Yeshua Israel

FOR THEIR SALVATION ISRAEL NEEDS YOU

Beyond Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem PART II
Beyond Praying the Peace of Jerusalem PART II

Beyond Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem PART II
by Shani Ferguson

Part II - Because of the amount of relevant categories for prayer in regards to Israel, this article has been broken into two parts. The first part (sent last month) deals with physical issues such as land, government and security. This issue, the second part, deals with spiritual issues such as ministry, character and the Body of believers in Israel

Part I of Beyond Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem included physical prayer topics for Israel such as land, government, economy and immigration. These topics are the usual things that get people arguing in regards to right and wrong, justice and warcrimes. Such an approach however, is a bit like putting the cart before the horse. If the spiritual aspects are dealt with, often the natural things fall into place. So let us delve into the spiritual needs of the Jewish people and the Promised Land. God promised to bless the earth through the families of Israel. It is their calling and destiny whether they recognize it or not. And yet, when Israel is in right standing with the Lord, how much more will we see the nations experience the Kingdom of God manifest on the earth? It’s not a hope, it’s a promise. So let’s dig in our heels together and contend for God’s ancient plan to be fulfilled in the hearts of the children of Israel and ultimately in our own lives. (Rom 11:15)


pray-for-our-freedom-of-speech-2.jpgFREEDOM OF SPEECH

“When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.” (Proverbs 29:2)

Freedom of speech is a major issue in Israel. While Israel’s Declaration of Independence promises the right to freedom of religion and expression, in practice, the influential religious community only promises freedom of religion as long as it is their preferred expression of religion. Protection of other minority voices, particularly Messianic Jewish religious freedom of expression, often takes tens of thousands of dollars and years in court to defend. Even after there is a legal victory in favor of the persecuted (Messianic Jews), the ruling is often ignored by the persecutors (Orthodox Jews) in the name of God.

Since little can be done legally to silence a person’s religious preference, much of the stifling of these freedoms is done by bullying. For example, if a Messianic Jew (even one who doesn’t share openly about his or her beliefs) is found to have a job working with minors, the employer will likely be pressured to fire the believer under the pretense of child endangerment. Or, for example, if a business owner is found to be a believer, it is not uncommon for the business to come under aggressive boycott.

Our voice in public venues is also stifled. Recently, a Messianic Jewish organization paid for radio commercial spots and bus ads basically stating, “Yeshua = yeshuah,” which translates, “Jesus = salvation.” Within hours of the first radio spot, anti-religious freedom groups successfully pressured the radio stations and billboard companies to remove the ads. Since the religious sector of society (even mildly conservative or traditional Jews) is a big market, no business or individual is interested in becoming a target of their wrath.

Every individual who follows God wholeheartedly has experienced some level of religious persecution since before the time of Yeshua. It seems to be something that comes with the territory. And yet, Paul says to pray for those in authority that we may “live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”

  • Pray that God would give strength and courage to those undergoing persecution in Israel, as well as wisdom as how to avoid unnecessary persecution and how to respond to it.

  • Pray against the fear of persecution that develops among believers when they hear the stories of others’ sufferings.

  • Pray against lawlessness and that the government would enforce Supreme Court rulings against sects of society who reject its supreme authority over rabbinical authority.

  • Pray that government leaders will stand by the rights of believers to speak freely about Yeshua even if they don’t agree.

  • Pray that there would be a free flow of information in the land. Truth always triumphs, and the only way to keep truth from winning is to keep it from getting out.


pray_for_character.jpg CHARACTER

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)

Someone once explained to me how some of the aggression in modern Israeli culture is simply the residue of Holocaust trauma. In stories too sad and too long to fully share, even after World War II when emaciated Holocaust survivors tried to make it on dilapidated boats to the Holy Land, the British Navy would intercept the boats and put the Jews in internment camps in Cyprus. It was there that tens of thousands of Jews experienced deliberate dehumanization by the British. For example, guards would throw over a fence that imprisoned a couple of hundred Jews only enough food or spoons, etc. for half of the people. It was the survival of the fittest, and only the most aggressive ones thrived. The paranoia of being too nice and ending up not having enough still hangs over large groups of Israelis today.

Nevertheless, that fear which feeds instinctive selfishness and even aggression will not lead to lasting prosperity. Israelis will prosper more when they have the courage to look past the immediate shekel they might get and see God who is waiting with outstretched arms full of blessings. God’s ways often seem counterintuitive, but it is He who has promised to shower rewards on those who regard their neighbor above themselves. (Thank God that there are many selfless, kind, and giving Israelis!)

  • Pray for cultural healing and that God would give Israelis, especially new believers, the courage in their hearts to trust Him and live a life of integrity.

  • Pray that God would show His pleasure with even the smallest baby steps in that direction.


MORALITY

morality.jpg
“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
(2 Timothy 2:22)

A friend of mine told me the other day that she had been attempting to work with schools to share with students the benefits of abstinence and options for dealing with an unexpected pregnancy (other than abortion). The schools told her they couldn’t allow her to speak on such matters because they did not want to teach on morality issues. I’ve heard similar stories with respect to army bases. Unfortunately, the stifling of such conversation has created a society that is not immoral, but amoral (i.e., the absence of moral standards, restraints, or principles). It should then come as no surprise that prostitution is legal, LGBT ideology is aggressively celebrated, abortion rates are through the roof, and tens of thousands of Israeli men (and foreign workers) visit brothels each day.

