By Pastor Jonathan S. Ferriol
I pray for the nations of the world. But recently, I have been praying much for the nation of Israel. There are two important reasons why I do and hopefully, after reading this, you would also do the same.
First of all, the Bible points out the reason why Israel today is undergoing so much turmoil and upheavals is because, this nation has turned her back against God and His anointed Messiah, Christ Jesus – John 1:11. As far as God and His words are concerned, Israel today is backslidden nation. This is what Apostle Paul writes, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear” – Romans 11:8. This explains why most Israelis today are experiencing a “partial hardening of their hearts,” again, in the words of the Apostle Paul. I’ve visited Israel a few times a few years ago and I’ve talked to a number of Israelis about Jesus and I for one could vouch for what truly the Bible says about their spiritual blindness concerning Jesus Christ.
In retrospect, Israel is a lesson in a nutshell of what happens to a believer who walks away from God and disobeys Him. When Israel was faithful to God, she was invincible against her enemies, but when she turns unfaithful, Israel suddenly finds her enemies overrunning and enslaving her. This is also true to any believer – when he is faithful to God, God blesses him but when a believer disobeys, God sort of allows crises to overwhelm him. He does this, in the hopes that a believer would come back to his senses, repent from his sins and receive that “refreshing” from the Lord – Acts 3:19
Although Israel at the present time is “broken off,” yet, God will always keep His promises He made to Abraham and the rest of the patriarchs. Apostle Paul captures God’s assurance to Israel in these words, “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable!” – Romans 11:29. You see, this is what I always find unbelievably amazing about God – He is always a promise keeper and that He would never ever renege on his guarantees! Yes, in the end, Israel will be saved and those in this nation who will put their faith in Christ will someday receive their godly inheritance in heaven! – Romans 11:26
So having said these things, there are two major reasons why we must pray for Israel.
1. God wants us to pray for Israel – Psalm 122:6 says so, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may those who love you be secure.” May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” In the same breadth, Romans 10:1 says this, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” God wants Israel saved as well as the whole nations of the world, but this salvation could only be realized by Israel if we would begin interceding for this country.
2. The presence of our brethren in Israel demands we must pray for Israel – How can we simply pray in passing for the brethren in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem when they are in constant threat of terrorists attacks, immigration crackdowns and simply being in the most volatile, if not, most unstable region in the whole world? As their brethren, aren’t we supposed to empathize with them and intensely, intercede for their safety and welfare?
So next time, you bend your knees in prayer, remember Israel! Shalom!