Dear Loved One,
The media’s preoccupation with America’s upcoming presidential election is pushing other news from around the world into a distant, second place. Yet, tensions in the Middle East continue to rise and it’s important for us, as believers, to guard against our spiritual attention drifting too far away from that prophetic region.
Psalm 122 clearly directs us to, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem . . .” and on the first Sunday of every October, a Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem is observed. People from all around the world join together in prayer for peace to come to Jerusalem, and to Israel as a whole. Here at the start of October,
a month when the Jews observe a number of God’s holy days, I felt compelled to share with you, Loved One, the genuine impact that praying for Israel can have in your life.
Many believers pray for Israel on a regular basis, and many more know they should pray for Israel and the Jewish people. But don’t faithfully do so. Sometimes, the how should we pray and the why should we pray hold us back.
Maybe you have genuinely wondered, why should we stand with Israel today?
Well, it’s important to remember that standing with Israel is not about politics. It is about the Word of God. Yet, whether standing for or against Israel, there will always be clear and impactful political ramifications.
It’s no mystery that we are living in a very sobering moment in history.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are called to stand with Israel especially as many of the world’s countries continue to scorn that nation. We likely are the people of the “last hour,” and we must not be passive in the light of biblical prophecy. We are to intercede with passion and minister according to the words of our Savior.
Of course, it is not our task to speculate when the end will come, but it is our responsibility to do Kingdom business until Jesus returns.
The Root and the Branches
The Word of God calls the Jewish people the “root” and Gentile believers the “branches.” We’re reminded that while “because of unbelief, some of them were broken off and you stand by faith,” we are not to become haughty, but to fear: “For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either . . . When the fullness of the Gentiles is completed, ‘all Israel will be saved.’” (Romans 11:16-26, NKVJ)
Throughout history, there has been difficulty for some Christians and Jews to relate to one another and that has impeded the call to Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem. This “difficulty” began with the Early Church and it is an issue that has never fully resolved. God raised Israel up to be a light to us, the Gentiles, and there should be warmth and understanding between Christians and Jews.
Sadly, the spirit of religion has a way of suffocating the blessings that should flow when people move to the forms of religion rather than to the substance of relationship with the Father.
This reality is, in part, why I feel it is so critical to understand why we, as Christians, should stand with Israel.
Understanding God’s Divine Order
Here is a clear, biblical fact: Every believer is charged to make Jews a priority in their spiritual life and to give thanksgiving for God’s work through them as a people. We are called to do this, very simply, because God has.
The Lord promised to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “I will make you blessed. You’ll be a blessing to the nations. Those that bless you I will bless, and those that curse you, I will curse.”
Scripture speaks to us very directly: We’re dealing with the roots of the revelation of God to humankind. God’s greatest gift to mankind, His Son, came through the Jews, and Jesus came as a Jew. The Bible says God will bless and honor those who make an abiding commitment to stand by the Jews and Israel.
As Christians, we also should understand our place in God’s present order inseparably links us with the Jews as a people. When we put our faith in Jesus, we entered into a line of those who have trusted God according to His revealed grace and redemptive purpose.
If someone has an understanding of the whole of Scripture, they can be saved through faith in Jesus Christ and still go to Heaven without living out what I’m sharing right now. But, a believer cannot be consistent with the whole of Scripture and take a position that is passive toward the Jews and Israel.
If you go back through the history of our nation, the original reason America took the course of standing in support of the Jews and Israel was for entirely Biblical reasons. In the writings of many of our Founding Fathers was a recognition of the Jews as God’s chosen people, and the importance of America recognizing a link with them.
Securing a Peaceable Kingdom
Jerusalem is the only city on this planet upon which God has chosen to put His name (1 Kings 11:34). His Word warns that if anyone comes against Jerusalem, they are coming against Him (Zech. 12:2).
In fact, the end of the world as we know it centers on Jerusalem. When God starts breaking through spiritually among the Jews in the last times, there is going to be an explosive spread of His grace and power throughout the nations of the earth.
“So,” you may be wondering, “if God’s end times plan is already in motion, then why should we pray?” We ought to pray because there are many redemptive things God is doing in the meantime to expand His goodness, not only among His chosen people, but also throughout the whole world.
The same principles involved in praying for Israel apply to securing the boundaries of blessing that God appoints for you and me in the personal “kingdoms,” which are our lives.
I have been blessed to lead prayer pilgrimages in Israel, and during each one, we built four altars based upon God’s Word to Jacob (Gen. 35). At each altar we sang, worshiped, and prayed a specific focus for Israel’s peace, blessing, and preservation. The principles upon which those altars in Israel were built work the same way when you and I build them in our hearts. We establish boundaries against the Adversary and against our own human tendencies that seek to hinder God’s intended blessings and peace.
