The Week to Pray for Israel

by Jonathan Feldstein

On January 15, leaders from some 70 plus countries will meet in Paris to discuss issues relating to the Arab Israel conflict, specifically between the Palestinians and Israel. There’s deep and legitimate concern that following the one sided UN Security Council Resolution 2334 last month, that this Paris gathering will be the next step to yet another one sided UN Resolution, possibly recognizing “Palestine” as a full state, setting its borders as the 1949 armistice lines, and other unilateral actions that are not only deeply biased, but make peace harder than easier to reach.

(For background you can look at these articles: https://www.bridgesforpeace.com/2017/01/countdown-paris-peace-summit/; and http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Jewish-groups-speak-out-against-Paris-peace-conference-following-UN-vote-477292)

Political and civic leaders in Israel, the US and other countries I am sure are working actively to prevent pontificating in Paris from becoming anything which forces Israel into a corner. I can only imagine the frenzied diplomatic jockeying at every level.

In addition to these important and necessary actions, it’s also a time for prayer. As one friend suggested, he will be fasting. Christians and Jews need to stand together and pray together for God to ensure a positive outcome. I asked others what they would pray for. These are some of the responses I received:

“We are with you in this war. Our hope is in God, not in man. Only God can show the way.”

“God has been leading me to Esther because He is looking for those that will not stay silent in such troubling times for Israel. The scripture I have been reading over and over is: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

“Each of us is given areas of influence and it’s time for us to rise up and speak on behalf of the land given to the Jewish people to those in our sphere of influence. I pray we will not remain silent, but we will see an Esther generation coming forth in this time and season.”

“We too are in a week of prayer and fasting. We will be lifting up Israel in much prayer.”

“The heart of our prayer is that the eyes of the world’s understanding will be opened in the knowledge of God, to know the importance of Israel in God’s plan of salvation, that the blindness that deceives the world concerning Israel will be removed, and all will come to the love of God in support of Israel. We wrestle not with flesh and blood but with powers of darkness. The core problem is spiritual blindness. Only God can open the eyes of the blind.”

“We pray for our fellow believers who are deceived by the wiles of the Satan. It is difficult for us as followers of Jesus to understand how fellow Christians cannot see God’s plan for Israel. That they will come to know God’s mystery of joining Jew and Gentile together in the eternal covenant given to Abraham and all of its promises. May we all come to know the truth.”

“I am praying Proverbs 2:1-15, ‘My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.’”

“I’m planning a time of prayer with friends on Saturday in preparation for Sunday’s conference in Paris. Psalm 2 has been a source of prayer and encouragement to me to pray for the conference. I have prayed that God would confuse and confound all the plans and proceedings of the nations gathered together. I love the picture of God laughing, He will have the last laugh, and I am reminded of the saying ‘He who laughs last laughs loudest.’”

“I have thought of Esther and Haman and the plans that Haman had for the Jews and how God, in His wisdom and power, reversed them all, so that what Haman meant for evil, He used for good. So, I pray that God will use for good all that Satan wants to use for evil.”

“We are standing with you, dear brother, and all of our beloved Israel. We will not give up and we will not turn our backs.”

As Jews worldwide read the Torah portion, Genesis 47:28-50:26, this week, we look to that scripture for a relevant word for today’s current events. Before Jacob died he asked to be buried with his forefathers, “Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah—the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites.”

Let the nations of the world that gather in Paris not have the hubris to call the Land occupied, not when we know that it was deeded by God Himself, parts purchased to avoid any confusion, and because the people to whom God gave the Land cannot be “occupiers” in that Land when they are the owners.

I pray this will be a catalyst for far more prayer than politics as the latter is important but the former is essential. I pray that you will add your prayers, share this article, and that together, millions like us will beseech God to continue to protect Israel throughout, and as a result of, this Paris gathering. And as the Torah continues in verse 20, let this be the model for Paris among those who mean evil against Israel: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

What is your prayer?

Reprinted with permission of the author.  Jonathan Feldstein was born and educated in the U.S. and immigrated to Israel in 2004. He is married and the father of six. Throughout his life and career, he has been blessed by the calling to fellowship with Christian supporters of Israel and shares experiences of living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel. He writes a regular column for Charisma magazine’s Standing With Israel. You can contact Jonathan at firstpersonisrael@gmail.com.