Pray with Us! – June 2024

Image
Shalom from Jerusalem,


Jerusalem Day is a national holiday celebrated in Israel to commemorate the reunification of the city of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty following the Six-Day War. This year, the Hebrew date that Jerusalem was liberated from Jordanian rule falls on the Gregorian date when the war broke out in 1967 - June 5th.

The declaration that the Temple Mount was back in the hands of the Jewish people echoed in every home in Israel. Words cannot describe the incredible feeling it was to have our beloved Old City of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount (the site of the two destroyed Temples), and Judea & Samaria back in our hands after 2,000 years!

The Arabs residing in Judea and Samaria (the area incorrectly referred to as the “West Bank”) were invited to live peacefully as part of the State of Israel. However, terrorist organizations quickly took control and intimidated anyone who wanted to live peacefully with Israel. Terrorists began to act against the State of Israel, which began a decades-long conflict, the results of which we are experiencing today in one of the toughest wars we have known.

This month, we will also observe the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot), the Feast of the First Fruits. On Shavuot, it is customary in agricultural settlements and kibbutzim to hold ceremonies where tractors filled with fruits, vegetables, and harvested grain travel in a procession. The people of Israel customarily eat a dairy meal, and the religious tend to read the Torah all night, also called the Tikkun Leil Shavuot (Rectification of Shavuot Night). For us believers, as is known from the Book of Acts, this is the day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the larger community of believers in Yeshua the Messiah (outside of the first Jewish disciples of Yeshua).

Please pray for both Jerusalem Day and Shavuot to be peaceful and for protection over all who are observing.

"Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem is built
As a city that is compact together" (Psalm 122: 2-3)

PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR:

"Swords of Iron" – A Multidimensional War

For the past eight months, Israel has been fighting for its existence against a bloodthirsty enemy who seeks its total destruction (their words – not ours). This is a complex war on many fronts that exacts heavy prices on the lives of young soldiers and civilians who are called to fight in the reserves, leaving behind entire families.

Gaza Strip
The main front against Hamas in the Gaza Strip entered a critical phase last month when Israel entered Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold. Israel discovered miles and miles of tunnels between Egypt & Gaza, which although was suspected, was finally confirmed. This is the main smuggling channel for Hamas and other terrorist entities operating in the Strip, which aims to circumvent Israel’s tight blockade on the area. In late May, Hamas fired a barrage of rockets toward Tel Aviv and the Sharon region from the Rafah area after four months of relative quiet, during which no missiles were launched toward central Israel. Sirens were activated in major cities with large population concentrations. After the firing, security forces located a rocket that fell near a town in the Sharon region, and rocket fragments were also found in the cities of Ra'anana, Herzliya, and Kfar Saba. According to the assessment of a security source, Hamas is trying to use its long-range missile launching capabilities before IDF forces find the weapons warehouses. The same source estimates that Hamas will try several more times to launch long-range rockets toward central Israel until IDF forces reach the areas where they are hiding their combat equipment.

Judea & Samaria
The fighting in Judea and Samaria is mostly concentrated in the Jenin refugee camp and the city of Tul-Karem, a center for terrorist organizations and attacks against Israel. There are other terror hotspots in Judea & Samaria in which covert operations are taking place to arrest wanted terrorists and prevent terror attacks against Israel. Recently, terrorists have opened fire against Israeli towns close to the northern border of Samaria, opening up a new front in this war.

Northern Israel
The front in northern Israel has heated up exponentially over the past month. Hezbollah terrorists attack Israel daily (rockets, missiles, & drones) in this region, to which the IDF must respond to hold back from an all-out war breaking out. Homes and towns have been destroyed and there are hundreds of thousands of Israeli refugees staying in hotels for the past eight months. Many of these families have no homes to go back to and are already looking to permanently relocate to a different part of the country. Children have changed schools and parents have needed to find work elsewhere. Their lives have been totally turned upside down. The Ministry of Defense's 'Northern Horizon ' directorate rehabilitates, fortifies, and interacts with residents in the affected areas and reports that 70% of the damage has been to residential buildings. It's an unimaginably difficult situation on many levels! Moran made a short video on Israel’s unspoken front – watch here.  
Please pray for:

  • The protection of IDF soldiers who are carrying out their duties in the field.
  • Refreshment for all of Israel’s soldiers and protection from mental, physical, & emotional exhaustion.
  • The security forces' leaders to continue to receive wisdom to win the war and eradicate terrorist activities, and to disarm terrorist groups.
  • Strength & hope for entire families who have lived in hotel rooms for almost eight months, especially as there is no real end in sight.
  • The political echelon to manage the war with prudence and wisdom.
  • The reserve soldiers, many of whom are now returning to another round of fighting and protecting their families. The IDF's activities to be laser-focused and yield the desired results to complete the fighting without harming civilians who are not involved.
  • Wisdom for IDF & Shin Bet (Secret Service) leaders as they plan how the war will move forward, especially as they fight a war against an enemy that hides among civilians, further complicating matters.
  • Protection against any additional missile and terror attack that may still occur anywhere in the country.

