Shalom! 2013 is the celebration year of the 65th anniversary of the independence of the State of Israel. The celebration in Israel on 16 April went off peacefully; according to the western calendar 14 May is the date when 65 years ago the State of Israel was proclaimed. Israel’s possession of the land is under severe pressure. Israel feels the rest of the ‘eye of the storm’: in all surrounding countries there is great upheaval. Early in April Mr Kochari, head of Israel’s military intelligence, indicated, that “for the first time Israel is being confronted with terrorist activity on all four borders. Lebanon and Syria in the North, Sinai and Gaza in the South. In addition more and more international Islamic warriors are arriving in Syria and the Sinai. Either the deterioration of the security situation will make us decide to attack them, or they will attack us.” On the evening of Independence Day in Israel at the Western Wall in Jerusalem more that 10,000 people gathered for a time of prayer. The minister of religious affairs, rabbi Eliyahu Ben Dan, said to them: “Independence day is the day when Israel’s strength becomes visible.” Pray and thank for Israel on the basis of the following two Psalm fragments. “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.” (Psalm 27:3) “Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” (Psalm 119:89). There is plenty of reason to continue to intercede for God’s people in their own land; to long together with them for the coming of the Messiah! May the Lord bless you in this. Pieter Bénard Prayer coordinator Christians for Israel
ALIYAH -‐ -‐
Thank God for the Jews from the tribe of Menashe, who are making Aliyah from northern India and are coming home to Israel. Their ancestors went into exile 2700 years ago. Also give thanks for the Jews of the tribe of Dan from Ethiopia, who are making Aliyah and are coming home.
Pray for protection for those who remain in India and Ethiopia and are preparing to come to Israel as soon as possible.
Thank God for the miracle of prophecy. In Esther 8 verse 9 those two countries are mentioned as parts of a vast empire, consisting of 27 satraps (provinces). No power or world empire has been able to stop Aliyah, the return of the Jewish people. Not then, not now. -‐ Pray for the many Israeli citizens who – for whatever reason – have left again to live in some other country. That they also will return. Over the past few years tens of thousands of Israelis have departed from Israel. These ‘emigrants’ are given the Hebrew epithet of ‘yordim’ (those who descend), because they have left Israel. Their return is called ‘aliyah’ (ascent). -‐ Pray for the return of these ‘yordim’. Israel has started a campaign towards reaching this goal, and the results are promising. In recent years we have prayed several times for the protection of the Jews in Venezuela. At the time, they were systematically threatened and demonized by the then government of Hugo Chavez. The Israeli ambassador was ousted and diplomatic relations with Israel were severed. By now president Chavez has died, but the threat remains. -‐ Pray for protection of the Jews living in Venezuela, that they too will consider returning to Israel, while it is still possible. -‐ Continue to pray also for the return of the Russian Jews; it continues unabated, though at a slower pace, but they keep coming! -‐ Thank God for the work Koen & Ira Carlier, our aliyah fieldworkers, are doing in Ukraine. -‐ Give thanks for the many food parcels that are being distributed by them, especially among Jewish elderly in the Ukraine, who live in hardship. -‐ Give thanks for the monuments for remembrance of the Holocaust that are being placed, so the past, the history of Jews in Ukraine, will not be forgotten. -‐ Thank and pray for Aliyah on the basis of Isaiah 12:1-‐6. The rabbi of Apta used to say: “Every person of Israel has the commandment to look upon himself, as though he was standing at Mount Sinai to receive Torah. For to man there are things past and future, but not to God: every day He is giving Torah.”
ISRAEL / JERUSALEM
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Pray for protection for the State of Israel; the threat of terror is unprecedentedly great. Pray for the soldiers who guard the borders; electric fences are in place everywhere now. Thank God that so far this year 33 attempts at kidnapping an Israeli soldier have failed; pray for their protection. Pray that Biblical territory, especially Judea and Samaria, will be preserved in Israel’s hands. Thank God, that more and more tourists visit the Gush Etzion region, and so receive a vision for this part of Israel. Pray for the City of Jerusalem: one, indivisible and eternal. The capital of Israel. Give thanks for the rains that have fallen last winter; the reserves of fresh water are at a good level.
In the beginning of April the first natural gas streamed from Tamar natural gas platform, 80 kilometers offshore facing Haifa, to the processing plant in Ashdod. -‐ Thank God, that Israel is getting less dependent on energy from abroad, which is favorable for the economy. One in three children in Israel live below the poverty level. -‐ Pray that there will be sufficient humanitarian aid, sufficient means, good schooling and strong families. There are 185,000 elderly who have to live below the poverty level, about 20,3% of the total elderly population. -‐ Pray for the work of Soup kitchens, and for sufficient means to enable continual provision with meals. -‐ Thank God that as ‘Christians for Israel’ we can continue to support the work of the Soup kitchens. -‐ Pray and give thanks for the work of the Jaffa project, headed by David Portowicz, in Beit Shemesh and in Jaffa. -‐ Pray and give thanks for the work of Hineni in Jerusalem, under the direction of Benjamin Philip. During a period when prices for everything were rising all the time, rabbi Mendel noticed that the many needy people, who were guests at his house, were receiving ever smaller loaves
of bread. He ordered that the loaves had to be made even bigger than before; because the loaves of bread ought to answer hunger, and not price. “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.” (Psalm 72:12-‐13) During Pesach this spring Israel passed the symbolic line of six million Jewish inhabitants, the same number that were murdered during the holocaust. The total population amounts to 8 million, of whom 1,6 million Arabs, 350,000 Christians, and other inhabitants. -‐ Pray for mutual understanding in this pluriform society, in this western democracy in the East! -‐ Pray for peace and justice; the status quo in relations with non-‐Jewish population groups is fragile and vulnerable. “Without moral and intellectual independence there is no foundation for national independence.” Ben Gurion. “Lift up your eyes and look around; all your children gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the Lord, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.” (Isaiah 49:18) -‐ Pray for the relation with Jordan, which is very uncertain. Recently the King of Jordan signed a covenant with the Palestinian Authority to counteract the Jewish influence in Jerusalem, while at another occasion he indicated that the ties with Israeli prime-‐ minister Netanyahu are very strong. -‐ Pray for the 325,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria, a region that is usually called the ‘West Bank’ International condemnations are incessantly aimed against the settlements movement and against the inhabitants of Jewish villages and towns in this region. -‐ Thank God, that as Christians for Israel we may stand in the gap and intercede for them too.