  • Pray that God would prick the conscience of Israelis to become aware of their proverbial “nakedness” and bring about an elevated level of morality in the culture.


SALVATIONpray-for-salvation.jpg

 
“And so all Israel shall be saved.”
(Rom. 11:26)


It’s one of the clearest and most controversial verses in the Bible. Is it possible for God to save a whole people group? Before you go trying to explain why God can’t do it, remember He’s the one who created every speck of dust in the universe. And if He can save you, surely He can save a whole nation of individuals like you!

God’s promises are usually about issues of epic proportions. Therefore, He implores us to “give Him no rest” in regards to praying that He fulfills those promises (Isa. 62:7). While it may seem daunting to pray such large prayers, realize that imploring God to hold to His word is a guaranteed way to assure an answered prayer. Praying through Romans 9-11 is a great place to start!

Remember, the salvation of the Jews is not just about Israel. It is also about the salvation of your own non-Jewish friends and family members. Romans 11:15 promises that the salvation of the Jewish people will bring about worldwide revival among the Gentiles!

  • Pray that God would open the eyes of the Jewish people to their need for salvation and grant the Jewish people the spirit of repentance.



Pray for SalvationDEVELOPMENT OF THE LOCAL BODY

“Therefore, encourage each other, and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

While the salvation of Israel is a momentous part of the plan of God for Israel, the main tool God uses to represent Himself to non-believing Jews are Jews who are already believers today. It seems reasonable then to say that prayers and resources from the saints around the world would be most fruitful when invested in Israeli believers who (against severe cultural backlash in Israel) have embraced their destiny in the New Covenant. As more and more native Israelis have the blinders taken off their eyes, the need for solid spiritually mature mothers and fathers in the faith will grow. We cannot afford not wait for the promised coming revival – it’s time to train these leaders now!

On a practical level, it’s hard to explain if you’ve never been here, but anyone who lives here will tell you that random everyday life crises are some of the greatest hindrances to ministry. A traffic jam due to a bomb threat, the store you absolutely needed open being closed because the owner went to a Bar Mitzvah, and the frequent government service going on strike because of some union protest are among the creative ways Israel has of slowing down progress.
   
  • God’s plan and timing are perfect. Pray for God’s guidance in daily life planning and against distractions and situations that cause loss of time and finances.

  • Since the Messianic Jewish (and Christian Arab) community is only in its “first fruits” stage, it is difficult to find leadership-ready material. Pray that God would bring Israeli believers to full maturity and sanctification despite the hardships and isolation many of them face where they live, work, or go to school.

  • Pray that God would raise up congregations of every style and culture to bring Him the most glory.

  • Pray for those God has called to be leaders in the Body (especially native Israelis) to have opportunities to realize and utilize their giftings.

  • Pray that those who are called to lead will experience God’s financial blessings so they will be able to “devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4)

 


Pet Project PET PROJECT


“Delight yourself in the Lord, And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4) 

Pick a field, a subject, or a sect of society that you find interesting or feel deeply about and make it your pet project in Israel. Praying for the “whole world” to be saved is vague and hard to track its success rate. Specifics help your heart engage in your prayers and encourage you when you get word back that God is moving in that area. Whether your passion is small business, orphans and widows, or agriculture etc., you can pray for blessing in these areas in Israel.

Examples: Since music and worship are dear to our hearts, here are some examples of how we pray into those areas.

  • We pray that God will raise up Israeli believing musicians and music producers who know the culture, and that He will give them the means by which to excel in their craft.

  • We pray that God will search out and save musicians who already excel in the music world.

  • We pray for God to grant creativity to songwriters to write songs that would pierce the hardest hearts in this land.

  • We pray that those who don’t know Him will experience His presence through worship music. There is nothing that gives God more glory than to witness what He can do with a surrendered mortal man.

 

 

YESHUA ISRAEL
Yeshua Israel

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. (Isaiah 62:1)


If you are looking for a specific local ministry in Israel to pray for – pray for Yeshua Israel!

Ferguson Family
  • Pray against anti-Semitic theology in the Church and that God will grant opportunities to share of His love and commitment to the Jewish people among the nations.

  • Pray that God will connect us with mature Israeli believers we can work with to strengthen each other and spread His love.

  • Pray for God to bring skilled laborers with musical or media expertise (e.g., videos, graphics, etc.).

  • Pray for our family’s safety and protection against terrorism and persecution.  Pray also for safety of our home and belongings.

  • Pray that our family will be an example of a godly home and a testimony to non-believers.

  • Pray that our relationship with God and within our family will remain strong as ministry responsibilities increase.
    Please share these prayer requests with others!



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The vision our Lord has given us to reach Israel is unique and exciting, but simply put, we can’t do it without you! We invite you to join us on this adventure called 2016 to make an impact here in Israel for our Lord.

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Yeshua Israel
PO Box 535784
Grand Prairie, TX 75053-5784


 
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