As November begins, Israel is one month into one of the most serious and existential wars it has ever fought and truly needs your prayers. Please read on to understand how you can pray for Israel during this difficult time.
On October 7th, Simchat Torah (The Rejoicing of the Torah), 1,400 innocent Israelis and internationals were brutally murdered by Hamas terrorists who broke through the border from the Gaza Strip under the cover of thousands of rockets fired towards civilian communities throughout Israel. Over 1,000 of the victims were unarmed civilians, including babies, children, pregnant women and the elderly.
Hamas did not just kill these people; they disfigured the vast majority of their bodies, raped women and tortured their victims before they were killed. They then kidnapped over 240 individuals – including Israelis, Thai nationals, Germans, Americans, and many other nationalities – from border communities and a nearby music festival and brought them back into Gaza. Four have since been released and one rescued by the IDF. The remaining 241 hostages include women, children and babies.
Following this horrendous and unprecedented attack, Israel launched “Swords of Iron,” a war whose goal is to destroy Hamas’ military capabilities once and for all. After three weeks of heavy airstrikes and targeted assassinations, over the last weekend of October, Israeli armored and infantry divisions advanced into the Gaza Strip for a long-awaited ground offensive.
PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR:
“Swords of Iron” – Civilians
Hamas has now fired over 8,500 rockets at Israeli civilians and continues to launch additional barrages on a daily and even hourly basis. Southern and central Israel generally bear the brunt of these attacks, which can include hundreds of rockets at a time. Rocket barrages also continue periodically from Lebanon towards northern Israel, and most recently, towards Eilat.
Although the Israeli government has evacuated over a hundred thousand civilians from the areas closest to the borders, hundreds of thousands remain in the line of fire with nowhere to go. Dozens of Israelis have been physically injured by these rocket attacks, to say nothing of property damage and the psychological harm being done, especially to children.
One major challenge for Israel on the home front is the economic cost of the war. This is reflected by the S&P 500 stock exchange rating which has lowered Israel's rating from "stable" to "negative". The impact is already felt by small businesses and farms in the south, most of whose owners have evacuated, and by the tourism sector, which is a major industry in Israel and is crippled due to the war. Other sectors will feel the impact more as the war progresses.
Many of Israel’s internally displaced civilians have no income at the moment and are living from day to day relying on outside support as they grieve the loss or kidnapping of close family members and friends in Hamas’ brutal attack.
Finally, and most seriously of all, 241 innocent people remain in Hamas captivity. Hamas refuses to allow the Red Cross to visit these people – among them women, small children and babies, the elderly and foreign nationals – and it is therefore impossible to ascertain in what condition they are being held, how many of them are injured, and what kind of physical or mental abuse they are undergoing.
Hamas has released video footage of four female prisoners and has released four more – but don’t think this is from mercy! This is a form of psychological warfare against the Israeli public which is also intended to make the world forget why Hamas took these women prisoner to being with. Miraculously, the IDF rescued one additional hostage during its current ground campaign. May God protect the remaining hostages and bring them home safely!
Specifically, please pray for:
- The release of ALL the hostages held by Hamas
- 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.
- Children who are unable to attend school in person.
- Comfort for the families of Israel's fallen and hope for those whose loved ones are among those taken hostage by Hamas.
“Swords of Iron” – Soldiers and Leaders
Israel is now entering its fourth week of war as Israeli soldiers, artillery and the Air Force operate deep inside the Gaza Strip. Sadly, as of Friday afternoon, 24 IDF soldiers have been killed in action in Gaza in Israel’s ground offensive, meaning that nearly 340 soldiers have fallen since the war began (most were killed in combat during Hamas’ initial massacre). This is the highest number of IDF casualties in such a short period in decades.
On Israel’s northern front, the IDF continues to respond to Hizballah provocations through airstrikes on terror targets and terrorist squads in southern Lebanon and Syria. Israel has also struck international airports in Syria more than once, ostensibly to complicate Iran’s attempts to rearm Hizballah.
In Judea and Samaria, tensions between Jewish and Arab residents continue to rise. Sadly, a terrorist killed an Israeli man in Samaria Thursday in a terror attack, while a settler also killed a Palestinian man. However, the IDF is doing excellent work here, and it is hoped that their actions will deter extremists from both camps.
Meanwhile, the Yemenite Houthi rebel group – also funded by Iran – has fired multiple missiles towards Eilat since the beginning of the war. Israel recently moved missile ships into the Red Sea to serve as a deterrent against the Houthis’ aggression.
Please pray for:
- Protection over Israel's security forces as they operate in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, and on Israel’s northern and southern fronts.
- The success of Israel’s current military objectives in Gaza and beyond
- Healing for those injured and comfort for bereaved families
- For Iran and Hizballah to stay outside the conflict and for stability and calm in Judea and Samaria
- Wisdom for Israel’s military and political leaders during this complex and difficult time.
- 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!
The International Front of “Swords of Iron”
Although in the immediate wake of Oct 7th, hundreds of thousands of people, including world leaders and celebrities, expressed their unalloyed support for Israel, as the war carries on, people have begun to walk back their initial statements. Statements condemning Hamas have been replaced by statements expressing concern for “Israeli and Palestinian deaths” while many people have gone as far as to accuse Israel of war crimes.