Pray that as Christians we will continue to stand for God’s people and not be ashamed of His Word. “I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil. I hate and detest falsehood but I love your law.” (Psalm 119:162-‐163) In March Israeli president Peres appealed to the countries of Europe to put Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations. There was hardly any response. In Bezons, a Parisian suburb, the municipality named Majdi Al-‐Rimawi honorary citizen of the town. The reason for this being that his honorary membership fits in with ‘solidarity with the Palestinian people’. Rimawi is the one who murdered Israeli minister of tourism Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001. Not just in Europe, but all
over the world anti-‐Semitism, often neatly wrapped in the term ‘anti-‐Zionism’, is increasing dreadfully. Especially through articles on the Internet and movies on YouTube. -‐ Pray that Israel will not be standing alone in the fight against terrorism, that European countries will also take steps to eradicate this evil. -‐ Pray for protection of Jews in Europe, Israel and all over the world. But also, that we will be aware of the seriousness of this time. -‐ Pray for forgiveness as to what anti-‐Semitic utterances we allow to appear in European Parliament, in city councils, on the Internet, like on YouTube. -‐ Pray for strength and wisdom to speak out for Israel, for Jews, wherever the Lord puts this on your path. Modern Israel has known nine wars. The tenth war, the war against lies, Israel lost and is still losing. This lie has made Israel an outcast among the nations. The State of Israel usually stands alone. “Let their lying lips be silenced,” it says in Psalm 31. “You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue!”, Psalm 52 says. Pray that this stops! -‐ Pray for the writing press, for photographers and film-‐makers, that they dare to be honest and objective in reporting about Israel. -‐ Pray that lies, deception and manipulation of words and images will stop. -‐ Pray that producers and writers will render to the public what they actually observe, and stop being ‘politically correct’. -‐ Give thanks for the work of the ‘European Coalition for Israel’. Every month many European politicians receive good information from this organization. Jewish author Elie Wiesel once said: “The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.” In a newspaper article professor Judea Pearl, the father of journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered by Islamic terrorists in 2002, notices that there is a steadily growing acceptation of the evil of Islamic terrorism. ‘It is simply part of our modern society,’ is an often heard excuse. -‐ Pray that we will stand and speak out for Israel, for the Jews, wherever this is necessary. -‐ Pray that an attitude of indifference will be foreign to us, as Israel is our elder brother! We live in a modern society, but even today this is valid: “That, however, is not the way of life you learned, when you heard about Christ and were taught in him” (Ephesians 4:20)
One of the vilest anti-‐Israel actions is the yearly returning so-‐called ‘Israel Apartheid Week’. This movement, which claims that Israel is an apartheid State influences tens of thousands of students all over the world. It is high time to win back university campuses to objective news about the State of Israel. The European Coalition for Israel is working hard on this matter. When students are confronted with the democratic way of living in Israel and the undemocratic ways of the Palestinian Authority, at least they will start thinking about the matter. -‐ Pray for students and for many young people in political parties, among workers of developmental organizations and missionary workers. They are so easily influenced, and unsuspectingly often pass on to others what they have heard. -‐ Give thanks for the Christians for Israel leaders and volunteers around the world, the newspaper Israel & Christians Today (in English, Dutch and German), and our websites (c4israel.org whyisrael.org). We do everything to give Christians maximum information.
“Spare your people, Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” (Joel 2:17b) This text I have been passing on to you for months, for continuous calling out to God. It is a special text, because the Lord is mentioned in it, but also Israel and the nations. And the slander is mentioned. Anti-‐Judaism, anti-‐Semitism, in present days nicely wrapped up as anti-‐Zionism. In the end all of it is a scornful calling out by the nations: ‘Where is their God?’ That is exactly why we can intercede for Israel: they are His people and they live in His land. Even though we do not understand everything – the prophetic word is not always easy to grasp – we may express our trust in Him, who brings His people home. Him who fulfils His Word, so that finally the nations will have to reach the conclusion: Here is their God! But the issue also is the sanctity of God’s name. Like in Ezekiel 36, where the sanctity of His name is connected to the return of the Jewish people. “ I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes. For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.” (Ezekiel 36:23-‐24) -‐ Thank God for His Word and for His people. For His Word and His sanctity. For His Word and for His Son Jesus Messiah.