Prayer Letter – March 2016

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Dear Prayer Partners,

Shalom and greetings from Jerusalem! This month we are entering into the spring Jewish feasts in Israel. The evening from March 23-25 we will be celebrating Purim, a holiday that commemorates the story found in the book of Esther, where God saves the Jewish people through the life and faithfulness of Mordechai and a young, Hebrew girl named Esther. Many in the Jewish tradition partake in the Fast of Esther from dawn to dusk on Purim eve to remember God’s faithfulness to deliver the people of Israel in that day and to pray for His hand of protection and deliverance in today’s time.

Just as in the time of Esther, where the scheme of the Enemy to sow hatred against the people of God and plot their annihilation was so prevalent, so it is today; we are witnessing this same root of evil and hostility, which in today’s terms we have come to refer as anti-Semitism. Once again, anti-Semitism is sweeping the globe, only this time it is taking a different form; hatred towards the Jewish people has, in many instances, turned into hatred of the Jewish State of Israel. We ask for you to intercede with us throughout this month and particular during the Feast of Purim, as Esther did, for the divine intervention and salvation of the Jewish people. This is a time to also be prayerful about where we stand in light of this persecution. A testing is coming for the world, including the body of Messiah, as to where we will stand when all the nations come against Jerusalem (Zech. 14:16). Let us stand faithfully in prayer and seek God’s face for understanding, protection and salvation.

Please join us in interceding on behalf of Israel for:

Prayer for Protection: Terror attacks still continue on an almost daily basis, many of them thwarted or resisted without severe harm to the victims, thanks to the diligent work of the IDF soldiers. However, security forces have to remain on alert at all times, especially in Judea and Samaria. It has been over five months of these “lone wolf” attacks, where mostly young Palestinians choose independently to take up arms and attack soldiers and innocent civilians. This has led to 33 lives of men, women, and children being taken and 359 more with scars from their injuries. There have been 192 stabbings and attempted stabbing attacks, 75 shootings, and 39 car ramming attacks since September 13, 2015. We ask for your prayers for continued security, protection and safety for Israel’s security forces and civilians. “O Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. Lord, do not grant the desires of the wicked; do not help his wicket plans, lest they praise themselves. Selah.” Psalms 140:7-8

Iran: Even after the nuclear agreement, Iran is still publicly announcing its support in aiding terrorism by offering financial assistance to families of Palestinian terrorists who were killed while committing attacks or whose homes were demolished for those attacks. They have agreed to pay $7,000 to families of “martyrs of the Jerusalem intifada” and $30,000 to families whose home was demolished by Israel because their relative committed a terrorist attack. The international community must address this and see that support of Palestinian terrorism by Iran is a violation of the nuclear agreement. Please join us in prayer for the world to see the true danger in shaking hands with Iran, a nation that continues by word and deed to try to bring destruction and harm to Israel.  We also pray for a great harvest of new believers in Iran, ones that will stand in support of the nation of Israel.

BDS: Recently, breakthrough improvements have been revealed that countries like France, the United Kingdom and Canada have all taken legal steps to ban the boycotting of Israeli products in their countries. The city council of France passed two resolutions condemning attempts to boycott Israel. The UK also passed a new guidance that prevents councils, NHS trusts and other public councils from boycotting goods and products from Israel. Canada passed a motion condemning all support by individuals, groups or organizations of the BDS movement. Nations are starting to wake up to the fact that the BDS movement is divisive, discriminatory and risks fueling anti-Semitism. We pray that other nations will be able to see the true roots of the boycott campaign and begin the stand with Israel and move towards a future that is united, not divided. Please join us in prayer for officials and lawmakers in this regard.

Gaza: Both the Israeli military and Hamas are preparing for the next round of fighting. The IDF Chief of Staff has even set a deadline for the military to be prepared. We know that Hamas has been training and collecting weaponry since the end of the last operation in 2014. Instead of using international humanitarian aid funds to build and develop the economy in Gaza, Hamas has chosen to use this money to smuggle in weapons and advance its underground tunnel system from where it plans to attack Israel. Meanwhile, the situation has become insufferable for the residents of Gaza. They suffer from electricity and water shortages and broken sewage systems; Gazan society is disintegrating. The number of suicides has reached unprecedented levels and every third person is on antidepressants. These conditions are unbearable for many and the number of people trying to leave Gaza is continually increasing. Please pray for the innocent individuals and families that are suffering at the hands of poor leadership in Hamas, who care more about killing Israelis than building a hopeful future for their people. We ask that you pray for a solution to these problems and that God would send the light of His Word to the people of Gaza that they may find hope and salvation.

