Pray with Us! – May 2024

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Shalom from Jerusalem,

May is a significant month for the State of Israel. On May 14th, Israel will celebrate its 76th year of existence. With the British Mandate's end, David Ben-Gurion declared the State of Israel's re-establishment, a declaration that led the surrounding Arab countries - Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria to join the war with the Arab people who lived in the land, against the newly formed state. Despite predictions that Israel would not survive, it defeated its enemies and expanded its borders.

Here in Israel on the day before Independence Day, we commemorate Memorial Day for Israel's Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism, and a week before that, we observe Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, where we honor the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. These memorial days take on additional significance in light of the events of October 7th and the ongoing war.

As Israel marks its 76th year, it faces an existential war on many fronts, primarily orchestrated by Iran. The reesablishemnt of the state of Israel is a fulfillemnt of prophecy that shows the faithfulness of God.  Please continue to pray for Israel’s protection, the captives' return, and the people's spiritual revival.

Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!' Therefore, prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel."
Ezekiel 37:10-12

PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR:

Holocaust Memorial Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day 2024:

"Arise, shine, For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you." 
Isaiah 60:1

Israel will remember the six million Jewish people who were murdered by the Nazis, our fallen soldiers and victims of terror. Israel will also commemorate its 76th Independence Day this month. This will all be under the shadow of the ongoing war that began with an horrific nighmare on October 7th. We ask you to pray that despite the challenges and suffering, Israelis will remain hopeful, believing in God's protection and will understand their role in His grand plan.
Please pray for:

  • Comfort for the bereaved families who lost their loved ones in Israel's wars, various terrorist events, especially on October 7th.
  • Please pray for the renewal of hope in the Israeli people and for a blessed life in the Israeli state.
  • Please pray for the leaders of the State of Israel that they will act wisely and carefully towards the people and not out of personal interest.
  • Protection of the borders of the State of Israel and all its citizens.

    "Sword of Iron" – Civilians:

    Protests Against the Government
    Many demonstrations continued to take place throughout the country, most of them against the government and the Prime Minister, while other demonstrations were held for the return of the captives. The protesters are calling for the government to resign as they believe that the government did not handle itself well throughout the days of fighting. A growing lack of trust in the government is reflected in polls predicting a defeat for the ruling party. However, most of the public opposes any expression of violence that has been demonstrated in recent months in the various protests, both by the protesters and by the police. As time passes without a solution to the captive crisis and the ongoing war, and if the security situation allows it, the protests are expected to increase, and it seems like more citizens are expected to join the protesters.
    Please pray for:

    • The demonstrations are to be peaceful and without violence, and for wisdom for the police as they face difficult decisions in the heat of the moment.
    • The safety and well-being of the protesters and the security forces while simultaneously demonstrating restraint.

    Displaced Israelis
    Israel is facing a massive refugee problem that the international media is ignoring. Since the war began, 130,000 residents from the north and south have been displaced and housed in hotels across the country. Entire families have been living in single hotel rooms for nearly 6 months. Only 5,000 evacuees have been allowed to return home or have found permanent housing, while the remaining 125,000 are asked to stay in hotels and guest houses at the state's expense until the end of the year. The evacuees face challenging conditions, with families of 4-5 people living in one room, disrupting their daily routines. Children have had to start over in new schools while working parents face long commutes or unemployment.

    Watch a short video on Israel’s Unspoken Front in the north

    Please pray for:

    • Patience and endurance for all displaced people so that they will be able to return home soon.
    • The Lord to minister to them in this terribly difficult situation so they would feel His comfort & hope in their lives.
    • Supernatural provision for all their financial needs.

    "Sword of Iron" – Hostages:

    "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound."
    Isaiah 61:1

    Hamas is holding 133 Israelis captive, including a 4-year-old child and a one-year-old infant, under severe conditions.  Information about their situation comes from testimonies of survivors released in previous prisoner exchanges or rescued by the IDF.

    The families of the captives are suffering immensely, as little is known about their loved ones' well-being. Survivors have reported that both young women and men in captivity face daily forced labor, abuse, torture, and sexual harassment.