Hostages - After the IDF succeeded in extracting seven bodies of abducted individuals from Hamas captivity in Gaza, the total number of captives stands at 125, with 39 of them confirmed dead. In Hamas captivity, there are women who, according to many testimonies, are subjected to daily sexual abuse, as well as young men. The captives, including a one-year-old baby and a four-year-old child, have been held in Hamas captivity for nearly eight months.

The hostages are running out of time. Many attempts at a hostage deal have failed so far because the Hamas terrorist organization was not willing to accept any agreement. This is a cruel organization with no value for human life. During the past month, the families of the kidnapped female soldiers presented a video of their daughters’ abduction. The brutal video showed only part of what these girls are going through. Families of hostages and many civilians continue to take to the streets every evening in protest to return the hostages.
Please pray for:

  • Please pray for the immediate release of all captives in Gaza!  May they receive God’s strength to survive until their release.
  • Please pray for the families who are suffering from the absence of their loved ones that they may receive strength to continue the struggle and find comfort and peace.
  • The IDF will receive additional and high-quality intelligence on the location of the hostages, similar to the intelligence that enabled the return of the other abductees' bodies.
  • Please pray for the men, women, and children who have been released from captivity for deep healing from the trauma they have experienced.

ICJ vs. Israel - In late May, The ICJ ordered Israel to halt its Rafah operation, with 13 out of 15 judges supporting the decision, demanding a cessation of military actions affecting civilians, prevention of evidence destruction, and allowance of investigative committees. Israel prepared for harsher scenarios after the Chief Prosecutor requested arrest warrants for PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant and worried the U.S. might not veto the U.N. Security Council. Israeli officials called South Africa's "genocide" accusations false and outrageous, maintaining that Israel launched a defensive war following the October 7, 2023 terrorist attack, upholding moral values and international law. Israel pledges to keep the Rafah crossing open, allow aid, and prevent terrorist control, denying engaging in military activity that could lead to the destruction of the Palestinian civilian population.
Please pray for:

  • The well-being of the leaders of the State of Israel and that God will grant them wisdom and guidance in the face of many threats facing Israel.
  • The ICJ in The Hague to refrain from issuing arrest warrants against Israeli leaders.
  • The decisions of the ICJ in The Hague to not harm efforts to free the hostages in the negotiations while also allowing Israel to achieve its goals of rendering Hamas incapable of ruling Gaza anymore.

UN vs. Israel - The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has been repeatedly implicated in enabling terrorist activities within its compounds, and it's absolutely appalling. Last month, the IDF recently released a video showing terrorists firing weapons near U.N. vehicles at a UNRWA compound meant for humanitarian aid, which is a war crime.

This is not an isolated incident. 20 UNRWA teachers were caught celebrating the horrific October 7 massacre, praising Hamas terrorists and advocating for further violence. It's sickening, and several nations froze their funding to UNRWA in response.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of UNRWA's complicity in terrorist activities, it is shocking that over ten countries have resumed their support for the organization, which continues to serve as a tool for Hamas to launch attacks. This is absolutely unacceptable.

Together with that, Last week, Pedro Sánchez, the Prime Minister of Spain, announced that Spain recognizes a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. According to Sánchez, Spain will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders unless agreed upon by both Israel and the Palestinians. Ireland and Norway have also joined Spain in recognizing a Palestinian state. This effectively rewards Hamas for their terror and will only increase terrorism, not prevent it! Here’s what Moran has to say about this issue.
Please pray for:

  • Countries around the world to see the truth about UNRWA and support Israel instead of terrorist organizations.
  • Israel’s ability to better present what we are doing to facilitate humanitarian aid for Gaza and to be more successful in explaining to the world about our purposes in fighting this war.
  • Wisdom for the State of Israel in preventing UNRWA from continuing its terrorist activities under the guise of a humanitarian organization.
  • The UN Security Council to not issue a ruling against Israel’s Rafah operation, and that the UN will not recognize a Palestinian state.

Surge in Antisemitism - The surge of antisemitism and violence against Jewish people throughout the world since October 7 is absolutely horrifying. This has been displayed especially on university campuses. Jewish & Israeli students live in fear, facing hateful graffiti, demonstrations, and brutal physical assaults while university administrations fail to protect them adequately.
Pro-Palestinian students are engaging in vile acts, attacking Jewish students and calling for the death of Zionists. The appearance of threatening graffiti and swastikas is a chilling reminder of history's darkest chapters. Jewish students in Australia hide their identities out of fear, and the government is demanding action from universities. Incidents in South Africa and Belgium, where a swastika was painted in blood-like red and a call to "Kill all the Jews" that was found on campus, are alarming.
Jewish communities throughout the world are on high alert and there are increased incidents of attacks of Jewish people in cities all over the world.  
Please pray for:

  • Protection for Jews around the world against those who hate Israel.
  • Protection from radical Islam that seeks to influence public opinion in Western countries, especially on university campuses.
  • Wisdom for the leaders of nations to find ways to prevent antisemitism in their countries.
  • Students and young people in the U.S. to open their eyes to the actual situation in Israel.

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!