The Blessing of Building Altars in Your Heart
The first altar is the Altar of Truth. “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). The idea of “settled” is that God has set His Word in place like an officer stationed to guard something. The truth of God’s Word provides protection against things that intrude on our peace, and freedom from things that bring ruin (John 8:32).
In Israel, we prayed for hearts to be softened toward the truth of God’s Word. An altar of truth is established in our personal lives when we commit to live in the liberty of His Word.
The second altar is the Altar of Life. “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land…” (Ez. 37:14) Ezekiel was given a vision of a valley of dead bones coming together to form skeletons, and then flesh appears on the bones, into which the Lord calls for the breath of life, His Spirit, to come.
Many agree this is a powerful picture of where Israel is right now. The bones came together when the State structure was re-established, and the flesh was the subsequent “re-peopling” of Israel’s population. There were only 600,000 people in the area of Israel at the time it became a nation in 1948. There are six million now having come from all over the world. It’s a miracle of modern times; an incredible fulfillment of prophecy.
But there is a great need in Israel for the breath of the Spirit of God to come in and breath life. At this altar, we prayed for the Spirit of revelation to come and cause the veil to melt away, and that the Jewish people would see the truth and love of God and the wonderful gift of Jesus.
It is the same in our personal lives. An altar of openness to abide daily in the Holy Spirit is necessary for us to know that boundaries of God's blessing in our lives.
The third altar is the Altar of Worship. There is a direct connection between the physical world and the spiritual world. God created man out of dust and gave him stewardship over the Earth. Things go sour in the natural realm because of mankind’s neglect or failure to recognize that things are released only when we accept our share of responsibility.
Living daily with an altar of worship in our heart protects us from becoming entangled with other things that distract our attention and command our allegiance. With worship comes the flow of God’s presence. Just as His Word of Truth makes us free, and the breath of His Spirit gives us vitality, God’s presence provides His sufficiency.
Lastly is the Altar of Praise. Praise is different from worship. Worship is acknowledging the Lord and welcoming His presence. Praise not only exalts God because He is worthy, but also produces a dynamic means of defense. Imagine praise as a giant umbrella, protecting against intrusion and deflecting the works of darkness.
“Let the high praises be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand (Psalm 149:6).” Along with the Word, praise is also a weapon of warfare that guarantees the securing of boundaries.
Blessings from Obedience
It is with wisdom that we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, not only that we might see God’s great work realized in that troubled region, but also to secure His peaceable and fruitful kingdom in our own lives.
As we respond in obedience to the Lord’s call to pray for the peace of Israel and stand with the Jewish people, our prayers will not only be a blessing, but we will, in return, be greatly blessed.
Believing His Promises as we stand together with Israel,
P.S. To help underscore the importance of our prayers for and support of the Jewish people and Israel, we’ve assembled some special resources for you. I want you to experience the blessings that flow from obedience to God’s command to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, especially in these last days. Take a look at the information below to find out how you can receive these helpful and encouraging tools.
It is with wisdom that we pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, not only that we might see God’s great work realized in that troubled region, but also to secure His peaceable and fruitful kingdom in our own lives. As we respond in obedience to the Lord’s call to pray for the peace of Israel and stand with the Jewish people, our prayers will not only be a blessing, but we will, in return, be greatly blessed!
The Blessing of Standing with Israel - For a gift of any amount, you can download this 4-message collection that reveals God’s powerful plans and promises surrounding Israel, the Jewish people and those believers who lift them up in prayer. And, for your gift of $25 or more, we’ll send you this special collection on CD with shipping included.
The 4-CD collection includes: Israel: The Bewildering Timepiece of History - Israel and Christ's Coming - Seeing Israel and the Jewish People Through the Eyes of God - Israel Today and the Last Days. Click here to download this series for a gift of any amount Click here to receive this 4-CD set for a gift of $25 or more
The Tree of Life Bible – And for your gift of $70 or more, we’ll also include this special edition of the Bible which highlights the Jewish roots of our Christian Faith. The Tree of Life Version (TLV) speaks with a decidedly Jewish-friendly voice--a voice like the Bible authors themselves--to recover the authentic context of the Bible and the Christian faith. Most Bible translations sacrifice the deep connection between the Jewish roots of our faith and the grafted-in Gentile branches. The Tree of Life Version (TLV) is a new Bible translation, produced by the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society, which highlights the rich Hebrew roots of the Christian faith by restoring: The Jewish order of the books of the Old Testament • The Jewish name of the Messiah, Yeshua • Reverence for the four-letter unspoken name of God • and Hebrew transliterated terms, such as shalom, shofar, Shabbat and more.Click here to receive the CD’s and Bible for a gift of $70 or more