At the UN, over 120 nations voted in favor of a resolution which called on Israel to disengage from Gaza and neglected to mention Israel’s right to self-defense, Hamas’ war crimes, or even the Israeli – and international – civilians still being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza! This is despicable behavior, but consistent with the UN’s record of anti-Israel bias.
Many world leaders have also come out against Israel, including President Erdogan of Turkey, Russia’s Putin, China’s Xi Jing Ping, Jordan’s Queen Rania (who is Palestinian), and of course, Iran, Hamas’ and Hizballah’s puppet master.
In this environment, which is primed to blame Israel, it is more crucial than ever to stand for the truth and there are many who are bravely doing so. Most Western leaders have supported Israel from the beginning and continue to do so. The leaders of the US, Great Britain, France, Germany and Holland have all visited Israel since the war began, while the US continues to provide significant military support to Israel. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people also continue to provide support through Israel via protests, financial aid, and social media support.
Please pray for:
- Continued international support of Israel, including continued grassroots support.
- God’s protection and blessing over the many individuals – from Israel’s ambassadors to social media influencers and beyond – who work tirelessly to broadcast the truth about what happened in Israel Oct. 7th and what is happening now.
- The world’s eyes to be opened to the truth of what happened
The Growth of Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism has grown exponentially in the last four weeks since the beginning of the war. Although anti-Semitic incidents have been steadily increasing for the past several years, the speed and intensity with which this hatred gained steam is frightening. Much of the anti-Semitism is of course masked as pro-Palestinian sentiment and there is significant overlap between these two roles.
Incidents have ranged from graffitiing the homes of Jewish residents to detailed online death threats. This is especially prevalent on college campuses, where Jewish students say they no longer feel safe. The most extreme incident so far occurred in Russia, where hundreds of locals waited to mob an incoming flight which contained Israelis. Although no one was hurt, rioters reportedly stopped every car for hours leaving the airport demanding to see the individual’s passport.
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 in the midst of a tragic and costly war.
Please join us in praying for:
Moran has been completely devoted to the ministry’s emergency response efforts since the terror attacks of October 7th. He is busy each day in the field, overseeing the evacuation of over 150 men, women, & children from the north & south; 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 is also overseeing the ministry’s Israel advocacy & information project, as it is crucial for people to receive reliable information out of Israel right now. He needed to cancel his trip to the States and the board meeting has been postponed indefinitely.
Please continue to pray for:
- Wisdom regarding the various aspects of the ministry that he oversees.
- Strength, wisdom, protection & health during this intense time of war.
- 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
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
NerYah Youth Group:
Over the last month, we have been able to encourage several believing teens personally, including one girl who we learned did not have a personal Bible. Our leadership team was able to present her with one! It is wonderful to see the youth’s desire to grow closer to the Lord. Additionally, after the outbreak of the war, we visited one believing teen who escaped with her family from Sderot during the brutal Hamas attack. She was touched and encouraged by our visit!
Please pray for/that:
- More counselors for our NerYah team, especially male counselors. Since our male NerYah coordinator is currently serving in reserve duty, the lack of counselors is felt more acutely right now.
- Wisdom for the leadership staff in knowing how to support the youth through the war and its accompanying challenges and fears.
- Physical and spiritual protection over the believing youth who must return to school, especially those who are afraid to do so.
Because of the current security situation (Operation “Swords of Iron”), which is especially close to home for our soldiers, we have made a point to connect with each one via phone calls, messages, and encouraging videos. Some of the videos we sent said “thank you for your service” while others were from NerYah believing youth, many of whom have older friends or siblings who are currently serving. We received numerous messages from the soldiers thanking us, including one who said it was the “best thing I saw all day.”
Please pray for:
- Protection over all our soldiers, especially those on the front lines but also those who work in support positions, as well as peace. Please pray that God would touch them during this time and give them strength and comfort.
- For leaders, male and female, who truly care and believe in the importance of investing in soldiers during their service
Post-Military & University Students:
As all of Israel faces an altered reality right now in the light of the war, many students are affected, some by the postponement of the school year to the beginning of December and some by being called up to reserve duty. For newly released soldiers, many of whom are also serving in reserve duty, this is also a complex time.
For students, please pray for:
- Protection over all of those who were called up to reserve duty.
- Peace for all the students who will be beginning academic studies in the coming month.
- For us the students’ team that we would be able to support the students and be there for them during this difficult time.
- For wisdom for us in planning the first students’ meeting at the beginning of this month, especially for those who are in reserve duty and will participate via Zoom.
- For our “Questions and Answers” meeting for the students at the end of this month which will take place over Zoom.
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
Our various media projects keep people connected to HFI and help educate people about Israel's spiritual and historical significance. In a day and age where many people oppose Israel, we see advocating for Israel, and for what the Word of God says about Israel, as top priorities. As Israel is currently in a fight for its survival and independence, faced not only with military threats but also with international diplomatic and public pressures and fake news, this work is doubly important!
Please pray for:
- A new social media manager.
- 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.
- 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
- Insight and wisdom to offer Scripture-based answers to those who oppose Israel; that God would use our content to change peoples’ hearts and minds!
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. Sadly, due to the war, all our groups for November & December have either canceled or rescheduled for 2024. This has been a very challenging logistical operation, and at times stressful.
Please continue to pray for:
- wisdom for Moran as he continues to make challenging decisions regarding the tour operations, especially considering the current war.
- the 2024 EXPERIENCE ISRAEL TOUR – for wisdom regarding the timing of the tour and patience for all involved in planning the tour.
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!
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