Prayer For Peace in Israel
Why Should We Pray for Israel? A Christian Perspective
Why should we pray for Israel? Does the Bible instruct us to? Should we also be praying for the peace of Jerusalem the Old Testament prophets sometimes did? Should a Christian be obligated to pray for Israel?
In Psalm 122:6 it says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.”
God’s Chosen People?
God calls Israel the “apple of His eye” which is a term of endearment (Duet. 32:10, Zech. 2:8). God adds a blessing to those nations and people who bless Israel and a curse on those who curse Israel (Gen. 12:2-3). Do these blessings and cursings still apply? I do not see why they don’t since God changes not (Malachi 3:6). God was seen as the husband of Israel (Jer. 3:14).
God is evidently still concerned over Israel, saying in 2 Chronicles 6:6, “Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.” Wherever God places His name is where He still places His love. Jesus wept over Jerusalem, knowing what their fate held, “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it” (Luke 19:41).
This may be the very reason that God has prospered the United States. America is one of the few nations that have chosen to be her ally but that seems to have recently began to change. When America withdraws her support and defense of Israel, God could take His hand of blessing off of the U.S. Perhaps He has already begun to do so since relations with Israel have cooled off lately.Israel is surrounded by hostile nations and a religion (Islam) that seeks her destruction. A blessing is pronounced over those who will pray for and bless Israel (Numb. 24:9). God will never abandon Israel and in the end, Israel will be saved by God Almighty (Malachi 3:6, Romans 11:1).
Since Paul commands Christians to pray for governmental authorities and leaders, (Rom 13:1-7) why should we not also be praying for peace in the Middle East and in particular, for Israel? No, Israel is not perfect and she has made many mistakes, but they are God’s chosen people (Duet. 6:3-4).
Listen to what the prophet’s and Old Testament writers say about Israel:
Isaiah 48:12 “Listen to me, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last.”
Psalm 105:43 “He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy.”
Isaiah 41:8-9 “But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.”
Deuteronomy 7:8-9 “But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”
Deuteronomy 14:2 “For you are an holy people unto the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”
Why We Should Pray for Israel
There are dozens of Scriptures where God says that we should pray for the peace of Israel. In Psalm 122:6 it says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.
” Not only does this say that we should pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and by extension, Israel, we read that “those who love you [will] be secure.
” This is a clear signal that God would be pleased that we pray for Israel’s peace and safety because God is not giving up on Israel (Rom 10:1).
In the New Testament, Paul prayed for Israel’s salvation, saying, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved” (Rom 10:1). If Paul is telling the church that his heart’s desire is to pray for Israel and that “they may be saved” that should clearly be our prayer for them also.
Believers today are grafted into the natural olive tree – described as ethnic Israel – for we are “fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household” (Eph. 2:19).
Romans 11:24 is clear about this: “After all, if you were cut an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!”
What about the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel?
Perhaps you have heard about the lost 10 tribes of Israel which were separated from Judah when the Northern Kingdom was taken into captivity by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17). The fact is that nothing is lost to God. They are lost to history perhaps, but to God, never! Revelation 7:4-8 says that these tribes are not lost if God knows where they are:
“Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, from the tribe of Zebulon 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.”
The Remnant of Israel
God has not rejected His people Israel and today we are Jews who are ones inwardly as Paul writes in Romans 2:29 “but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” Neither has God rejected His chosen people.
Paul testifies to this fact in Romans 11:1-2 “Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel.
Further, Paul says that “If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches.If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith.
Do not be arrogant, but be afraid” (Rom 11:17-20).
“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in [or has been saved]. And so all Israel will be saved [true Israelites, whether ethnic or spiritual, e.g.
Rom 2:29], as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob [Israel]. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins” (Rom 11:25-27). This does not mean that all of Israel will be saved…the entire nation and all Israelites of all time, but those who come to believe in Jesus Christ.
This will happen someday when Israel finally recognizes Jesus Christ as the Messiah. The nation will finally accept Him as the Prophesied One.
Today there are Messianic Jews who already believe that Jesus is the Messiah. The national stock of Israel will join these Messianic Jews, but not until the “fullness of times” or when the last person is saved prior to Christ’s return as King of kings and Lord of lords. That time appears to be fast approaching.
Jerusalem means “king of” (Jeru) “peace” (Salem). Jerusalem is anything but peaceful right now but the King of Peace is coming. Until then, believers ought to be praying for the peace of Israel and for the King of Peace to come soon. Even so Lord, come quickly.
