Pray with Us! – February 2024

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Dear Prayer Partners,

A new month is about to begin. Although the reality of daily life in Israel has not changed dramatically in the last four weeks, challenges on the home front are only growing. These include the psychological costs of war, economic instability and bubbling political tension, to name a few.

The war continues in Gaza, with an increasing emphasis on underground combat against Hamas in its vast network of tunnels. On Israel’s northern front, war with Hizballah continues to loom. In the midst of Israel’s existential fight against terror on all sides, South Africa launched a spurious international lawsuit at the Hague accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza, which the Hague has now accepted.

In this sad reality into which Israel has been forced, we – and all of Israel with us – continue to hope and pray for the day when,

“Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4

In this spirit, we invite you to partner with us in prayer for God’s Land and His people for the coming month of February.

PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR:

“Swords of Iron” – Civilians

“For all the land you are looking at, I will give to you and to your seed forever.” Genesis 13:15

This last month marked 100 days in captivity for the 136 hostages still in Gaza. Testimonies from released hostages on the conditions of captivity, combined with the medical histories of many of the hostages, show that the chances of them returning home safely are declining daily. In this difficult reality, pressure on the government to secure the hostages’ release continues to grow.

Additionally, Israel’s economy is losing ground. Moody’s credit rating has lowered Israel’s score recently, and Israeli companies are beginning to move overseas, partially due to the reduced work force (as a result of the high numbers of reserve soldiers called up in the wake of October 7th.)

This last month, the IDF did begin to release some reservists home to reenter the workforce and be reunited with their families. However, an additional call-up of at least a month is expected later in the year for most combat reserves. The impact of the extended reserve duty on families cannot be understated.

Sadly, even as many families displaced from southern Israel began to return to their homes, the situation in northern Israel is not improving. Tens of thousands of Israelis remain evacuated from the north with no end in sight. Many of the evacuated communities along the Lebanese border will face damages in the hundreds of thousands of shekels (a shekel is currently $0.27 USD or 0.25 EUR) when they are finally able to return home.

However, as God promised Abraham in the above verse, this land belongs to the people of Israel; please hold this in mind as you pray!

Please pray for:

  • The release of ALL the hostages held by Hamas and for supernatural protection over them in captivity.
  • The physical and emotional recovery of the released hostages.
  • Stability and endurance for Israel’s economy
  • Displaced Israelis as they deal with a wide range of challenges from PTSD to financial instability.
  • Those suffering from PTSD, either from the October 7th massacre and current conflict or from Israel’s previous wars.
  • Comfort for the families of Israel's fallen and hope for those whose loved ones are among those taken hostage by Hamas.
  • Families of reservists who are struggling with practical and emotional challenges.
  • Hope for all of the people of Israel as the war continues and the price Israel pays for its security continues to rise.

“Swords of Iron” – Soldiers and Security

“Praise be to the Lord my Rock who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” Psalm 144:1

“He looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17

This last month brought a new stage of combat – underground combat – for the IDF operating in Gaza which requires fewer ground troops but is heavily reliant on quality intelligence. However, despite the high level of intelligence and cooperation between different wings of the IDF, Israel sadly continues to pay a high price for her security – this month, a Hamas attack coincided with an IDF operational accident, tragically costing the lives of 21 soldiers in one day.

In the north, the IDF maintains a high level of readiness in the event of a swift escalation with Hizballah. Since the Lebanese terror organization refused a peace offer proposed by the United States last month and continues to attack civilian communities throughout northern Israel, it is likely that war is looming.

For both reservists and active-duty soldiers, this is not an easy reality to face. Reservists will likely have some time at home before being called up again; however, since many have families and careers, this is still a difficult situation. For active-duty soldiers, it is likely that many will be transferred directly to the tense northern border with no more than a few days rest in between.

In Judea and Samaria, the IDF also continues intensive, round-the-clock activity to prevent terror attacks. Their operational activity includes arresting suspects, locating and seizing weapons caches and manufacturing sites, and more. This work remains crucial as tension in Judea and Samaria bubbles under the surface.

Please pray for:

  • Protection over Israel's security forces fighting by land, air and sea.
  • Emotional and mental renewal for soldiers fighting in Gaza and northern Israel as the focus begins to turn towards a new front.
  • The success of Israel’s current military objectives in Gaza and beyond
  • Healing for injured soldiers and soldiers suffering from PTSD.
  • For deterrence against Iran, Hizballah and the Houthis and for stability and calm in Judea and Samaria.
  • A long-term solution to terrorism in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, and Lebanon
  • Revival in Iran and in all the Middle East, that people would come to know the God of Israel!
  • That the Lord would fight this war with and for His people!

