Prayer Letter – December 2015

Dear Prayer Partners,

Shalom and greetings from Jerusalem! Beginning the eve of December 6 for eight days we celebrate Chanukah, the Feast of Lights or Dedication. This is a special time of year where the Jewish people commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple at the time of the Maccabean Revolt during the second century B.C. For eight nights and days an additional candle is lit on the hanukiah (a special nine-branched candelabrum) until all of the eight branches are burning brightly. We use this time to gather together as family and remember the miracle of the oil that burnt in the Temple and the light we carry inside of us as believers in the Messiah – the light of the world. We ask for your prayers during the upcoming festivities that God’s light would draw people to a greater revelation of Him and would outshine the darkness that so often tries to steal our joy.

For almost two months, Israel has faced near daily terror attacks and sometimes multiple attacks a day on her soldiers and citizens. Between October 1 and November 24, 21 Israelis have been killed and 189 wounded—20 of them seriously. There have been 74 stabbings, 10 shootings and 12 vehicular attacks. By the time that you read this, most likely the number to any of these has increased. What is also very saddening is that many of these attacks (the majority of which have been carried out by young Palestinian men and women) have led to the death of the perpetrators by means of self-defense. The situation is not normal, yet somehow the Israeli people must carry on with their daily lives simply with the knowledge that at anytime and anywhere they may be attacked. We have no better solution in these difficult times than to fall before God in prayer. How can we pray against this evil? How can we continue to plea for God’s protection? The best way to pray is to use God’s Word as a tool for intercession. Please join with us in covering Israel in the prayer of Psalm 71:1-5.

In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed. In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline Your ear to me and save me. Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress. Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man, for You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.  

Please join us in interceding on behalf of Israel for:

BDS: Recently, the EU has announced that they will be labeling all goods that are produced by Israel in Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights as a way to warn consumers not to buy. Sadly, not only will the Israeli economy be affected, but also the salaries of the some 20,000 Palestinians who work for Israeli companies in the settlements will pay the price. It is very important for us to become informed about this BDS movement in order to know better how to educate others, respond and pray. We ask for your prayers for Israel during this time of trial as the nations are coming against her. We ask that God would glorify Himself throughout these difficult times. Please also pray for HFI as we have begun to share more about this BDS campaign through articles and social media outlets. We ask for wisdom and guidance to approach this issue in a godly and honorable way. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all people on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:3)

Wisdom for the Nations: Ever since the attacks in Paris occurred, every media outlet is buzzing with opinions about the war on Islamic extremists, ISIS and what to do about the refugees. Many people fear the current state of the world and their future’s. Many people fear for their lives from an infiltration of terror through unknown channels. These are legitimate issues and concerns, but we must be careful of the schemes of the Enemy to cause confusion and fear. This can be a time of awakening for the nations. Rather than fear, we as believers need to press on with prayer to seek the Father’s face for peace, wisdom, and revelation for His heart during this shifting time in history. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Prayer for Young Palestinians: The majority of attacks against Israelis have been carried out by young Palestinian men and women, even children as young as 11 years old. They know that such attacks could and most likely will lead to their death. How is it that such young children would risk their lives to murder an Israeli? Where do they get the ideas to partake in such violence and hatred? This is a very disturbing sign of what the young generation of Palestinians is growing up into. We cannot read the hearts and minds of these young boys and girls, but we can pray that God would touch them and bring them to His truth and peace. We pray for an overturn of this generation of Palestinian youth, that they would pave a way for peace, hope, and love first off in their own lives and with Israelis. One of Moran’s recent blogs speaks into this matter:

War of Propaganda: It is becoming more and more clear through the media (i.e. internet, articles, books, videos, etc.) that the heated debate surrounding Israel has become one full of distorted truths, false reporting, violations of ethical journalism and outright lies. It is becoming extremely difficult to make clear judgments about truth and justice because our sources of information cannot always be trusted. It is very important to first and foremost build our views and understanding of the world through the teachings of God’s Word, but we must also be very aware, critical and careful about how and from whom we digest information. Please pray for the hearts and minds of all of those who live in the nations and are seeking to understand the complex history and present situation in Israel. Please pray for HFI as we always try to bring accurate, trustworthy, and balanced information to our readers. In a world of technology that strongly influences us, we need to constantly be praying for wisdom and a critical mind that can be able to discern what is right in the eyes of the Lord and where we should align ourselves in the context of this very global world.

Temple Mount: The recent clashes and attacks in Israel have, at least according to Arab rhetoric, been based on the issue of the Temple Mount. More and more, Jewish Israelis, particularly the more religious groups, are going onto the Temple Mount to pray. The Temple Mount is the most sacred site for Jews, the third most sacred site in Islam, and for Christians it is also a place of religious pilgrimage. According to the status quo arrangement for the Temple Mount, non-Muslims may visit the mount but are prohibited from praying there. As Muslims feel pressure from the non-Muslims who seek to peacefully pray at the Temple Mount, there has been backlash. For many months now, there have been riots and violent outbreaks by many Muslims in protest of this growing presence of Jews and Christians on the mount. It is clear that the Temple Mount is a central issue in the spiritual battle for Jerusalem. This fight cannot be won by way of the sword, but must be won through our prayers and intercession for the very location where the Messiah will one day establish His kingdom. Pray with us, using the armor of God as our shield to break down the darkness that would come against the people of God. We pray for God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Rain: We have entered into the wintery-rainy season where Israel receives the majority of rainfall for the entire year. We praise God for the abundance of rain we have already received and we ask for this blessing to continue. Please pray that this season will bring enough rain to fill up the reserves and water the land so that we will even see the desert bloom. Particularly, the northern region of Israel around the Sea of Galilee is in need of an increased amount of the rainfall. We also ask for safety during the rainy months and for the wisdom and capacity for Israel’s city workers to address all of the complications that can arise. Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. Zechariah 10:1

