How To Think & Pray About the Situation In Israel
Unthinkable things have taken place the last couple of weeks in Israel - terrorists in the name of Islam and the destruction of Jews (and Americans) have slaughtered hundreds in just a matter of days in Israel, and we await Israel's response which will likely be intense, and bloody, and appropriate as they defend and respond to the attacks. We must pray for peace Israel and in all the world, so that the gospel might flourish - but how?
Dr. Michael Grisanti from The Master's Seminary gives some helpful guidance below from his article: I encourage you to take some time to read this with your family or friends, and take time to pray together.
How to Pray
Here are some suggested prayer prompts. Some of these prompts are drawn from messianic leaders in Israel and others involve my thoughts or rewording of suggestions by others. These are just some of the things we can pray for:
- That God will limit the evil efforts and impact of the attackers and their sponsors.
- That He would protect all those who have been touched by this attack—the families of those killed, those injured, and those who have been taken hostage.
- That God would bring to pass the deliverance of many who have been taken hostage.
- That God would protect the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces, some of whom are brothers and sisters in Christ, and that He will take care of their loved ones in their absence and strengthen them for the difficult days ahead.
- That He will provide safety and ministry blessing for all our evangelical ministry partners in Israel—messianic assemblies, ministry organizations (e.g., Friends of Israel, Jews for Jesus, Chosen People Ministries, etc.).
- That God would provide wisdom for Israel’s leaders, both political and military, as they plan and lead the response to Hamas’s massacre of innocent Israelis.
- That this region which has known such violence would soon know peace.
- That God will use this tragic moment in Israel’s history to awaken many to the truth of the Gospel and that many will come to faith in the Messiah; that believing soldiers or believing hostages would share the life-transforming message of the Gospel to those around them.
- Also, pray broadly for Jews and Palestinians who have been impacted by these events.
What does this set of events have to do with the future?
I write this with a very particular audience in mind—people who believe that the OT promises that God will restore His chosen people to the Promised Land in a millennial setting. If you don’t believe this, I am not trying to cause you frustration. I have in mind the confusion that might exist for brothers and sisters in my theological world. Also, even some of you in my theological world may not agree with every detail.
- As the creator of the universe, including earth, God is the owner and controller of all that exists (Ps 24:1-2). He can apportion land on that earth as He pleases, for His glory.
- Yahweh (the covenant name for God) chose Abraham and His descendants—through Isaac and Jacob—to be His covenant people. He made them His people and guaranteed that He would give them land and make them into a nation (Gen. 12, 15, 17, et al.).
- God loves His covenant people (Deut 4:37; 7:7-8; 10:15; 1 Kgs 10:9; Jer 31:3; Rom 11:28; Pss 78:68; 87:2).
- God repeatedly affirms His relational commitment to Israel as His servant nation (Exod 19:4-6; 20:1; Deut 4:32-35; Isa 41:8-10; 46:3-5, 9-13). He remains faithful in His commitment to His covenant people.
- God gave His Word, both the OT and the NT, through Israel—almost all the biblical authors were Jewish believers.
- God provided the Messiah, Jesus, through His chosen people (Matt 1:1-25).
- OT predictions about God’s promise to establish His Millennial Kingdom over the entire globe, which includes His promise to restore a believing nation of Israel to the Promised Land (Zech 9:10; Is 11:6-9) will be literally fulfilled in a way that closely matches the wording of those promises.
- The biblical prophets often connect that fulfillment of a redeemed nation of Israel’s return to the land of promise to the second coming of the Messiah and His establishment of His Millennial Kingdom on earth.
- The next prophetic event in God’s plan involves the Rapture—Christ’s return to take believers to heaven and move His plan for His creation forward toward His rule on earth in justice and peace.
- Israel becoming a nation in 1948 does not represent the consummation of God’s promise to restore His covenant people to the land of promise. Regardless, having Israel as a nation at that time is part of God’s providential preparation for the Tribulation. The Antichrist will establish a peace treaty with Israel in the first part of that seven-year period (Dan 9:27), which he will then break halfway through the Tribulation.
- When I pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps 122:8), I do want that region of the world to have peace instead of violence and conflict. However, I believe that the main thing I am praying for is the return of Jesus, the Messiah, to earth. He is the only one who can ultimately bring true and lasting peace to pass.