“Swords of Iron” – Leaders and Government

“A king’s heart is like water in the hand of the LORD.” – Proverbs 21:1

The past month has been filled with many mini crises on the political front for Israel, from conflicts between government ministers to the resurfacing of the judicial reform. The government also faces growing pressure to bring hostages home and criticism of various policies on the home front. Added to all this are the warning signs of several diplomatic crises, including between Israel and Egypt and Israel and the US.

For military leaders, the situation also remains challenging. The IDF faces multiple active fronts, heavy burdens on soldiers, and the pressure to meet the war’s initial goals of destroying Hamas and returning the hostages home.

Please pray for:

  • Wisdom for Israel’s military and political leaders during this complex and difficult time.
  • Unity within the government.
  • That the LORD would work through Israel’s leaders during this time.

The International Front of “Swords of Iron”

“The kings of earth set themselves up and rulers conspire together against the LORD and against His Anointed One.” Psalms 2:1

Notably, this month brought the beginning of South Africa’s international case accusing Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza. The lawsuit, which was ultimately accepted by the Hague, itself is a sign of the depth of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel falsehoods throughout the world. However, it also brought support for Israel from surprising places, including Germany, which requested to act as a third-party defendant for Israel.

The conflict with the Houthis could also now be reasonably considered part of the “international front” of the current war for Israel, with the international defense coalition (spearheaded by Great Britain and the US) taking an increasingly active role in deterring the Yemenite rebel group. The Houthis’ attacks do still affect Israel, economically as well as militarily; many companies are now opting not to dock at Israeli ports or carry Israeli cargo to avoid the Houthi attacks.

Please pray for:

  • Continued international support of Israel, including continued grassroots support.
  • International pressure on Hamas to unconditionally release all hostages.
  • Continued diplomatic and military support of the war from Israel’s allies abroad.
  • God’s protection and blessing over the many individuals working to defend Israel internationally.
  • The world’s eyes to be opened to the truth of who Hamas is, including recognizing its crimes against women.

The Growth of Anti-Semitism

“I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be!” – Romans 11:1

This last month has seen many important steps in the international realm towards combating anti-Semitism, from lawsuits against US universities to Germany’s support of Israel at the ICC. However, this is still an issue that cannot be taken lightly; like any ideology, anti-Semitism on an organizational level requires public complicity – or at least that the public turn a blind eye.

This is one issue where, although prayer is our greatest weapon, it is also important to act. Consider this month participating in a local pro-Israel event or initiating an event at your home, Synagogue, Church or fellowship group to raise awareness for anti-Semitism in your nation and community.

Please pray for:

  • For protection over Israelis and Jews throughout the world
  • For peoples’ eyes to be opened to the real and serious threat posed by anti-Semitism
  • For a wave of Aliyah to Israel in the face of growing anti-Semitism
HFI Prayer Requests:

We continue to prayerfully seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance to implement a renewed vision amid a tragic and costly war.

Please join us in praying for:

Moran

Moran continues to be completely devoted to the ministry’s emergency response efforts since the war broke out. He is busy each day in the field, providing support for those we have evacuated from the north & south of Israel; ensuring that the evacuated families have what they need; visiting injured soldiers & providing support for their families; and delivering aid to anyone who is in need.

He also continues to oversee the ministry’s Israel advocacy & information project, as it is crucial for people to receive reliable information out of Israel right now. His personal social media platforms are constantly bombarded with hatred and anti-Israel propaganda attacks, which can be exhausting to confront.

Please continue to pray for:

  • Wisdom regarding the various aspects of the ministry that he oversees.
  • Strength & wisdom as he provides support for friends & families who have lost their loved ones in the war, all the while dealing with personal loss related to the war.
  • Strength, wisdom, protection & health during this intense time.
  • Guidance and inspiration as he writes his weekly Scripture commentaries.
  • Peace during this difficult season.

HFI Staff & Board Members

Please pray for:

  • Blessing over our staff & board members who devote time and energy to executing our vision for the ministry
  • Protection over their families while they serve
  • Wisdom for the board members as they make decisions that impact the ministry in tangible ways
  • Our US representative Bill Katz as he drives and flies thousands of miles every week to speak on behalf of Hope for Israel, for health & traveling mercies, protection over his wife and daughter while he is traveling, and for fruitful meetings and speaking engagements. Please pray for protection over Bill during this period as anti-Semitism continues to grow throughout the world.