That is my prayer and I hope you will join me in praying for His Kingdom to come and for the peace of Jerusalem and for Israel.
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International Day of Prayer for Peace
The United Nations first recognized an annual Day of Peace in 1981. It was fixed on September 21 in 2001. In 2004, the World Council of Churches began recognizing September 21 as an International Day of Prayer for Peace. Across the world, 280 million people were aware of September 21 as a day of peace in 2012.
This year we are inviting each congregation to develop a Peace Day prayer event designed around what is going on in our world and in your own communities.
Pinwheels for Peace
“Pinwheels for Peace” has evolved into a children’s movement. This year, the United Methodist Publishing House produced a peace curriculum for children – 5 lessons in Grow, Proclaim, Serve.
The first lesson has been made available to you. Use it to teach your children the Biblical understanding of Peace, lead them in making pinwheels, and help them observe International Peace Day 2014.
Their pinwheels are a visible witness to the children’s call for world peace.
– Download the lesson.
– Learn more about the “pinwheels for peace” movement.
Join the United Church of Christ’s media justice ministry and the movement against violence by pledging to use only violence-free media on Sept. 15-21.Help honor the International Prayers for Peace Day foster peace in our communities by supporting media that doesn't run on violent images and messages. Great activity for Just Peace churches.
Resources include bulletin flyers, information about violence in media, activities for teens and youth.
Take up the Peace Day Challenge with the U.S. Institute of Peace!
The U.S. Institute of Peace, our nation’s independent federal institution dedicated to peacebuilding (which was established in 1984 in part thanks to UCC efforts), has created the Peace Day Challenge to raise awareness of International Peace Day.
USIP aims to raise the visibility of this day, to frame peace as an attainable alternative to the violence we see daily in the news, and to encourage individuals and communities across the U.S. and beyond to take an action for peace, to share it at #PeaceDayChallenge, and then to sustain it beyond the day.
Learn more, and get involved at www.peacedaychallenge.org! Because Peace is Action, and it starts with You!
Prayers for the International Day of Prayer for Peace
Building a Culture of Peace
Offered by Rev. Ken Sehested, Circle of Mercy Congregation in Asheville, NC.
Let us arise and reaffirm this abiding conviction:
That the God of Scripture manifests special concern for the cries of the poor, of the marginalized, the outcast, indeed all who have no access to the table of bounty.
We also believe that if the people of God are to be faithful to our calling, we will locate ourselves in compassionate proximity to those whose lives are battered, bruised and broken.
We do so not as an ethical demand or a work of righteousness but as a spiritual discipline.
For we believe that God’s presence and voice are most easily recognized and understood in situations where life has been abandoned.
Where hope is in retreat, where death is on the prowl and despair rules.
We testify to the Spirit’s plea to the church and to the world:
Disarm your hearts!
Repent of your habits of violence and injustice; return to the One who bore you in mercy.
Disarm your hearts!
Rebuild ruined neighborhoods; restore marginalized peoples; resume the politics of forgiveness and an economy of manna*.
Disarm your hearts!
Revive an ecological relationship with the created order, reject the escalating culture of violence, and renew your commitment to building a culture of peace.
We lift our hearts to you, O Christ. Make us instruments of your peace.
Prayers of the People
Submitted by: Rev. Alice Harper-Jones, The United Church of Christ, USA
Merciful, loving and all powerful God we come into your presence with hearts of thanksgiving and praise as we unite for world justice and peace.
We pray for peace among people of various cultural traditions that are different from our own.
LORD HEAR OUR PRAYERS
We pray for peace and justice within our communities, our individual nations and throughout the world.
LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYERS
We pray for the youth around the world. That they will come together to positively enrich their lives, their communities and their countries as was exhibited in the Jamaican Community Center project.
LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYERS
We pray for global economic and political solutions to situations that will bring peace and justice to all of God’s people, created in God’s image.
LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYERS
We offer these prayers in the name of Jesus and for His sake.
Prayer of Confession
Submitted by Craig M. Watts, Co-Moderator of the Disciples Peace Fellowship
Our God and Creator, who made us to be your family throughout the earth, we give you thanks for the expansiveness of your love. We rejoice that you have included us all in your compassionate embrace. We praise you that you have spread wide the unseen arms of your eternal, welcoming kindness.Forgive us our failure to reflect your way in our own lives. Often we do not spread our arms wide. Often we keep our compassion in much too small a circle. Often our love has been constrained and restrictive.Open the eyes of our hearts that we may see brothers and sisters where we previously had not seen any.