Moran

Since the war broke out, Moran has been completely devoted to the ministry's emergency response efforts. He continues to work in the field, providing support for those we have evacuated from the north and south of Israel, ensuring that the evacuated families have what they need, bringing meals every day to injured soldiers and their families, and delivering aid to anyone who is in need.

He also continues to oversee the ministry's Israel advocacy & information project, as people must receive reliable information from Israel. His personal social media platforms continue to be 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 or he and his family 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 U.S. representative, Bill Katz, drives and flies thousands of miles weekly to speak on behalf of Hope for Israel, for health & traveling mercies, for 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 antisemitism continues to grow throughout the world.

Threefold Vision for Empowering the Future Generation of Believers

NerYah:

This past month, we focused on a study series about Israeli identity as followers of Yeshua in light of Memorial Day & Independence Day, which are significant days in our country. We had an opportunity to process together the experiences we had over the past year and to come alongside the youth with all the complicated feelings they grapple with during this war.

We also had the chance to encourage the youth by attending ceremonies held at their schools and meeting their teachers.

In addition, as part of the preparations for the end-of-year party, our relationships with the youth organizing the party strengthened, and we spent a lot of time with them overall.
Please pray for:

  • Graduation party—In early June, we will hold a graduation party led by the youth. We would be grateful for prayer that we can encourage the youth at this meeting and reassure them, especially the graduates who will be entering their compulsory military service soon. May they be encouraged that we will continue to accompany them during their military service as well.
  • Additional coordinator—Please pray that the Lord sends a coordinator who has a heart for the youth and wants to give and serve.
  • Please pray for Roi, our male coordinator, who will return to an extended reserve duty period after the party, for strength and protection over his mind, body, and spirit.

Believing Soldiers:

This past month, we focused on maintaining personal contact with the soldiers, especially during the difficult time of Memorial Day, which is very difficult for soldiers in particular. We made sure to come alongside them and give them space to share their complicated feelings about all they’re going through. They were excited and expressed great appreciation and joy that we were in touch to encourage them, and to host in-person meetings whenever possible.
Please pray for:

  • Pray for more male and female counselors who believe in this outreach and are willing to invest their time and energy in it. This work can be challenging, and it feels like not many people have this on their hearts, so we would be happy to pray for more people willing to give of themselves for this essential service.
  • Pray for all the believing soldiers, who are serving on all fronts, during this challenging time of war. No one knows when this war will end, and our soldiers need a great deal of prayer support for protection, strength, and peace.
  • Prayer for wisdom and guidance in encouraging the soldiers and giving them what they need.
  • Prayer for the mental state of the soldiers; some of them are experiencing burnout and are significantly challenged and find it difficult to rejoice and draw close to God.
  • Prayer for the monthly meetings – for soldiers to come and be blessed.

University Students, Released Soldiers, and Reserve Soldiers:

We successfully hosted the third training meeting in early May. It was a really enjoyable meeting! We tailored the content to reflect what is of importance to our students who are studying in the shadow of war. The students participated with eagerness which was refreshing to see. The husband of one of the students who came for the first time was very excited and said that the atmosphere was wonderful! We can already see the impact of your prayers for our reserve soldiers as many of them continue to study and successfully completed the first semester (due to the war, the first semester started in early January).

We also had an opportunity on Independence Day to bless all our reserve soldiers who served during the difficult hours and to thank them personally. We also encouraged them with uplifting messages for Independence Day.

Praise God, we were able to bless one of our students with an iPad to help her with her studies. She was so excited and brought flowers to the management as a thank you.
Please pray for:

  • For the team to have more wisdom to see where we can help and assist.
  • For our female students whose husbands are in the army, that they will not feel lonely and have more mental strength to continue.
  • For all the reserve soldiers who are our students, they are expected to return to the reserves in the coming months. Please pray they will not experience burnout and mental overload.
  • Please pray for wisdom for the students who started the second semester.

HFI Media Projects

During a period when Israel is fighting not only a physical war but also diplomatic and public pressures and fake news, we see our work in the media as doubly important! Thank you for your continued support of our work in this area and your continued prayers! If you aren’t already receiving our regular updates about the war and the ministry, you can subscribe here.

We are in great need of a suitable candidate to be a content writer. Staffing changes during this time of war are incredibly challenging, and we would appreciate your prayers that the right individuals will join our team! Inquiries and resumes can be sent to info@hope4israel.org (we will also consider candidates who live outside of Israel and can work as freelancers)
Please pray for:

  • A content writer.
  • 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 are needed to offer fact-based and Scripture-based answers to those who oppose Israel; God would use our content to change peoples' hearts and minds!
  • We need a video crew in Israel to work with to generate new content.
  • Creating a grassroots movement of Israel advocacy via YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Informative & exciting articles and other original material that will educate our audience and encourage their support of Israel now and always.
  • Prayer for spiritual protection
  • Insight and efficiency in updating our website and messaging; 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 cancelled 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. However, we are excited to announce an ISRAEL SOLIDARITY TOUR in September. Please email info@hope4israel.org for more information. Please 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.)
  • A full Solidarity Tour in September!

Ministry Finances

God has faithfully provided 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

Share this Post