Following are some ministry requests for Hope for Israel:

Moran –Please pray for continued wisdom and strength for Moran for the coming weeks and months. He has a tour group coming this month and asks for prayer of complete covering for him and the participants throughout the duration of the tour. Also, Moran asks for prayer to be sensitive to the Lord’s guidance and direction about the future decisions that need to be made.

40% Growth in 2015- We would appreciate it if you would join us in prayer about the growth and future of HFI. We have a goal to grow by 40% in financial giving in order to be able to serve with a greater capacity, as well to grow in partners and the number of tours we host throughout the year. Already we have seen growth in many areas of the ministry and are praying for more partners to join us. We ask for continued prayer for guidance and direction from God in every department of the organization –finances, partners, projects and tours.

HFI Board – Please continue to pray for God’s hand to cover each and every important decision that the Board faces. Please ask for provisions and protection from any attacks that the Enemy would try to make on the health and well being of the members of the Board and their families.

HFI Staff – Please keep our staff in your prayers continuously for both their work and personal lives. Please pray for guidance and vision in the work place. Pray that God would divinely work in the tasks that each one carries out on a daily basis. Also cover their families in your prayers for health, strength, and wisdom in every area of their lives.

NerYah Youth Group – Please join us in prayer for wisdom for relationships with the youth members who are struggling personally with spiritual and social challenges. We are praying to find professional help from a believer that we can refer certain issues to them. Also, please pray for creativity for the leaders with some teenagers that are too shy to come to NerYah. We want to be able to create an environment that is comfortable for them to connect with. Finally, we ask for prayer on ways to be involved more with parents and the congregations of the youth members in order to collaborate together to meet all of the individual support that the teenagers need.

NerYah LeadersPraise Report! The team at NerYah would like to send their gratitude for all of your prayers. This past month two new leaders have committed to volunteering their time and service to join the team at NerYah. We praise God for His faithfulness to hear and answer our prayers. We know that the youth of NerYah are close to His heart and He has built this youth group from a handful of kids hungry for God to what it is today. Thank you for your prayers! We also ask for your prayers particularly for a new worker to join us on staff with NerYah in the near future. We ask for God’s guidance and wisdom to find the right person for this job.

Believing Soldiers’ Outreach – The team of volunteers who help to serve the believing soldiers are in need of more help, other people who can volunteer and commit their time for an extended period with a heart wanting and willing to pour into the lives of the soldiers. Please join us in prayer for someone to come on board as a staff member who will be in charge of the volunteers and outreach. The team asks for continued prayer for wisdom and the right strategy to reach out to the soldiers in a powerful way. Pray also for their hearts and spiritual walks, that they would be strengthened in their relationship with the Lord during this difficult time. It is easy to become distant in the faith during the time in the army, so we pray that the Lord would flood them with His love and renew the fire from within. There are many new soldiers who have just entered the army who need encouragement and strength as they enter into this new phase of life. Please pray for the strength and love of God to cover them during this initiation period and throughout their years of service.

Experience Israel Tour –Please continue to pray for this next year’s Experience Israel Tour (March 4-20, 2016). We praise God that already a majority of participants have signed up and we continue to pray for the building and unity of this group as they prepare logistically and spiritually throughout the coming months. We ask you to join us in praying for the last 5 participants that God wants to bring to Israel. We trust God for provision and grace as we make any adjustments necessary.

Pastor’s Solidarity Tour – February 1-9, 2016 we will host next year’s Pastor’s Solidarity Tour. Please keep this unique tour in your prayers, as it is specifically for congregational leaders. We ask for you to pray that God would stir in the hearts of right pastors and leaders to come to Israel. It is our hearts desire to see these pastors come and be renewed in their mind and in their teachings so that they will be able to share with their communities about God’s heart for this Land and His people.

Tour Department – One of the ways that Hope for Israel is able to supplement the ministry’s income is by organizing and leading tours to Israel.  The tours also carry a strong ministry component, as tour participants often have opportunities to bless Israel via tangible acts of service.  As the situation in Israel continues to heat up, it is more important than ever for followers of Messiah to show their support by physically coming to Israel.  Please continue to pray that the LORD will bless this aspect of the ministry and that He would bring more and more people to witness His love on these tours. 

Lastly, please continue to pray for the salvation of Israel & the Jewish people throughout the world; we long for the day when all Israel will recognize her Messiah and receive Him… “For if their rejection [of Yeshua] is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” Romans 11:15

In His Service,

The Hope for Israel Prayer Team



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