     Those who have returned from captivity have described harsh conditions, including food deprivation and constant humiliation, with many survivors mentioning the lasting impact of the trauma they experienced. 
    Please pray for:

    • Please pray for the captives in Gaza that they may receive inner 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.
    • Please pray for the men, women, and children who have been released from captivity for deep healing from the trauma they have experienced.

    "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

    Gaza Strip, Northen Fornt and Judea and Samaria

    This next month marks seven months of war in Gaza, the northern front, and Judea and Samaria, with the main focus on fighting Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, who declared war on Israel on October 7th.

    IDF forces are preparing to enter Rafah, a Hamas stronghold, where at least four Hamas brigades are hiding behind civilian human shields. This operation is complex, as Israel aims to avoid harming innocent people, in contrast to the terrorist organizations that do not distinguish between soldiers and civilians. The fighting in Rafah requires IDF soldiers to have precision skills of a neurosurgeon.

    In Judea and Samaria, the war is being waged to seize numerous weapons, the smuggling of which from Iran was reported in the last couple of weeks, and to thwart the terrorists' attempts to carry out significant attacks that would result in many fatalities and injuries. According to monthly reports published by the Shin Bet, on average, the IDF and security forces successfully prevent over one hundred significant attacks per month. But unfortunately, terrorists still manage to carry out an average of 25 attacks per month. Hamas and Fatah terrorists do not rest and plan numerous attacks, but thanks to God, your prayers, and thanks to the IDF and security forces, most of the attacks, as mentioned, are thwarted.

    In recent weeks, we have witnessed an escalation in the northern sector. Hezbollah is currently the organization carrying out the highest number of attacks against Israel. According to a report by the Shin Bet, in March, Hezbollah fired over seven hundred missiles at Israel, while only 104 rockets were fired from Gaza by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The decline in the capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad is mainly due to the IDF and security forces managing, albeit still partially, to paralyze Hamas attacks, which, according to various reports, has lost 75 percent of its offensive capabilities. However, this is not the case with Hezbollah. Even if it is taking heavy blows from the IDF, Hassan Nasrallah's organization has quite alarming capabilities and the ability to learn about Israel's defense systems. We have witnessed direct hits on soldiers and stationary targets in recent weeks. And there is not a day that goes by without Hezbollah launching drones or rockets toward Israel.
    Please pray for:

    • Protection for the residents in the north, Judea and Samaria, and the south.
    • Wisdom for the Israeli government in making decisions regarding the Israeli response to the repeated provocations from Israel’s enemies.
    • Please pray for the protection of the soldiers fighting terrorists in all fronts.
    • Please pray for the innocent citizens of Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iran etc , for their protection, and that children, women, and men who are not involved with the terrorist organizations will not be harmed.

    "Swords of Iron" – Leaders and Government

    The resignation of IDF Chief of Military Intelligence
    IDF Chief of Military Intelligence, Major General Aharon Haliva, announced his resignation due to the October 7th massacre, admitting the Intelligence Directorate's failure. He called for a state commission of inquiry to investigate the tragic events. He is the first official to leave his position due to the failures and will remain until a successor is appointed.

    The Hague intends to issue arrest warrants
    The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague intends to issue arrest warrants soon against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi for alleged war crimes and intentional starvation during the war in the Gaza Strip.
    Please pray for:

    • Please pray for those who were politically and militarily responsible to take responsibility for themselves.
    • 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.
    • Please Pray that the ICC in The Hague will refrain from issuing arrest warrants.

    "Swords of Iron" – International Front

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

    Despite Israel exposing the involvement of 12 UNRWA employees in the October 7th massacre, leading several countries to suspend funding, many nations have renewed and increased their financial support for the agency based on a U.N. report, finding it "more neutral" than similar organizations. This backing of an organization linked to supporters of violence, combined with the consideration by several European countries and the United States to recognize a Palestinian state without Israel's agreement, suggests a disturbing trend of tolerance toward terrorism, distrust towards Israel, and potentially disastrous consequences for its security.
    Please pray for:

    • Please pray that countries around the world will see the truth about UNRWA and support Israel instead of terrorist organizations.
    • Please pray for Israel that we may be more successful in explaining to the world about the war and the humanitarian aid in Gaza.
    • Please pray for wisdom for the State of Israel on how to prevent UNRWA from continuing its terrorist activities under the guise of a humanitarian organization.

