Israel is at war, and the news streaming from the small Jewish country that is tucked alongside the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea is both alarming and heartbreaking. A place that is considered to be both awe-inspiring and beautiful due to its rich biblical history and diverse topography is now devastated by so much evil. As our hearts yearn to make sense of such a brutal and malicious attack, we may find ourselves groveling for answers, bringing our raw questions before God.
Maybe as you posture your heart to pray, you find that you are lost for words. Maybe the images and scenes invoke such fear and anguish for the people that you are unclear how to pray or what to even pray for. While concerns may be swirling in our minds and plaguing our hearts at this time, let’s calm our fears and our hearts by digging into His Word and getting a clear picture of what God has to say about this issue. Because, believe it or not, God has a lot to say about His chosen people and the nation of Israel.
Why We Must Pray
"I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth." Isaiah 62:6-7
The prophet Isaiah gives us a deeper understanding of the richness of God’s love for His church and the Jewish people. Furthermore, there is a call for us to pray without ceasing (day and night to be exact) until Jerusalem is restored. Restoration seems to be an intertwining theme throughout the Bible, but especially in the “last days.” But, while this tragic event might very well be a prophecy unfolding right before our eyes, we must realize that there is much significance to the city of Jerusalem, and the Jewish people contribute quite a bit to our Christian faith. You may also be surprised to know how we are interconnected and how powerful our prayers really are for them!
Genesis 12:1-3 lays it out for us when God promises to make Abraham a great nation and to bless him and his descendants, the Jewish people. God tells the Jewish people He will never leave or forsake them (Deuteronomy 7:6-8, 1 Kings 6:13). The main point here is that the nation of Israel is so special to our God, and He blesses the world through the roots of faith found in Israel. John 4:22 says that Israel is God’s chosen people and where our salvation comes. In other words, we have immeasurable debt to Israel.
So, how exactly does this relate to the Christian believer? Well, until Israel’s ancient cities are rebuilt and fully restored, this is a call for us to pray with purposeful intent, that God have mercy on His people. Because, let’s be honest, there will always be underlying tension in this holy land, and conflicts will continue to rise and escalate as they are all descendants of Issac and Ishmael, the patriarchs of Israel and Islam. Basically, two vastly different regions that hold vastly different views on Who God is.
This is why our prayers matter so much! We are commanded to be the “watchmen” (as Isaiah 62:6-7 refers to) and pray for salvation and peace for the people of Israel–right up to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ!
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