Prayer Letter- May 2015

Dear Prayer Partners,

Shalom and Greetings from Jerusalem! Starting from the second day of Passover, the Jewish people commence the ‘Counting of the Omer’ (Leviticus 23:15,16). This is a fifty-day period between Passover and Shavuot, also known as the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. It is on this final day when the people of Israel remember the fifty days between their Exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. As believers in the New Covenant, we know that Acts mentions this festival in what we have come to refer to as the Day of Pentecost, the Greek word for “fifty”. Following Yeshua’s resurrection, it was on the fiftieth day (Shavuot) when the Holy Spirit was given to Jews and non-Jews alike (Acts 2). This year, the Feast of Weeks lands on the eve of May 23-24. As we join in with the people of Israel and celebrate this time of coming out of slavery and into freedom, we also want to praise God that He gave us His Holy Spirit so that the Torah could be written on our hearts. We ask for your prayers this month for the nation of Israel, that they may also receive the revelation of the Messiah and the gift of the Holy Spirit during this special season.

Please join us in interceding on behalf of Israel for:

Jerusalem Day: Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday that commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem to the State of Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967. It is predominantly celebrated by the residents in Jerusalem with parades and dancing in the streets. We ask for your prayers for Jerusalem on May 17 as Israel celebrates the great city that God calls the close enough to put His name on. Please pray for protection, since this day is a sour one in the eyes of Israel’s enemies and Jerusalem is always the center for contention and struggle. Pray that Jerusalem will remain undivided.

Coalition Building: PM Netanyahu had to request a two-week extension from Israel’s President Rivlin in order to continue coalition talks with the parties he wants to build the next government with. After the initial results of the election, Bibi boasted that he would be able to form a government before Israel’s Independence Day and now he is struggling to meet the extended May 6th deadline. It is always complicating when it comes to allocating ministerial positions because the competition and power games take over. Please pray for the Netanyahu and all of the government leaders that are tasked with building the next four years of political authority in Israel. Pray for wisdom and divine inspiration from God that He will build for Himself a God-fearing country submitted to His will and will choose to walk in righteousness.

Anti-Semitism in the Nations: In recent months there has been much news coverage about several instances across the U.S., Europe, South Africa, and Australia of anti-Israel protests or misconduct. Each campaign has a different audience and is carried out in a different way, but the underlying motivator is the same — anti-Semitism. This is not to say that any and all events surrounding Israel and the Palestinians are anti-Semitic, however when these events begin to use rhetoric that denies the recognition of the State of Israel or demonizes the state, at that point a line has been crossed. We ask that you would pray about how to deal with this growing stream of anti-Semitism worldwide. It takes on a number of shapes and forms, but the root remains the same as it has for centuries. As believers please pray for wisdom and protection as to how to recognize and discern how best to pray and deal with this issue. We also ask that you would pray for a covering of protection for Israelis and Jews around the world that are coming under attack.

Security Concerns: Despite the fact that the number of terrorist attacks has reduced in recent months, the problem of terror has not disappeared entirely. Recently we have seen a number of separate knife attacks, predominantly on Israeli soldiers, where thankfully no one was killed. Four terrorists were recently spotted crossing the border from Syria into Israel and planting an explosive at an IDF Border Patrol station. Enemies of Israel stand at every border of the country with Hezbollah threatening the northern border, the war in Syria only miles away, and the constant threat of surprise attacks by Hamas from Gaza and the Palestinian territories. Yet, we serve a God who is in control of all circumstances and protects His children. Please pray that we would not live in fear of danger or an enemy that we cannot see. Pray for God’s hand to watch over all those the enemy would seek to harm. Also, that we would learn to love our enemy and pray that he would turn from his evil ways and come into the light of Yeshua.

Iranian Deal: There has been so much controversy over this nuclear-disarmament deal between Iran and the U.S., along with several other world powers. There are many who support it and many that are strongly protesting it. Ever since the agreement was announced, Israeli PM Netanyahu has strongly opposed it and is doing what he can to rally against it, putting pressure on the American government. Please intercede for the future of any final agreement that must be reached by June this year. This could be a historic shift in the Middle East, for good or for bad, depending on the outcome. Israel is one of Iran’s greatest enemies and is in much closer proximity than any other Western nations. We ask that you join us in praying for a divine intervention that will prevent Iran from continuing its nuclear weapons development and that the hand of God will watch over and protect Israel from every attack.

