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!
Three Ways to Pray for Israel
Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.”
David’s words couldn’t be written more clearly. We are to passionately pray for the holy city of Israel and the dwelling place of the Lord our God! As a church family and body of believers, this is a call to come together and take our hearts before the Lord.
Will you join me in praying fervently for God’s people of Israel?
Below are three ways we can turn our hearts to God and pray as He commands us to, especially during these painful and hostile times:
1. A Prayer for God’s Protection
Gracious God, we come to you in the Name of Jesus and pray that You bring Your mighty hand of protection and peace upon the land of Israel. Your Word tells us that no weapon that is formed against You shall prosper (Isiah 54:17), so we cling to that truth. Just as You did after the destruction by the Babylonians, You declared a promise that no enemy will prevail and that vengeance is Yours alone. You remind us time and time again that You are sovereign, and Your ways are not our ways, but to place our trust in You. So, we submit our hearts to You, O Lord, and trust that You are with Your people, and You will lead, guide, and protect them.
We humbly ask that You provide a safe haven for all the women, children, and elderly who are in harm’s way, enduring dangerous and hostile situations. The enemy’s plan is to target those who are weak and unable to protect themselves. But You, God, are able! We trust that truth. While we know none of this takes You by surprise, and You hold the lives of each and every one of Your children in Your loving hands, our hearts ache for Your people, so reveal ways in which we can provide support to Your people and help carry their burdens.
We ask this in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
2. A Prayer for God’s Will
Father, You alone are faithful and love the people of Israel. We know this full well, but while we profess our faith in You and believe You are good, we still easily hold doubts and grip fear. Oh God, please help our unbelief and anxious hearts in these emotional times and remind us that You make all things work for Your good. What does not make sense to us is part of a bigger plan we may not fully understand, nor were we meant to, so forgive us for doubting Your goodness or for calling You into question.
Lord, help us be the watchmen and rely on the gift of faith to pray day and night for the state of Israel. We pray for Your will to be done. We pray Your plan prevails and in Your miraculous timing You bring Israel back to a thriving nation that has a soft heart for You. We pray You lead, direct, and provide sound wisdom to the leaders of Israel. We ask that You protect any soldiers who are fighting for Your people and their safety. We pray for those who are in close contact, praying and watching over the nation. We pray for all those involved in bringing and restoring peace to Your people. Lord, we trust You. Your will, Your timing, and Your faithful promise to the Jews.
We pray this in Your holy and precious Name. Amen.
3. A Prayer for Israel’s Salvation
Lord, we rejoice in You and Your holy Name, giving You our thanks for the covenant You made with Abraham and the people of Israel. We know that Your Word tells us that Jesus will not return until the Jews have been restored. With a saddened but joyful heart, we pray that this may be a time for reformation and rebirth of Your people, just as Romans 10:1 tells us.
Paul also informs us of the desperation to pray for the Jewish people. He invites us to earnestly pray for their salvation and to get into the right relationship with You. So, I lift up my heart and ask that You intercede and open the eyes of those who need to accept Jesus Christ as Lord. I pray that You, oh God of Israel, soften hearts and ignite a passion for the Trinity. Free and unleash the Holy Spirit upon the holy land. As Your Word says time and time again, You will never abandon Your people of Israel, so cleanse the land, rid it of all evil, and grant them compassion, mercy, and Your loving grace. We pray for their salvation and deliverance above all else during this time, so that they will not be consumed by this world, but have hope for an eternal life with You, God!
You are a good Father, and we ask all this in Your powerful and mighty Name. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Luke Franzen
Alicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy. Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.