Threefold Vision for Empowering the Future Generation of Believers

Please pray for:

  • Wisdom for the staff as they continue this year’s program.
  • Unity in the hearts of the team
  • More staff and volunteer counsellors in our NerYah and soldiers’ programs.

NerYah Youth Group:

Over the last month, we have focused on the importance of daily time spent reading God’s Word. We have encouraged the youth that the Bible is not a “long” or “hard” book and have given them tools and a reading plan to implement a habit of studying the Word.

Additionally, we held our first pre-army meeting this month for high-school juniors and seniors (11th and 12th grade) who have already entered the army system and are in the process of various tests to determine where they will serve. The meeting was encouraging and positive for all!

Finally, we continue to see many believing youth visiting our “clubhouse” during the week after school hours and we are thankful that they see this as a comfortable and welcoming space to spend their free hours!

Please pray for/that:

  • Wisdom for the leadership staff in knowing how to encourage the youth to seek God and develop a personal relationship with Him during the challenges they currently face (school, army preparation, war-related challenges).
  • Wisdom for the leadership staff as they seek to offer support and encouragement specifically to the high school seniors, who will be drafting to the army next year.
  • Protection over one of our youth coordinators, Ro’i, who is currently serving in IDF reserve duty.

Believing Soldiers:

This month, we took time to call each of our soldiers on an individual basis to ask how they are handling the situation and to offer support and prayer. Many of them shared that our phone calls help them get through the week and that they want us to continue to check in with them.

Please pray for:

  • Protection and peace for all our soldiers, especially those on the front lines but also those who work in support positions. Please pray that God would touch them during this time and give them strength and comfort.
  • Soldiers who have lost friends and colleagues in the fighting, that God would meet them where they’re at and give them the strength to keep going and trusting Him.
  • For leaders, male and female, who truly care and believe in the importance of investing in soldiers during their service.
  • Wisdom for our team to know how to encourage and support the soldiers during this time.

Post-Military & University Students

Many of our students – or students’ spouses – are beginning to return home after a long period of reserve duty. Although they will continue to need support as they readjust to studies and civilian life, this is nonetheless a huge testimony and relief for them and their friends and families.

For students, please pray for:

  • A return to normalcy and routine for students specifically but also for all of Israel!
  • Students who have begun studying virtually, which makes focusing during classes and maintaining a routine more difficult.
  • The families where husbands/fathers were called to reserve duty leaving a wife and children at home. That those called to reserves would return home safely.
  • Students whose academic years have not yet begun due to the war. They are currently dealing with uncertainty and a lack of routine.
  • For strength for reserve-duty soldiers and their spouses.

For released soldiers please pray for:

  • God’s peace and protection during this difficult time.
  • Protection over all those who are serving in Israel’s reserves right now.
  • Wisdom for us as we call them to offer encouragement and for openness with us from the side of the soldiers.

HFI Media Projects

During a period when Israel is not only fighting a physical war but diplomatic and public pressures and fake news as well, we see our work in media to be doubly important!

We are currently in the process of finding a suitable candidate to replace our social media manager, who recently left the ministry. An additional staff member from our media team will also soon be exiting her role on maternity leave. During this time of war, staffing changes are especially challenging and we would appreciate your prayers that the right individuals would join our team!

Please pray for:

  • A new social media manager and content creator
  • Wisdom to manage attacks against our platforms and content and for the cessation of such attacks.
  • Strength and wisdom for our media team as they continue to produce new content for our website, email and social media, especially during the current war.
  • Insight and wisdom to offer fact-based and Scripture-based answers to those who oppose Israel; that God would use our content to change peoples’ hearts and minds!
  • A video crew that we can work with in Israel to generate new content.
  • Creating a grassroots movement of Israel advocacy via YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Informative & interesting articles and other original material that will educate our audience and encourage their support of Israel now and always.
  • Insight and efficiency in updating our website and messaging; that God would provide the right website designer.

Tours

One of the main objectives of our tour operation is to cover ministry overhead, so that a higher percentage of donations can go to projects. Due to the war, all our groups through September have either canceled or rescheduled for 2025, leaving the tour operation without any income for the foreseeable future. This has been a very challenging and, at times, stressful logistical operation.

Please continue to pray for:

  • wisdom for Moran & Melissa as they face challenging decisions regarding the tour operations in light of the current war.
  • open doors for “Footsteps of the Apostle Paul” tours to other countries of the Mediterranean region (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, etc.)

Ministry Finances

God has been so faithful in providing for the ministry's operating and project costs! We ask that you pray that He will continue to do so, and that we will be able to bless more Israelis than ever!

In His Service,

The Hope for Israel Prayer Team

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