Help us to breach walls build by ignorance, suspicion and hate so we will draw near to one another, as you have drawn near to us in Christ. Lead us that we might reject animosity and instead promote harmony.
Help us, O God, that what we say and do will further the grace you have extended to us as we reject the ways of harm and advance those things that add to the health and hope of all creation. Amen.
Your Shalom. Deep peace. Just Peace.
Submitted by Michael Neuroth, Policy Advocate for International Issues, United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
Our God who was, is, and is to be…We pray for peace.We pray for a peace that is beyond our understanding…beyond our limited vision, hopes, and dreams. We pray for an end of the reign of violence in our communities and in our world.We pray for an end to war. War that kill our people, desecrates our Earth, depletes our resources and our joy.
We pray for an end to poverty that keeps millions from living lives of dignity, lives without basic needs. On this International Day of Prayers for Peace, let us join with all of God’s creation to pray for Shalom. Your Shalom. Deep peace. Just Peace.For the peace that can only come from You.
O God, may your kingdom come, your peace reign, your justice roll, your Spirit move, your love inspire…
The International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) is committed to seeing the nation of Israel walking in their full destiny at the end of the age. Our primary role is to pray for and partner with Messianic Jews living in Israel, and to pray for God’s purposes in the nation of Israel.
The operation and visitation of the Spirit in Israel is a vital part of releasing the great end-time harvest among the nations (Ezek. 36:23–36).
However, this full release of the Spirit will only come as a result of a body of believers who are committed to a life of night-and-day prayer and fasting.
Jesus Himself prophesied that He would raise up a last-day prayer movement that would cry out for the Jewish people (Isa. 56:6–7; 62:6–7). We take this mandate seriously.
Our mission is to mobilize an international prayer movement that would pray 24/7 for the nation of Israel to receive their Jewish Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus).Jesus promised the nation of Israel an unusual visitation of His presence at the end of the age, when the Jewish leaders will recognize Him as their true Messiah and deliverer (Mt. 23:39).
We invite you to get involved and join us in praying for the nation of Israel. Join us on the free prayer room webstream, or in the Global Prayer Room here in Kansas City during our prayer meetings that focus on Israel.
Israel Prayer Schedule
|Monday||1–2pm||Global Prayer Room, Side Room 4|
|Tuesday||12–2am; 4–6am; 10am-12pm; 4–6pm; 8–10pm||Global Prayer Room|
|Tuesday||8:00–9:00am||Global Prayer Room, Side Room 12|
|Tuesday||3:00–4:00pm||Global Prayer Room, Side Room 6|
|Tuesday||10am–12pm (in Chinese)||All Nations Prayer Room|
|Wednesday||9–10am||Global Prayer Room, Side Room 4|
|Wednesday||1–2pm||Global Prayer Room, Side Room 3|
*Email email@example.com for information
Please note that only the Global Prayer Room is streamed; prayer in side rooms is not on our webstream.
Houses of Prayer in Jerusalem
Succat Hallel » (Succat hallel means “tabernacle of praise.”)
Jerusalem House of Prayer for All Nations »
Jerusalem Prayer Tower »
Mishkan Elohai » (Mishkan elohai means “the dwelling place of my God.”)
Scriptures to Use in Prayer for Israel
“For Zion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.” (Isa. 62:1)
Jerusalem’s End-Time Significance
Jesus “bound” Himself by His own prophecy, saying He would only come back and rule in Jerusalem when Israel’s leaders ask Him to reign as King over them.
“O Jerusalem! Jerusalem . . . How often have I wanted to gather your children together . . . but you were not willing . . . for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Mt. 23:37, 39)
The Armageddon campaign is a battle for Jerusalem
Military forces of all nations will gather in one place and lay siege against Jerusalem.
“And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all the peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut to pieces, though all the nations of the earth are gathered against it.” (Zech. 12:3)
“For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem.” (Zech. 14:2)
Jesus will bring military breakthrough.
“In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be David, and the house of David shall be God, the Angel of the Lord before them. It shall be in that day that I shall seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” (Zech. 12:8–9)
“Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.” (Zech. 14:3)
At the same time, Jesus will bring spiritual breakthrough.
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zech. 12:9-10)
“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls.” (Joel 2:32)
Jesus will rule over all nations from His throne of glory in Jerusalem.
“For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place. This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.” (Ps. 132:13–14)