American Primary Elections: Regardless of individual political opinions, we want to pray for God’s hand to be over the American elections this year. Debates and discussions have been ongoing for months as Republican and Democratic candidates are vying for the chance to be elected by the American public. The outcome of the American elections is always important for Israel and it often determines the trajectory of American-Israeli relations for the next term. We pray for God to establish a godly leader and put in place the man or woman that He wants to use as He carries out His plans for Israel and nations.

Israel’s Regional Partnerships: With most of the Middle East spiraling into chaos and countries like Syria, Iraq and Yemen becoming de-facto failed states, Israel is put into a difficult situation when choosing who will be its regional allies. Iran and Russia are highly involved in funding and providing arms to their proxies in the region, many of whom are bent on the destruction of Israel. Recently, Israel has been finding new allies in countries like Cyprus and India, as well as potentially restoring some level of relations in Saudi Arabia and Turkey based on fighting mutual enemies. The stakes are high in the region and it is difficult to gauge the trust of others. We pray for wisdom for Israeli leaders and divine foresight to make decisions and form relations that remain in the overall benefit and safety of the people of Israel. “…I am God…declaring the end from the beginning, and from the ancient times which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will do all My pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

Following are some ministry requests for Hope for Israel:

Moran – Please pray for an increased amount of strength and wisdom for Moran this coming month, as he is responsible for making several major decisions for the organization. Please also pray for his physical health and stamina to be able to carry out all of the tasks and responsibilities in front of him. Moran will be hosting groups touring Israel throughout the month of March. We ask that you would keep him in your prayers for spiritual wisdom and revelation from the Lord to share with these groups, as well as smooth transitions with all of the logistical coordination required. Please also remember his family in your prayers for health and safety while Moran is traveling with the 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 – We ask for your prayers for God’s timing and choosing for the right people to join the HFI staff as the ministry grows and develops. Please keep our staff in your prayers continuously for both their work and personal lives. Please pray for guidance, vision and unity 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 praying for the youth of NerYah to have a greater passion for the Lord and desire to grow deeper in discipleship. We see that God is awaking this generation of youth and we ask for prayer for wisdom to know exactly which subjects to touch on in order to help each one progress in their spiritual journey. We would be grateful for your prayers regarding upcoming meetings with the youth – girls meeting, boys meeting, and others.

NerYah LeadersPlease continue to pray for the leaders of NerYah who are still searching and waiting on the Lord to bring a new female leader on staff to be a coordinator in the youth group and also for the soldiers. Please also pray that God would open up doors of communication between the leaders and the youth, allowing them to open up their hearts and lives towards one another in order to receive the help and guidance they may need. We ask for continued prayer that God would strengthen the staff and volunteers of NerYah in wisdom, unity, patience, love, faith and perseverance.

Believing Soldiers’ Outreach – Many of the believing soldiers, once they enter into the army, struggle with a lot of questions regarding life and their faith. It is truly a period of testing and pruning, and oftentimes many become hardened in their hearts in the process and compromise in their standards as a believer. Please intercede with us on their behalf that God would truly meet them in whatever place they are at in their walk of faith and give them truth and strength in their weakness. We also pray for strength, wisdom and favor for the team of volunteers who have a heart to serve these soldiers. The team asks for continued prayer for wisdom and the right strategy to reach out to the soldiers in a powerful way.

Experience Israel Tour –The Experience Israel Tour (March 4-20, 2016) is arriving this week and we ask for your prayers for safety in travel throughout the entire trip, as well as protection over each participant’s physical health. We also pray that God would reveal His purpose and guiding direction for each member. We believe and trust that God has something to teach each one as it relates to his/her understanding of Scripture and spiritual walk with the LORD. Please pray for unity and friendship within the group, so that they can all enjoy their time in the Land.

Spring Newsletter – Our next newsletter is in its final stages of writing and editing, almost ready to be published.  These newsletters require a great deal of prayer and guidance from the Holy Spirit, from the writing to the editing to the graphic design and printing, and we often experience strong spiritual opposition to them.  Please cover this next newsletter in prayer, and also those who are working on the newsletter, especially Tara, Moran, Melissa, Patty, & Mike; may the LORD go before them in their efforts to produce a strong newsletter on a very important and timely topic.  Please also pray for a smooth printing and mailing process as well. 

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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