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Watchman’s Prayer Letter

Watchman’s Prayer Letter

A Guide to Intercessory Prayer for the month of December 2017 ~ Jewish Year 5777/5778
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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Rumours of War

“When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” (Mark 13:7).

Nehemiah was a contemporary of Ezra and was cupbearer to Artaxerxes king of Persia.  But he had the welfare of Jerusalem on his heart and mind – just as Jerusalem is on the hearts and minds of all Watchmen for Israel.  He could not let the thoughts of Jerusalem go, as the concern was always there.  God had put it there.  So he was eventually granted permission by Artaxerxes to return home to Jerusalem to challenge his countrymen to “arise and build.”  The task of reviving the survivors of his people and persuading them to rebuild the walls took many years of Nehemiah’s godly and strategic oversight.

There is much to pray about today, with evil news coming from Lebanon to the north of Israel, rumours of Iran exporting weapons and Islamic Jihad threatening war against Israel.  I apologise if there always seems so much to report about the situation here, which often takes the form of threats against us, but this is the ongoing situation that Israel finds herself in.  Let us, like Nehemiah, respond by helping to bring forward revival and restoration.  It is something God alone can do (just as in our own nations).  The news headlines in Israel have been quite clear over the past few weeks that trouble is brewing.  The Jewish nation has been very careful not to be pulled into the conflagration ... until now.

War and rain* seem to be on the hearts and minds of all living in Israel.  The Russian military build-up in Syria that gives concern to Israel’s military leaders, retaliation by Hamas against the discovery and sealing of ten terrorist tunnels into Israel, Iranian and ISIS fighters coming too close for comfort – these have all prepared the way for conflict.

Rick Riding’s recent vision concerning the Middle East released the warning that “there was a strong sense of the urgency of the hour ...” (www.succathallel.com).  Indeed it is a true report that people are hearing.  These days are critical ones and demand serious and intense prayer for the nation.  Iron Dome missile defence systems have been moved to the centre of the country, as well as the north, in readiness for any escalation of hostilities.  The next war could well be very serious for Israel, given Hezbollah’s stockpile of over 130,000 rockets.  According to one report that is more than the combined arsenal of all NATO countries, with the exception of the USA.  Now, more than ever before, Israeli leaders will need to know how to navigate rough waters.  It is a time for deep spiritual soul searching.

Let Us Enter Our Places of Prayer

  • Pray fervently the prayer of Nehemiah that he prayed for his people. “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying …” (Nehemiah 1:5-11).
  • Pray effectively, even if silently, that the Lord will hear. “The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 2:4).
  • Beseech the Lord for the voices of Israel’s enemies to be silenced.  The ‘Sanballats’ and ‘Tobiahs’ of today, from Islam and from the nations, are obsessed and compulsive when it comes to anyone seeking the welfare of the children of Israel.  “When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites” (Nehemiah 2:10).  Request the defeat of Israel’s enemies.
  • Thank the Lord that he will build a strong spiritual nation from his chosen people, who will lead the world, when Messiah comes again.  Pray for their spiritual revival and redemption.  In this way, they will truly be able to ‘rise and build.’  “They replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding’” (Nehemiah 2:18).
  • Praise the Lord for Christian prayer warriors and intercessors spread all around the world, from the jungles of Sri Lanka and Africa to China’s underground church, who pray daily for the welfare of the children of Israel.  All will have a heritage in Jerusalem.  In contrast, the ‘Sanballats’ and ‘Tobiahs’ will not inherit the Kingdom.  “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it” (Nehemiah 2:20).
  • Stand on God’s promises when the days look dark.  God’s word endures forever.  Watch for teaching in the next edition of CFI’s For Zion’s Sake magazine on ‘The Living Torah’ (Isaiah 40:8).
  • Proclaim God’s Sovereignty over all.  Thank him for the recent Christian Zionist Day in the Knesset, where Israel’s government officials praised Christians who are helping to build the Land of Israel.  This recognition continues the winds of change in relationships between Jews and Christians.  God is in charge!  Give him the praise he is due.

Once again, we thank the many prayer partners who station themselves at their places of prayer on behalf of the land of Israel and her people.  Help us to motivate more prayer for Israel by forwarding these Watchman’s Prayer Letters to friends all around the world.  May there be a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit falling upon those who are obedient to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and intercede for the “apple of his eye” (Zechariah 2:8).

Until He Comes,

Sharon Sanders

Christian Friends of Israel – Jerusalem (UK edited version)

* In addition, please continue to pray for rain in Israel. The government website shows that from 1st August to 27th November (almost four months) rainfall has only amounted to 50% of the normal in Haifa, 37% of the normal in Jerusalem and nothing in Elat.

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CFI-UK News and Thanksgiving

As we approach the end of this calendar year, we reflect on the way our Heavenly Father has keep us, sustained us and encouraged us in the work of enabling and representing Christian friendship of Israel over the year.

We thank him for the opportunities to present Christian Friends of Israel at various national Christian Festivals and Exhibitions as we prepare applications for Big Church Day Out weekends (north and south), New Wine weeks 1 & 2, the One Event weekend and CRE midweek.  We are grateful to all staff, links, trustees and volunteers who have assisted at our resources stall.  We thank the Lord for all within the church who have been encouraged toward a fuller understanding of Israel biblically, historically and currently.

We are thankful for the favour granted amongst many Jewish charities and organisations as we, alongside many other Israel-related ministries, have sought to express Christian friendship, and as we challenge anti-Semitism and prejudice toward Israel today.  A particular highlight was the overwhelming response to the Christian-initiated Balfour 100 event at the Royal Albert Hall, celebrating the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration.  We have the great privilege to be asked to represent Christian friends of Israel at various Jewish forums and functions, and are so thankful to many earlier initiators of such friendship as we see its fruit and seek to continue in similar manner.

It was a privilege this year to host Stacey, the new director, and Kevin, head of media, from CFI Jerusalem.  We are planning to join with them for the CFI Jerusalem Conference celebrating the State of Israel’s 70th anniversary in April 2018 (going by the Jewish calendar date).  Do pray for all the preparations - details planned to follow shortly.

Thank you for your prayers.  God has chosen to work in response to such prayers, and in this our Lord has certainly guided and inspired us.

‘May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word’ (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). 

The CFI-UK Team