Israel may or may not have the nuclear bomb, but it does have a secret weapon more powerful than any force arrayed against it. Prayer. How should we pray for Israel? The Scripture gives us key guidance. Rather than going through a list of items to pray for, here is timeless direction from the Scripture. When doing so, consider facing East – towards Jerusalem (1 Kings 8:30; 2 Chron 6:21, 32, Dan 6:10).
- Grab hold of the blessing that is for all the nations, by blessing Israel. Abraham is promised ‘I will bless those who bless you’ (Gen. 12:3).
- ‘Pray for shalom in Yerushalayim; may those who love you prosper’ (Psalm 122:6). This is not merely political peace, but shalom. It is G-d’s peace, for all who inhabit the city, Jew, Arab or other.
- Pray that the people of Israel will ‘humble themselves, pray’ and seek the Face of Hashem. The promise for Israel is that as they bear His name, if they do so He ‘will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land’ (2 Chron 7:14).
- Pray for those who persecute Israel and the Jewish people. While on account of our love for Israel they are also our enemies, as our Messiah said, ‘But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!’
- Pray for Messiah’s coming Kingdom, as our Messiah has taught us (Matt 6:10) ‘May your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. We might be tempted to ‘spiritualize’ this prayer, but it also speaks of Messiah’s coming literal reign in Jerusalem!
- Pray that when the day comes that when ‘the abomination that causes devastation spoken about through the prophet Daniel’ is ‘standing in the Holy Place’ that the Jewish people ‘will not have to escape in winter or on Shabbat’ (Matt 24:15, 21).
- Join with our Jewish people in the Scripturally based prayers of the Amidah: ‘Cause us to return, our Father, to Your Torah; draw us near, our King, to Your service; and bring us back to You in whole-hearted repentance. Blessed are You L-rd, who desires penitence’ and ‘Sound the great shofar for our freedom; raise a banner to gather our exiles, and bring us together from the four corners of the earth into our land. Blessed are You L-rd, who gathers the dispersed of His people Israel.’
As we pray for Israel, we can be encouraged that ‘The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’ (James 5:16)!