    The Growth of Antisemitism

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

    Pro-Palestinian demonstrations have been escalating at U.S. universities, leading to class cancellations and arrests. NYC Mayor Eric Adams denounced the protests and rising antisemitism at Columbia, directing the NYPD to investigate and arrest lawbreakers. The protesters demand that universities cut ties with Israel and that the U.S. stop providing weapons and funds to Israel.

    These demonstrations claim to support Palestinian human rights while ignoring Hamas's control over Gaza and its horrific actions on October 7th. Many uninformed American students blindly support these protests, fueling the growth of antisemitism worldwide.
    Please pray for:

    • Protection for Jews around the world against those who hate Israel.
    • Please pray for the protection of U.S. citizens from radical Islam that seeks to influence public opinion.
    • Wisdom for the leaders of nations to find ways to prevent antisemitism in their countries.
    • Please pray that many students and young people in the U.S. will 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 for:

    Moran
    Moran continues to be completely devoted to the ministry’s emergency response efforts since the war broke out. He continues to work 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; bringing meals every day to 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 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 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
    NerYah 2023-2024

    This past month, we touched on our belonging to God. At one of our meetings, we had a festive holiday meal that the youth prepared. The meeting was very moving. We also held a girls' meeting, and it was very moving to see how the girls opened up and were encouraged by the meeting and the connection. Additionally, many of the youth approached us for conversations and consultation, and it's gratifying that they see us as a source of support. We had the opportunity to sit with them and help them with various personal issues.
    Please pray:

    • End-of-year party which will be held at the end of May.
    • Given the current situation, we would appreciate prayer for the youth for protection over their body and soul in the coming month.
    • Please pray for the counselors and staff dealing with disciplinary issues.
    • Pray for an additional youth coordinator to join us who would be suitable for Neria and more volunteers

    Believing Soldiers

    We continue to be a constant source of support for our believing soldiers. This has been an intense and exhausting season for them because of the war. We are in regular contact with each soldier, sending encouraging text messages, phone calls, and care packages. We also host in-person meetings for the soldiers when possible, to give them a space to share and decompress what they’re going through.

    This past month, we distributed Passover packages to the soldiers, and they were so encouraged. They said they really needed it, and it was very uplifting for them.

    Please pray for:

    • Male and female counselors who see the value of this outreach and are willing to invest in it. Many times, the soldiers can be challenging, and it feels like not many people have this in their hearts. We would appreciate prayer for more people who are willing to give of themselves for this essential service.
    • Please pray for all the soldiers, both those on the home front and those on the front lines, during this difficult time of war. The situation in the country is heating up more and more, and they need a lot of prayers and peace.
    • Prayer for wisdom and guidance in encouraging the soldiers and giving them what they need.

      Students, Discharged Believing Soldiers, and Reservists:

      We held a meeting for believing soldiers who finished their mandatory military service. We discussed issues challenging those released from the army among other things. We shared the feelings that everyone has at this time about our plans for the future, encouraged open conversation, and enjoyed good bonding and delicious food!

      We also held a training meeting 2 for students where we provide soft skills tools, such as thinking outside the box, time management, working under pressure, setting priorities, and more. It was a useful & productive meeting. 
      Please pray for:

      • For our female students whose husbands are in the military.
      • For an easy return to routine for all the reservists who have returned home and are returning to reserve duty.
      • For the end of the second semester, which is quickly approaching.

      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! Thank you for your continued support of our work in this area and your continued prayers! If you are not already subscribed to our mailing list, you can do so here.

      We are still seeking a suitable candidate for a staff content writer. During this time of war, staffing changes are incredibly challenging, and we would appreciate your prayers that the right individuals will join our team!
      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 & interesting 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 November 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. 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 “Foosteps 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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