Seven Ways You Can Pray for Israel
1. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
Psalm 122:6: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.” Peace be within your walls...
Peace in Jerusalem is the key to peace on earth. The turmoil in the Middle East sends waves of unrest and uncertainty to the rest of the world. Jerusalem is the city where God chose to “put His name” (1 Kings 14:21 and several other passages). When we pray for Jerusalem, we connect with the heart of God and seek to be part of what He is doing in our world. When there is true, lasting peace in Jerusalem, there will be peace on earth.
Dear Lord, Prince of Peace, we know that it is only Your healing touch that will heal the land of Your people. We pray that soon we all will see and know You, our Messiah, Savior, and the One who will bring peace to the land.
2. Pray for those who choose Israel as their home, making aliyah, and for those who greet them and help them make a home.
Jeremiah 32:37: Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them ... I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely.
Those who emigrate from their homes to Israel and make aliyah are as varied as the people of the earth. They come from the four corners of the earth: Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. I have had the privilege of greeting groups of immigrants as they land in a completely foreign environment. They are willing to brave life in a completely new world, so drawn are they to their spiritual home. I’ve visited the remarkable “absorption centers” run by the Jewish Agency to provide a soft landing for those who need basic shelter, food, and job and language skills. God has brought His people “back to this place.” The men, women, and children who arrive have expressed their gratitude and even astonishment that so many Gentiles care and want to help. It is our privilege to be a part of what God is doing with His people.
Dear Father, Bless these, your children, who come willingly with anticipation, to the land you promised their people. Help them feel at home and to enjoy the freedom of being Jewish, leaving behind the hurts and persecution of their previous lives. And bless the faithful workers who give their time and hearts to make this happen. Bless the Jewish Agency for Israel and the faithful workers who see their work as a calling and a mission.
3. Pray for friendship and reconciliation between Arabs and Jews.
Genesis 25:9 —“Then Abraham breathed his last, and died in a good old age... and was gathered to his people. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah.”
The Jewish-Arab conflict began with the personal struggles of Abraham, Sarah, Ishmael, and Isaac. The roots of modern terrorism and war are buried deep in centuries-old sibling rivalry, marriage problems, conflicts between generations, love stories, political intrigue—and a spiritual battle, waged with righteous motives and deadly zeal.
And yet, for a brief moment after Abraham died, the brothers Ishmael and Isaac came together. Momentary peace blessed Abraham’s burial. In the end, they were just two boys, now grown men, whose father was known as the “friend” of God. Abraham left his sons a legacy of a personal relationship with the Almighty.
We can hope and pray that one day the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael, the Jews and the Arab nations, will find reconciliation and peace when the Prince of Peace reigns in their hearts.
Dear Lord, We ask in Your name that these two brothers can once again be reconciled. That their descendants will embrace their common heritage and be united in faith by a vision, a discovery, a revelation of Jesus as the Messiah, Savior, and one true God. May their eyes and hearts be opened to love their God through His Son Jesus, and to love one another like the brothers they are.
4. Pray for the church to understand her Jewish roots, and to reconnect.
Romans 4:16: The faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all... Ephesians 2:15: So as to create in Himself one new man from the two... When Jesus first taught His disciples to take communion to remember Him, there wasn’t a Gentile in sight. The followers who surrounded Jesus were Jewish. And yet for many Jews over the centuries, the cross of Christ has been a sign of terror, not love. Why so much persecution, hatred, and controversy? And why has the church of Jesus Christ often forsaken these literal brothers and sisters of Jesus? I’ve been shocked to discover how deeply the roots of anti-Semitism infiltrated the early church with tendrils that grew into evils such as the Inquisition, Nazism, and other manifestations of prejudice and hatred directed toward the children of Israel. Now I believe the Lord is opening the eyes of His church to its Jewish roots. My passion and prayer is that my brothers and sisters in the church will fall in love with the Jewish people and realize the debt we owe them. That one day all Jewish people will know the love of Jesus through His body, the church, and will embrace Him as their Messiah. Oh Lord, Father of Jew and Gentile, we pray that we will recognize and be grateful for the origins of our faith. That we will love the Jewish people so deeply and sincerely that they will see the love of Jesus through us and will come to know their Messiah. Teach us our history and our heritage. Guide us in knowing what to do with this knowledge.
5. Pray for the relationship between the chosen people and the Gentiles, whom God calls to "step into the story."
Isaiah 49:22: “See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples; they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders.”
We are invited to be part of God’s story! We have the opportunity to bridge the seemingly unbridgeable gap between Jew and Gentile, to love God’s chosen people just as God does. There are many organizations and ministries reaching out to the Jewish community, eager to learn about our Jewish roots and wanting to bless Israel and her people in practical and spiritual ways.
Dear Father, You have called the Jewish people “the apple” of Your eye. May we see Israel through Your eyes and love Your children as brothers and sisters of the Savior we love. May we do this with humility and respect toward the people through whom You have chosen to accomplish Your purposes on earth.
6. Pray for understanding of the Feasts of the Lord, for Jews and Christians alike to understand the prophetic significance of the Feasts, and for Jews who observe them to understand their prophetic meaning.
Leviticus 23: These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times.
We think of seasons as summer, spring, winter, and fall. In Jewish culture, seasons are marked by the seven Feasts of the Lord: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles. Feasts in the Hebrew language is moed, meaning a divine appointment; also a signal, appointed beforehand. The Hebrew word for convocation is miqra. This means a public meeting or [dress] rehearsal. The Feasts are like dress rehearsals!
The seven “holy convocations” are the “feasts of the Lord” —not Jewish feasts for the Jewish people only, but for anyone who belongs to the Lord. Each of the seven Feasts is part of the total prophetic picture concerning the life, death, resurrection, and second coming of Jesus the Messiah. While Christians are not obligated to observe the Feasts— there is no law that says so—God is inviting us to understand the richness and significance of their meaning.
Almighty God, You are a God of such poetry and such unique ways of communicating to Your people. Thank you for these seven feasts, and may we have “ears that hear and eyes to see” their significance and meaning. We pray that this knowledge will deepen our understanding of You and Your people and the events surrounding us, both in the natural and in the spiritual.