Israeli Economy: For the Israeli public, one of the most important issues is the economy. Housing prices, the cost of living and high poverty rates – especially for children – has left Israelis frustrated and hungry for economic change. Families living in poverty oftentimes have to make difficult decisions like whether to buy food for the kids or medication, paying the electric bill or buying books for school. On top of that housing prices have skyrocketed throughout the country in recent years making it almost impossible for families to become homeowners or save for the future. There are many reasons for poverty, but much of it has to do with Israeli government policy: reduction of welfare pensions, a low minimum wage, and tax and labor laws, to name a few. Please keep those who are struggling to provide the basic necessities of food, medicine, and education for their children. Pray for the new government to take notice and make progressive changes that will help lift these families out of poverty. Of course, pray that people would come to see God as their Provider.

Peace Process: During the Israeli election campaign, PM Netanyahu, in his race to get re-elected, made a claim that under his leadership there would not be a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians. This undermines the rhetoric that he had been used for several years in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and the United States and the reason why the PA claims it will not return to the negotiating table. At this point it is unclear what is the future of the political negotiations will be. However, we continue to stand and pray for a nation aligned with biblical prophecy and according to God’s promises. This is the time and place to press in with prayer for true peace to make its way to the hearts of Israelis and Palestinians, for we know that this will only come when the people are surrendered to Yeshua. Please pray for wisdom for the leaders from both camps, as well as all of the international body that is involved in the peace process.

Rain: Praise God that Israel has received rain throughout the winter months and now we have entered into the warmth of spring. Israel’s major water sources in the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee received an abundance of rain this year. Please pray for a continued and steady amount of rain to fall on this dry Land. “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 be in prayer for wisdom for Moran during these upcoming months. He has many important decisions to make in the midst of a very busy schedule with several tours to host and speaking engagements to travel to in the near future. Please pray that God will sustain him in his emotional, spiritual and physical health during this time. Also, pray for wisdom as he continues to write his blog series.

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. Please pray for guidance and direction from God in every area of the organization – finances, partners, projects and tours.

HFI Board – Please continue to pray for the Board as they always have important decisions for the ministry in front of them.  Please ask for provisions and protection from any attacks that the Enemy would try to make on the members of the Board and/or their families.

HFI Staff – Please continue to intercede for our staff members, board members, and ministry partners & their loved ones; please pray that we will walk in the victory that Yeshua has given us over illness and disease.  Please continue to pray for His protection over our children’s hearts & minds as well.  Please also pray for the entire staff in our work, that the LORD would inspire and work through us to bring Himself glory in Israel.

Ner Yah Youth Group – The Ner Yah youth group is reaching its final weeks for meeting this year before the youth enter into their summer break. Please pray for the youth as many of them have end-of-the-year tests. Pray for their diligence and success in their studies. Also keep them in your prayers for continued spiritual growth and that they will be strengthened in their intimacy with God.

Ner Yah Leaders – Prayer for the leaders of Ner Yah, that God will give them the wisdom they need to close out this school year and begin the summer break in the strongest way possible. The leaders are already looking and praying about next year’s youth group and who will come alongside them to help lead the youth. Please pray for wisdom and grace to find new leaders and to understand the direction God would lead them into the future.

Believing Soldiers’ Outreach – Please pray for the specific needs of the many believing soldiers trying to keep strong in the faith in light of the many physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges that come with the army. Many soldiers struggle with loneliness and frustration with their jobs in the army, so we ask that you would help cover them in prayer. Please pray for wisdom, strength and grace for the soldiers throughout all of the transitions that come with army service, for those currently entering and those that are exiting. Pray for them to be a light and true friends to the other soldiers surrounding them and that they will find direction for life in this season. Please pray for David and Sara who are leading this outreach – that they will walk in God’s anointing and wisdom for this new ministry opportunity. Please also pray that they will have a deep sensitivity to what the soldiers need as they continue to develop this department.

Experience Israel Tour – Praise God that the 10th Anniversary Experience Israel Tour 2015 was concluded with the participants being blessed by all they saw, learned, and experienced throughout their two weeks in the Land. We ask that you would pray that all of the seeds that God planted in their hearts He would now water and grow as they settle back into their normal lives. Please begin to pray for next year’s tour (March 5-20, 2016) as we are in the final stages of planning process.

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. Pray that God would already begin to stir in the hearts of pastors and leaders to come to Israel so that they will be able to share with their communities about Israel in order to educate others about God’s heart for this Land and His people.

Summer Newsletter – We are in the process of working on the summer newsletter that will go out in the upcoming months. We would appreciate your prayers for the vision and direction that God would have us take as we are building the newsletter content. We seek to glorify His name in all that we say and do.

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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