel – to follow the Lord God of Israel and to adjust their lives and ways toward his commandments. 

  • Pray for every person to have an overwhelming desire to follow God’s ways.  The Jewish people are called to be a “light to the nations” and they cannot fulfil their full calling until this takes place.  “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28).
  • Pray earnestly that the sound of Israelis crying out to God will be heard throughout the land, not just Muslims calling out to Allah.  Last year a proposed bill was put before the Knesset to put an end to Muslim calls to prayer being blasted over loudspeakers across Israel in the ‘wee hours’ of the mornings when we all want to sleep.  Most Israelis do not want Islamic practices of prayer imposed upon them, because they do not believe in Allah.  Eventually, the bill did not prohibit the call of the muezzin, but just the use of loudspeakers to amplify the call and disturb the peace during sleeping hours.  “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). 
  • Fix your heart on prayer for Jewish people fleeing anti-Semitism in America and Europe.  God is calling his people home.  “I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again. For I am God, and not a man— the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities. They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. They will come from Egypt, trembling like sparrows, from Assyria, fluttering like doves. I will settle them in their homes,” declares the LORD (Hosea 11:9-11).
  • Give thanks that ‘drops of rain’ have been falling over the past few years among biblically-orientated Orthodox Jews who love the Scriptures more than writings, and love God more than self.  These precious people have reached out the hand of friendship to many of us Christians and nothing has been more exhilarating or fulfilling than listening to the word of God directly from the Hebrew.  “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat …” (Isaiah 1:18-19, ESV).  Let us as Christians not be full of pride and say, “you are unequally yoked,” for these holy men of God that we know well, love God with all of their hearts, and compared to some brothers and sisters they excel in God’s word, God’s compassion, love and righteousness far more than most Christians realise.  Continue to pray for them for the full revelation of redemption, and for Christians to study more passionately God’s word, as these men do every day.
  • Beseech the Lord for biblical education to be the top priority in Israel today, that all will learn God’s Word and come to know him.  “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” (Isaiah 40:28)
  • Bless the Lord for the way in which he is bringing his word to pass in Israel every day.  Not a word he has spoken will be withheld in regard to all of the promises he has made with Israel, and with us.  “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
    so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
    (Isaiah 55:10-11)

Standing with Israel,

Sharon Sanders

Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem (UK edited version)

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CFI-UK News and Prayer requests

Thank the Lord for all who joined the CFI UK Israel Tour in May.   Pray that they will be able to reflect upon all their experiences in Israel, that the Lord will strengthen their faith as they do so, that they will become more effective witnesses for Jesus Christ as a result, and that they will have a greater understanding of his purposes for Israel.

Thank the Lord for the talk on 3rd May by a hero of the Entebbe Rescue of over 100 hundred Jews held hostage by terrorists.  For two hours he described events in detail, holding the interest of the audience of more than 60, and concluding that ‘God worked extra hours’ to enable the rescue to succeed.

Please continue to pray for success in our application to the New Wine Christian Festival this year, and that we will be able to make all the necessary arrangements in good time for those attending to the CFI resources stall.

Ask the Lord to bless all those with whom we interacted at the ‘Big Church Day Out’ Christian festivals on 27th-28th May 2017 (South) and 2nd-3rd June 2017 (North).  Pray that he will make any resources that people received, or bought, useful in both the growth of his kingdom and in increasing understanding of the biblical position of Israel and the Jewish people.  Also ask that he will enable people to remember important parts of the conversations they had with our staff and volunteers.

Thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity to host a meeting with historian Kelvin Crombie presenting his latest documentary ‘31st October – Destiny’s Date?’ Ask that the arrangements for the 24th June meeting will be pleasing to the Lord and that he will bring along all who would benefit from this fascinating study.

Praise the Lord that the interviews for a new member of staff at our head office in Eastbourne led to the appointment of a new Administrative Assistant who will start with us at the beginning of July, and ask him to guide us through all the  necessary arrangements at a busy time of year.

Continue to pray for the Lord to sustain all the current members of staff who have been coping with extra work since the middle of January.  Ask him to make periods of leave effective by refreshing and restoring us as only he can.

 

The CFI-UK Team